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No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt


Postby railton22 » Sun May 04, 2014 8:49 pm

Munros included on this walk: Derry Cairngorm

Date walked: 23/04/2014

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 21.5 km

Ascent: 975m

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Ok we didn't actually kick this Munro's butt on this St George's Day walk.

A more realistic telling would be along the lines of we "plodded our way up to the summit and scuttled back down again". Not as dramatic as the title, granted.

However, this was going to be quite a day with a few "firsts".

1. First Munro since having spinal surgery.
2. First bike ride since 2008 that caused the injury that led to spinal surgery 5 years later.
3. First time we've used mountain bikes to aid us in bagging a Munro.

An ominous start which nearly led to the whole attempt being aborted when a retinal migraine hit me hard :sick: . NOT happy at all and I staggered around the house crashing into things in a pretty grim temper given that this was our first chance for a Munro since Sept last year. The lovely sunny weather (perfect for a good long walk) did little to help my bleak mood.

Decided that two Paracetamol and a 2mile walk with the dog would send me one way or the other. By the time I'd finished the walk, my missing vision had all but returned. Had to wait another 10mins for some pretty trippy zig-zags to disappear...and that was it.

No crashing headache. :thumbup:

Cool. Derry Cairngorm it is then.

Two bikes loaded into the car. Ruckies packed and dog settled nicely in his basket at home.

Arrived at Linn of Dee carpark at 11:30am and soon we were on our way.

Any guilt about the use of mountain bikes being a "cheat" dissipated in the first five minutes where red faced, puffing like the little engine that could, we realised that we were somewhat "out of condition" re: biking.

Grimacing through the thigh burn we pedalled on, getting off to walk at the merest hint of an incline. It was in this fashion that we reached Derry Lodge. We were so grateful not to have met any "proper cyclists" as the pair of us really looked pathetic with our matching red cheeks (face cheeks not bum cheeks; although that came later).

Crossed the Derry Burn and found somewhere to rest our bikes. Now for the walking....and all of it a steady
uphill.
DSC00530smderry.jpg
Behind the hair and smiles I'm rather red-faced and sweaty. Enjoying a respite on the ascent

Did not expect the ascent to be quite so difficult but our thighs had taken quite a hammering on the bikes and we plodded up the clear path (not on the OS map) at a pace that would have given any watching octagenarian a jolly old laugh at our "patheticness" :oops:
DSC00529smderry.jpg
Taking a breather at the start of the walk


Over Carn Crom we spotted an eagle. We have seen eagles here before but this one only put in a brief appearance before drifting off higher and higher into the light cloud above.
DSC00531smderry.jpg
Carn Crom. Breather break.

Pockets of thick snow banks on the east side of Carn Crom crossed the path in several places with snowy overhangs on the sheer sides. We wisely opted for the higher path and had no problems.

Good views of Derry Cairngorm ahead with its pointy peak and views of Ben Macdui, Carn a Mhaim and a cloud topped Beinn Mheadhoin (all of which we have climbed) spurred us on.
DSC00554smderry.jpg
The summit gets closer

DSC00558smderry.jpg
.....and closer!!!

Came across several mountain hares with their coats on the turn as well as some incredibly bold ptarmigan (again with their plumage on the turn) who weren't in the least bit bothered by two puffing red faced creatures walking through their neighbourhood.

Further on I spotted a leveret.
Truth be told I nearly stepped on it as it sleepily hopped out from under the rocks. So eager was I to see it, that I quite forgot to concentrate on where to put my feet on the "shin-breaker" rocks that I ended up wedging my foot at a horrid angle and falling backwards. Luckily for me, it would seem that I have quite bendy ankles. With the leveret long gone and my camera hanging hopelessly around my neck I picked myself up and resumed the walk, albeit with a slightly sore ankle.

Stopped for some lunch and suffered the humiliation of watching an Olympic athelete run by in a blur of "go-faster" black and lime green lycra. :wtf: As Mr Olympics pinged past us, all defined muscles, not a bead of sweat and a rather satisfied little grin, we gave him our best smiles through mouthfuls of sausage rolls. Just hope that he didn't witness my ungainly stumble earlier on.

