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The one where we bagged sunburn ...and two Munros

The one where we bagged sunburn ...and two Munros

Postby railton22 » Wed May 07, 2014 9:17 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Cairngorms), Beinn Bhreac

Date walked: 28/04/2014

Time taken: 7.15 hours

Distance: 30.5 km

Ascent: 1085m

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22 degrees C on the car on the way home. Really didn't think that Braemar did 20s (except minus 20s). Definitely our warmest day in the Cairngorms and possibly the warmest we've ever been on a mountain but no complaints at all.

Set off from Linn of Dee carpark for the mountain bike journey to Derry Lodge
Glen Lui in all its sunny glory
(quicker than last week too although saying that, we couldn't really have gotten any slower).
This biking lark is not as easy as it looks...having a sneaky walk after checking that there were no other "proper cyclists" around

After reading other WH User reports we decided to leave the bikes a short distance from Derry Lodge on the path to the east of Derry Burn.
Glen Derry. Gorgeous.

Initially missed the path of to the right because we weren't concentrating. A teensy bit of retracing and we were back en route again. We found that this path was pretty boggy
Views of Carn Crom and Derry Cairngorm were great from the "boggy path"
and it remained so until we were well over halfway up Meall Lunndain where it quickly became tinderbox dry and that made for much easier walking.
...and the bandana is out, and it's making its way towards his head. Yup, it's a heatwave!

No bandana for me but it's down to a strappy top. Just LOVE the myth that Scotland is cold, wet and full of midges haha!

Continuing our ascent towards Beinn Bhreac we found ourselves striking out for the smaller western summit rather than the correct and easterly summit of 931m and as a result we ended up taking the summit in a wide arc to correct our mistake. Posed for the necessary "summit piccies"
DSC00731smBeinn Bhreac.jpg
Summit cairn on Beinn Bhreac
DSC00732smBeinn Bhreac.jpg
Beinn Bhreac with Derry Cairngorm behind and the High Cairngorms beyond
DSC00734smBeinn Bhreac.jpg
I'm the king of the woooooorrrrrlrrrrd!!! Ok we all know that LEO is the King of the world but I can pretend.
and given that it was rather breezy we descended to a more sheltered spot on the NE side for lunch.

After refueling we were ready for the expansive Moine Bhealaidh.
DSC00739smMoine Bhealaidh.jpg
The distinctive barns of Beinn Mheadhoin as viewed from Moine Bhealaidh
It was a long trek (as stated in the WH route) and thanks to the WH route plus User reports we were able to avoid the peat hags and potential bogfest.
DSC00741smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
Beinn Mheadhoin and Beinn a Chaorainn to the right has seen from Moine Bhealaidh
Can imagine that this part of the walk must feel endless in inclement weather and grim too given that it was very exposed but in fine ether it was a nice break in between ascents.
DSC00742smMoine Bhealaidh.jpg
The bogs really weren't that bad at all. We found the path up to Beinn Bhreac much boggier

Reaching Beinn a Chaorainn we plumped for the greyish looking stony SE shoulder and disturbed a couple of ptarmigan with our puffy and blowy ascent. The summit cairn was a welcome sight
DSC00743smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
The Hubs stands (looking mightily pleased with himself) at the summit cairn on Beinn a'Chaorainn against a backdrop of a glorious blue sky.
DSC00754smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
Found the energy for my "summit pose"
and the views were every bit as grand as promised.
The best feeling in the world!!!
Went a little bit overboard at this point with the photos but we really wanted to make the most of such fantastic views.
DSC00761smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
Hubs takes in the spectacular views

After an apple and drink break we picked our way SW through the boulder field to where the mountain seemed to end abruptly with a near vertical drop to the valley floor.
DSC00764smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
A close up of the blue skies....and the "holiday beard"!!!
DSC00769smBeinn a'Chaorainn beinn Mheadhoin.jpg
Beinn Mheadhoin viewed from Beinn a'Chaorainn and Lairig an Laoigh far below
At this point the descent was pretty much vertical and we scooched down the steep side in a decidedly uncool and ungainly fashion through screeish rocks and grass that offered very little anchorage.
DSC00773smBeinn a'Chaorainn.jpg
T'was steep. No piccies of the bum-shuffling

We carefully continued in this manner until the Lairig an Laoigh path was reached. To be honest the descent felt like more of an achievement than the two Munros!

Picked up the path and took the opportunity to empty the 1lb or o of heather and stones from our boots.
Amazing what you can collect in your boots on a dodgy steep descent.

The heat on the valley floor was incredible; just like high summer
DSC00784smLairig an Laoigh.jpg
Getting a fine Highland tan. Lairig an Laoigh
and it made for a very pleasant walk back down Lairig an Laoigh towards beautiful Glen Derry.

Glas Allt Mor didn't pose any problems and crossing was quite straightforward at the point where the path met the burn.
DSC00791smGlas Allt Mor.jpg
Glas Allt Mor was nice and straightforward to cross. Given the weather a wade across would have been a welcome treat for the feet!
We've certainly crossed (and fell in) more challenging burns .
Into Glen Derry

Glen Derry on a belter of a day

In no time we were back at the point were we'd left the bikes. We didn't follow the instructions to cross the little metal bridge over Derry Burn but stayed on the ascending (sigh) path so that we could collect the bikes without having to backtrack.

From then on it was a wheely nice bike (apologies) all the way back to the carpark.
At Derry Lodge beginning the significantly less challenging return bike ride
Very glad of the bikes at this point.

Walked/biked in 7hours 15mins and a total of 19miles. Walked by Sarah (52nd and 53rd) and David (52nd and 53rd)
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Posts: 266
Munros:141   Corbetts:10
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:13
Joined: Aug 10, 2009

Re: The one where we bagged sunburn ...and two Munros

Postby mr_ash_37 » Thu May 08, 2014 4:37 pm

Another fine report and fun as always. Grt pics. Thanks
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Munro compleatist
Posts: 175
Munros:66   Corbetts:3
Joined: Jan 20, 2012
Location: East Ayrshire

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