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sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell


Postby happyhiker » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:57 pm

Route description: The Cairnwell Munros

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Gheoidh, Carn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 11/04/2010

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11 km

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What a cracking day we had for bagging some hills on Sunday!!
We'd had this trip planned for sometime and was one of our friends first forays into the world of munros - this was an easy walk and as it turned out also absolutely glorious weather. A great intro to hillwalking - although perhaps somewhat too idyllic ("Yes Caroline, it is always this nice up the hills, no it never rains!!) :lol:

Anyway we'd kept an eye on the forecast all week so knew we were in good day - some of us were more optimistic re the weather and chose boldy when getting dressed :lol: the newbie was def more sceptical and opted for a few more layers - this were quickly shed once the walking started!! We did however optimistically spray on a wee bit of sun screen before we left...
The Cairnwell 3 (13 of 134).jpg

We got up to glenshee in good time (great driving weather too!) and were on the hills by 11am. There were still some folk skiing and snowboarding but looks like it is very nearly then end of the snow for that!
The Cairnwell 3 (16 of 134).jpg


We made a cracking start - despite the big patches of very slushy slippy snow - a good wee heart starter at the beginning of the walk. It was an easy but slightly steep ascent up and we got to the Cairn on Carn Aosda in 36 minutes which we were quite delighted wit. We then enjoyed some very pleasant walking the rest of the day.
The Cairnwell 3 (25 of 134)2.jpg
Caroline's first munro!

The Cairnwell 3 (29 of 134).jpg
Carn Aosda


With such great weather and clear blue skies we had great views into the distance. I think this is perhaps a great time of year to do these hills - there was still enough snow around us to hide the scarring on the hills from the ski runs yet it was great weather for walking.
The Cairnwell 3 (33 of 134).jpg
view from Carn Aosda

off in the distance we could see the Devil's point - we are headed there this weekend so was good to see what the snow is like just now (more than i had hoped :? )
The Cairnwell 3 (40 of 134).jpg
Devil's point (at least i'm pretty sure it is!!!)


I really enjoyed the walking today and taking in some of the fabulous views. It is great when you look at a hill from side and it looks pretty formidable yet when you skirt around it the views change completely. Loch Vrotachan was still partly frozen but starting to thaw which gave fab colour and made for a great sight
The Cairnwell 3 (42 of 134).jpg
Loch Vrotachan


It was an enjoyable and very easy walk out to Carn a'Gheoidh. That said this was not the most breathtaking or diverse walks.
The Cairnwell 3 (64 of 134).jpg
at the cairn on Carn a'Gheoidh


We decided to do a teeny bit of scrambling - not sure it even counts as scrambling but it added more interest to the walk up to the Cairnwell. a nice gentle introduction for our new munroing convert!
The Cairnwell 3 (71 of 134).jpg

it was just up round this corner that a snow hared darted out and ran right past us. I was just way to slow to get the camera out which was such a pity - he looked massive too! Was actually nice to see one alive - there was a lot of roadkill on the way to Glenshee, mainly pheasant but a few snow hares near the ski centre too!

Arriving on the summit of the Cairnwell was disappointing. Is it really possibly to make the top of a hill that ugly! The pylons are bad enough but barbed wire, broken tent, planks of wood with nails sticking out lurking at the sides ready for attack - yuk! The best bit about this hill was getting down - and even better than that was making the most of the snow that was left. We took the rather childwish way down... :lol:
The Cairnwell 3 (101 of 134).jpg
where's my ski's when i need them lol! mind you this is more fun.


i was surprised we did not come across more people on the hills - only passed a few other groups all day. I'm guessing everyone else went somewhere more beautiful (and without the added bonus of pylons). That said it was an excellent day - very relaxing and enjoyable and the sunny weather made for a fab day walking. Pity they didn't sell ice cream at the ski centre cafe!
It wasn't till we got home though that we realised just how hot the sun had been - the many areas i had not managed to slap a bit of sun screen on were rather red - slowly recovering now.

Now i've had a weekend of easy walking am i really ready for next week's mini adventure of the Cairn Toul and Braeriach traverse. Any tips? anyone been there in last few weeks?
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby gaffr » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:32 am

Have been back in recent times to these tops...I'm sure that most of the junk on Cairnwell was not around in the eighties...or maybe my eyes were set upon the next top. For Cairntoul and Braeriach next week-end ....I think that I would be having my 'winter stuff' in my rucksack...assuming approach from the South? ....for the Coire Odhair steepening and for the descent at the Braeriach end into the Lairig? Forecast is for colder air and some snow-showers?
Into Glen Feshie on the velo yesterday....through the little window at Kincraig which gives a view towards the Braeriach plateau .....big snowfields still showing. Not been round the 'other side' since February.
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby Graeme D » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:19 am

Nice wee report happyhiker and a nice wee round in the sun. I did these a couple of days before Christmas a few years back and got cracking sunny weather too, although maybe not quite as warm as you got! Is Caroline now a converted, fully-fledged bagger? I'm impressed by those shorts in the first picture too! Were you planning on doing a spot of swimming in Loch Vrotachan? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby happyhiker » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:27 am

Yeah we've checked the reports for weekend and it is not so good - esp compared to last week. so we are ditching Cairn Toul and Braeriach for this weekend. instead planning a couple different around Loch Lochy.

Caroline is now a convert - just hope her next trip with us is as good weather wise!! :D
As for the shorts - yes he was particularly distressed to find Loch Vrotachan still frozen over :lol:
Personally I would have paid to watch him take a dip in anyway!!
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby kevsbald » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Jeezo, the photo of the two gilrs - like an advert for Maclean's.
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby Stretch » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:55 pm

happyhiker wrote: Caroline is now a convert


Is she single? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby Graeme D » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:00 am

Stretch wrote:
happyhiker wrote: Caroline is now a convert


Is she single? :lol: :lol: :lol:


Gaun yersel Stretch! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: sunburn and snow at the Cairnwell

Postby happyhiker » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:44 pm

Too funny!! (but she's not :-( )
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