Lunch eaten. The walk became more of a scramble as we picked our way through the perilous rocks and on to the summit. Mr Olympics was by now halfway to Braemar having reached the summit and springbok-ed his way back down again.

The two summit cairns were close together and we posed at the furthest slightly higher cairn
DSC00563smderry.jpg
Hubs at the summit cairn.
DSC00567smderry.jpg
Me on the summit cairn. First time on a Munro since my back op. Felt amazing to be on top!!!
before making our descent.
DSC00573smderry.jpg
Views towards Beinn Mheadhoin

DSC00577smderry.jpg
Feeling zingy and really, really glad that my back op was a success. Munro no 51 in the bag

Within no time we found the bikes and pretty much rode all the way (predominantly downhill) back to the Linn of Dee.
DSC00587smderry.jpg
Glen Lui and not far from the Linn of Dee.

Great walk/ride and the use of bikes certainly opens up more remote Munros in future. Just need to work on those thigh muscles.

DSC00598smderry.jpg
Haven't done this for five years. Top way to end the day. Lovin' my bike!!!

Walked by Sarah (51st) and David (51st)
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railton22
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby AnnieMacD » Sun May 04, 2014 9:01 pm

Fantastic that your back surgery was such a success! Looking forward to lots of hills from you this summer....

The bikes are such a good idea for these long walk-ins. Must consider it.
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Sun May 04, 2014 9:10 pm

Thanks AnnieMacD. :D Can definitely recommend bikes for those long walk ins. We were a bit worried that it would feel like cheating somewhat but given the amount of energy we expended on the bikes it was definitely not a cheat. As the walk ins tend to be on a gradual incline it is harder going and *hangs head in shame* we get off the bikes and walk for a bit too. However the return is MUCH easier and that's where you get the payoff.
We've used bikes on three more mountains but I've not had chance to post them yet.
If you give it a go, let me know how you get on?

Sarah
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun May 04, 2014 9:35 pm

Another enjoyable report - you have been busy, walking & typing :lol:

I always look to see if it possible to take my bike, bit of a faff loading & unloading into the car (have to take off the front wheel), but if it saves time & makes life easier, I'm all for it 8)
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby Bruno » Mon May 05, 2014 10:51 am

Glad to see you back Sarah!

Iain

:clap: :D
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby dogplodder » Mon May 05, 2014 12:37 pm

Great to see you've made such a good come back after surgery! Moira and I have still to do this one and bikes not an option so just wondering how long it would take all walking? Also wondering about the ankle wrenching boulders. It being so close to where Moira broke her ankle boulder-hopping that could be a big turn off. :?
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Mon May 05, 2014 4:27 pm

saves time & makes life easier, I'm all for it 8)[/quote]

FifeFlyer, definitely with you on this one!!! We just collapse the back of the car down and shove the bikes in there. Not much more effort required than tying walking boot laces. Well not for me as my Hubs is the one hauling the bikes in and out of the car...but it only takes a few minutes and he's good at it :lol:
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Mon May 05, 2014 4:29 pm

Bruno wrote:Glad to see you back Sarah!

Iain

:clap: :D


Ahh thanks Iain. It is sure is great to be out and about in the wilds again. :D :D
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Mon May 05, 2014 4:43 pm

dogplodder wrote:Great to see you've made such a good come back after surgery! Moira and I have still to do this one and bikes not an option so just wondering how long it would take all walking? Also wondering about the ankle wrenching boulders. It being so close to where Moira broke her ankle boulder-hopping that could be a big turn off. :?


Hi Dogplodder
Thank you :)
We did neighbouring Carn a' Mhaim on foot from the Linn of Dee in 7 hours exactly and that was 21.5km compared to Derry Cairngorm which was 23 km. We walk fairly briskly ('cept uphill) but we tend to stop a fair bit for breathers and photos...just to give you some idea.

