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A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014


Postby jupe1407 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Bynack More, Meall Chuaich

Date walked: 19/07/2014

Time taken: 12.2 hours

Distance: 35.2 km

Ascent: 1544m

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It hardly seems like any time at all since myself nad Anne (Happysnapper) had organised the Inchnadamph meet and sat back in relaxed fashion as some other poor bugger was landed with the task of sorting the Summer meet. This was to be KiltedBiggles, and after a vote, Nethy Bridge was the chosen location. The bunkhouse was a bit like the tardis. An unassuming looking building from the outside, that somehow has room for up to 50 people, a good kitchen, large dining area, and most importantly, it's own bar. :lol:

We arrived on Friday night, having been unable to scam a day off on Friday, met up with some old faces, and some new and settled in for the night. Weather forecasts were pored over by many of us, with most site predicting a doom-laden weekend, with possible thunderstorms, rain and high winds. Ugh.

Saturday 19th July
Bynack More
6h44m
12.6miles
896m ascent


We'd decided on Bynack More, and were joined by "Tina Bonar", Barrie and Colleen, who themselves were in for a nice surprise on Saturday night :lol:

Despite the poor forecast, the morning looked half decent. A bit grey, but dry. We parked up at Glenmore Lodge (i think in the staff car park. Oops), and started up the route which would take up the Ryvoan Pass via An Lochain Uaine. This route has an excellent path, pretty much all the way to the summit of Bynack More. We had a brief stop at the Green Lochan, very quick due to the ideal conditions for insect life.

WH Meet (1 of 23).jpg
An Lochain Uaine


The route is a nice one, through an Scots Pine forest before branching off right towards Strath Nethy and Bynack More. Continue straight onto Ryvoan Bothy and the ascent for the Corbett Meall a'Buachaille if desired. The excellent path continues to a footbridge over the River Nethy and up onto the large plateau which afforded the first decent views of Bynack More.

WH Meet (2 of 23).jpg
Strath Nethy


WH Meet (3 of 23).jpg
The bulk of Cairn Gorm


WH Meet (5 of 23).jpg
Back to Meall a'Buachaille


WH Meet (6 of 23).jpg
Heading to our target


After an enjoyably flat wander up to the base of the mountain, it's a reasonably gentle pull up to the summit, which despite the forecast doom and gloom, was pleasantly clear and gave us some fine views around the 'gorms.

WH Meet (7 of 23).jpg
Anne on her way to the final push to the summit


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Anne on the summit with some cool cloud formations


WH Meet (11 of 23).jpg
Beinn Meadhoin, Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm


We had been very fortunate with the weather and our timing had been rather good. We dropped back down from the summit a short distance and found a nice spot for lunch before the quick descent and long walk out, not before some tomfoolery with funny-shaped rocks.

WH Meet (12 of 23).jpg
It's a bit heavy


All that remained of the walk was the 6-odd mile daunder back out to the Glenmore Lodge. Just as we got to the plateau below Bynack More, the clag rolled in and we got a few wee rain showers. The rain was pretty welcome by the time we got to the mugginess of the Ryvoan Pass and down into the forest.

We eventually got to the car park after a hugely enjoyable day. Thanks to Colleen and Barrie for their excellent company on the day.

Anne and I then nipped into Aviemore's Tesco for some scran, munchies and mixers for the evening, which was an "interesting" experience. The traditional saturday night resulted in a few hangovers, another fine quiz by ScotJamie and the Colleen and Barrie almost passing out on being nominated to do the next meet :lol:

Sunday 20th July
Meall Chuaich
5h30m
645m Ascent


We woke on Sunday with a pleasant (and slightly surprising) lack of hangover. After sorting out our stuff, some brekkie and tidying up a bit, we decided to do Meall Chuaich on the way down the A9, for a nice short day. Goodbyes were said, the car thankfully started, and we headed off.

The start point for this is Layby 94 (for some reason I had 99 in my head). We arrived there and luckily there was a bit of space. Kit sorted out and a the weather was looking decent. We headed north for 100 yards or so then through the gate and quickly up onto the Hydro plant's access road which runs alongside an aqueduct.

WH Meet (13 of 23).jpg
Meall Chuaich in the distance from the access road.