As for the boulders, so long as you are steady on them and watch where you're going (which I failed to do when I spotted the leveret :roll: ) they're ok. The boulders are only on the final part of the ascent

The path beyond the Derry Burn is not on the OS map but it is incredibly clear and easy to follow so not a problem in bad weather. However on Carn Crom the path splits (both going in the same direction) and we took the upper path which was good as there was a bit of snowy overhang clinging to the lower path on the steep east side of Carn Crom.

I seemed to remember reading your report, was it Beinn Mheadhoin? Hope that Moira has recovered fully

Sarah :)
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby dogplodder » Mon May 05, 2014 5:06 pm

railton22 wrote:
dogplodder wrote:Great to see you've made such a good come back after surgery! Moira and I have still to do this one and bikes not an option so just wondering how long it would take all walking? Also wondering about the ankle wrenching boulders. It being so close to where Moira broke her ankle boulder-hopping that could be a big turn off. :?


Hi Dogplodder
Thank you :)
We did neighbouring Carn a' Mhaim on foot from the Linn of Dee in 7 hours exactly and that was 21.5km compared to Derry Cairngorm which was 23 km. We walk fairly briskly ('cept uphill) but we tend to stop a fair bit for breathers and photos...just to give you some idea.

As for the boulders, so long as you are steady on them and watch where you're going (which I failed to do when I spotted the leveret :roll: ) they're ok. The boulders are only on the final part of the ascent

The path beyond the Derry Burn is not on the OS map but it is incredibly clear and easy to follow so not a problem in bad weather. However on Carn Crom the path splits (both going in the same direction) and we took the upper path which was good as there was a bit of snowy overhang clinging to the lower path on the steep east side of Carn Crom.

I seemed to remember reading your report, was it Beinn Mheadhoin? Hope that Moira has recovered fully

Sarah :)


Thanks Sarah, that's helpful. Moira and I did Carn a' Mhaim a few years back so that's a helpful distance comparison. Yes it was approaching Loch Etchachan en route to Beinn Mheadhoin she had her accident.... so I'm not sure how she'd feel about tackling this one. :wink:
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby bar72 » Mon May 05, 2014 6:15 pm

well done on getting back up the hills after a back op. i get a lot of grief from my back as my L4's bulging and sciatica can be troublesome when doing tough ascents. all the best.
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby goth_angel » Mon May 05, 2014 9:23 pm

Well done on the recovery - as someone who has had spinal surgery herself (horse riding accident) I know it can take a while.

Looks a decent walk, though I can't ride a bike which could be a nuisance.
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Tue May 06, 2014 8:00 pm

bar72 wrote:well done on getting back up the hills after a back op. i get a lot of grief from my back as my L4's bulging and sciatica can be troublesome when doing tough ascents. all the best.


Bar72, thank you :). The op was definitely worth it. I had a damaged coccyx removed and I'm happier without it for sure!

I feel your pain re: your L4s as I have the same problem with L4, L5 and S1. The sciatica is certainly "troublesome". My ruckie looks more like a dispensary, given the amount of pills I have in there!!! Kudos to you and here's to many more hills.

Sarah :)
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Re: No dragons slain but we DID kick a Munro's butt

Postby railton22 » Tue May 06, 2014 8:12 pm

goth_angel wrote:Well done on the recovery - as someone who has had spinal surgery herself (horse riding accident) I know it can take a while.

Looks a decent walk, though I can't ride a bike which could be a nuisance.


Goth angel, thank you :). Your accident sounds nasty :shock: As a horse-riding gal myself I can appreciate how precarious it can be in the saddle. I've been thrown a few times but thankfully no damage to my back. It was a bike :roll: that caused my coccyx injury. Due to my surgery and back probs before I haven't ridden for a few years. However I'm back on the bike now ....horses to follow??????

I can recommend the Derry Cairngorm walk. We've done neighbouring Carn a' Mhaim on foot from Linn of Dee and that took us 7hours/23km (lots of photo and breather stops!) and it was fine. Ached a bit but had a nice chip supper as a reward! Our daughter was with us and she'd broken her ankle the previous year. It was painful for her but she managed it with no lasting damage. Our Derry walk was 21.5km. Hope you get the chance to get up there :) :)
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