Soon the Hydro building is reached after crossing a wee bridge. There's not much of interest here apart from a few heaps of bulldozed stones and a flock of sheared, less than healthy looking sheep. The track continues on past the pipeline out towards Loch Chuaich.

WH Meet (15 of 23).jpg
Getting closer....


Eventually the track swings right, past a few bulldozers/heavy plant, passing a locked and freshly decorate shooting lodge/hut. Another wee bridge then it's a cut across the heather to begin the ascent. Anne was feeling it a bit after yesterday, and wanted to go back after about 10 feet :lol:

However after a drink of juice we carried on and she quite enjoyed the climb. Backpacker soon caught us up on the ascent and we ascended the hill at a reasonable pace, in absolutely stifling conditions. The views across to Drumochter, Creag Meagaidh and some of the Ben Alder hills were most rewarding.

WH Meet (17 of 23).jpg
View towards the summit plateau


WH Meet (18 of 23).jpg
The view west :-)


The latter part of the ascent is very pleasant, not very taxing on this rounded lump of a hill and we now had a nice cooling breeze. After a couple of minor false summits, the flattish summit area is reached. It may not have the drama, or steepness of the western mountains, but it's a lovely wee hill with good views from the summit of Badenoch and up towards the high 'Gorms.

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Meall Chuaich's vast summit plateau


WH Meet (20 of 23).jpg
Anne/Happysnapper on the summit


After a seat and a bite to eat, Backpacker had to head off fairly quickly to get home, so we took our time for the initial part of the descent. Then sped up when we saw a curtain of rain making it's way up to us from Drumochter :lol:

WH Meet (21 of 23).jpg
Drumochter and Loch Ericht


We weren't long in getting back down to the track, by which time things had cleared up nicely and we were baked by the sun. It had become a cracker of a day.

WH Meet (22 of 23).jpg
Bogha Cloiche and Meall Odhar Mor? Feel free to correct me!


WH Meet (23 of 23).jpg
Anne taking a last couple of photos before the walk out


We just had the walk out left, which wasn't the best for Anne due to a sore feet situation, but we got back to the car after a fine day, in glorious sunshine before heading home.

A fitting end to a great weekend. Thanks to Kiltedbiggles for his organisation of a great weekend and everyone else for their company.

Looking forward to the next one :D
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby Backpacker » Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:12 pm

Cheers JP

You've saved me the effort of having to do a WR for Meall Chuaich :lol: :lol:

Only thing I would add is to take a bike on the approach path, it does seem to drag on a bit
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:07 pm

Nice one JP, accompanied by your usual quality photo's :clap:

You really were very, very, very lucky with the weather on Saturday, am about to start composing the WR for Cairngorm & I think you will be able to see what I mean :wink:

Agree with Backpacker about the bike for Meall Chuaich, that is how I tackled it (ssshhh don't tell Sunny Speyside) :lol: In my opinion that is probably the best hill in the Drumochter area :wink:
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:14 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one JP, accompanied by your usual quality photo's :clap:

You really were very, very, very lucky with the weather on Saturday, am about to start composing the WR for Cairngorm & I think you will be able to see what I mean :wink:

Agree with Backpacker about the bike for Meall Chuaich, that is how I tackled it (ssshhh don't tell Sunny Speyside) :lol: In my opinion that is probably the best hill in the Drumochter area :wink:


Cheers mate

I quite liked it, but yeah, a bike would be a fine idea :lol:

Backpacker wrote:Cheers JP

You've saved me the effort of having to do a WR for Meall Chuaich :lol: :lol:

Only thing I would add is to take a bike on the approach path, it does seem to drag on a bit


Anne especially agrees with this statement :lol:
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby tina bonar » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:56 pm

Great photos there JP,especially love the clouds in the black and white ones.Really enjoyed the walk on Saturday with you guys. You seemed to get a decent day on Sunday as well.We were going to bike that path until I snapped a gear cable just before putting it in the car so we had to walk in :-(
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby hutchy1 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:33 pm

two great reports jp I think we both got some good luck with the weather at the weekend that curtain of rain paid us a visit on carn na caim before heading over to you.
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Re: A Wonderful Weekend in the 'Gorms - WH Summer Meet 2014

Postby rockhopper » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:12 pm

great set of photos, jupe - that did look a good weekend - cheers :)
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