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A Week in the Cairngorms

A Week in the Cairngorms


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:29 pm

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

Date walked: 27/07/2014

Distance: 54 km

Ascent: 2475m

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Sunday, 27th July 2014, Sgor Goaith. 14km 900m

We returned to the Cairngorms almost a year since our last visit with hopes for some better weather this time. With the forecasts looking hit and miss we decided to get straight onto the hill bagging on a showery Sunday. The drive to Glen Feshie was blessed with decidedly mixed conditions and it was still raining lightly when we pulled into the car park. Here we faced the biggest challenge of the day in the shape of several million midge. :evil:

Following much flapping of arms and applying of repellent we set off though the woods. A Brief directional mishap later :oops: we were on the excellent path up the hill in improving conditions.
By the time the views started to open up the sun was out and it was an enjoyable stroll steadily upwards.

ImageViews opening up by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageAlmost on the plateau by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageA passing frog by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

One of the features of this route was the beautiful variety of mosses and lichens, a real testament to the regeneration work being carried out. Following a brief pathless steepening the plateau was reached and it was an easy walk over to the small top perched on the edge of Gleann Eanaich. This, as anybody who has been here on a clear day will surely agree, is a superb vantage point. We managed to enjoy the views in spite of a rain heading up the Glen and making lunch a bit damp.

ImageThe quick way down to Loch Eanaich by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageShowers comming by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageNearly there by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageSummit of Sgor Gaoith by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageGrace n'Tad by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageLife on the edge! by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

With plenty of showers around we decided to head back the way we came but struck lucky as we seamed to miss the worst of it. A fine start to the week :D


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Monday 28th July, Lochnagar. 20Km 930m

We made our way to the large parking area at the end of the Glen Muick road on what was a perfect morning. We may not have had midge to battle on this day but I managed to pick a fight with a bee and a splinter :shock: on my way though the small woodland. This led to a large bleb on my arm and a rapidly swelling finger which I attributed to the bee sting (I discovered the splinter a few days later). I must admit to being somewhat concerned but I took an anti-histamine and hoped for the best.

ImageThe River Muick by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageGaining height by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageViews opening up by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

As with the previous days walk the path is superb meaning that minimal effort is expended in gradually gaining height towards the col between Meikel Pap and the main bulk of the mountain. As you reach the col and approach the corrie edge a wonderful sight comes into view with the dark lochan surrounded by the magnificent pale grey granite cliffs with the summit tor poking just above it all. This was undoubtedly one of the finest sights I've seen in the highlands and probably worth the walk alone. We were't finished yet however and following a snack we returned to the path and the climb upwards.

ImageApproaching the wow moment by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageGrace above Lochnagar by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageLochnagar by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Image...and again from higher up. by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

The previously easy gradients soon returned as we made our way across the plateau on the wide path up to the highest of Lochnagar's tops, Cac Carn Beag. Great hills deserve a good summit and Lochnagar is well served by this fine rocky tor which delivers a magnificent summit panorama. Unfortunately the midge also were in a mood to enjoy the extensive vista and lunch was spent doing the traditional dance of the highlands in summer.

ImageAcross the plateau to Cuidhe Crom by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageGrace on the summit by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageHughie on Lochnagar by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageCac Carn Beag by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

We set off in our way down along the corrie edge to get even better views of the magnificent cliffs. This is certainly a place to linger on a day like this but we had to make our way down eventually and cut across to the path down by the Glas Allt.

ImageBack along the edge by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageCorrie of Lochnagar by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr ( click pic for bigger version)

ImageThe Corrie edge by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

This was another superb path, I wish the fix the fells mob in the lake district would come and see these paths so they could see just how it should be done. Following a fine easy descent, helped by a very nice breeze to keep us cool, we came upon another great moment in this walk, the fine sight of the falls of Glasallt. We stopped to have a final snack and enjoy the cascades before the long walk back via the loch side.

ImageFalls of Glasallt by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImagePath down to Loch Muick by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

I would heartily recommend this route to any active walker as it certainly doesn't feel like a 12 mile walk and had many fine moments. All in all a tremendous day. :D


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Wednesday 30th July, The Carinwell three, 13km ,595m

I'd never really fancied the Cairnwell munros for the obvious reasons but with the best weather predicted east of the A9 we decided to head up to Glenshee rather than to Dumochter. There is no denying that we've started walking from better places and the sense of general neglect and decay of the out of season ski centre is certainly off putting. I'm sure when it's full on a bright winters day the place is fine. On a showery day in late July it makes a depressing sight.
The ascent of Carn Aosda up eroded tracks around the rusting ski lifts is perhaps the easiest but also the worst route to a munro there is but at least the views are good.

ImageView from Carn Aosda by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

It started raining on Asoda but soon stopped as we left the paraphernalia of winter sports behind get on with a normal hill walk out to Carn a'Gheoidh. Soon enough a sense of wilderness is with you and it's a nice walk out over the broad ridge.

ImageLeaving it all behind by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageLoch Vrotachan by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageChoire Dhirich by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageCarn a'Gheoidh by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageGlas Tulaichean by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageFamily summit shot by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

We returned the way we came but contoured around to join up with the Cairnwell ridge complete with all the unwelcome trimmings. By the time we reached the summit it was blowing up a hoolie so at least the summit ugliness provided good shelter.

The summit of the Cairnwell is a strange place, some wonderful views are to be had but once you turn around the scene is very depressing, still it's better than being at work. :)

ImageCreag a'Choire Dhirich by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageSummer showers by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageRainbow over Glenshee by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageSummit shed by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageLooking down Glenshee from the Cairnwell by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr


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Friday August 1st, Loch Kinord Circuit, 7km, 50m

We were planing on climbing Morven on this day but with the clag almost down to valley floor level we decided upon a wander around Loch Kinord and a visit to the Burn O'Vat. This is a pleasant wander with plenty of interest as you make your way around good paths back to the car park. The Burn O'Vat is also impressive. I'm sure after rain is can be an awesome sight, pity you'd have very little change of seeing it.

ImageTrees by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageThe Cross slab by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageLoch Kinord by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

ImageBurn O'Vat waterfall by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



This was a really enjoyable week with Lochnagar the undoubted highlight. It was also nice to actually see more of this fine part of the world, I suspect we'll be back.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby Fife Flyer » Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:50 pm

Enjoyed reading that and some fantastic photo's of a superb area (apart from Glenshee :lol: ), always good to get the whole family involved 8)
Always a shame when the weather interferes with ones plans :(
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby simon-b » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:26 pm

A great week, Anthony. Lochnagar is a fine mountain, and even the Cairnwell 3 has its merits (I see you avoided the steep final descent from The Cairnwell). Sgorr Gaoith looks good; one to look forward to. You got enough decent weather to get some nice views.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby litljortindan » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:19 pm

Great pictures as usual. I wonder if you took the same wrong path I did early on at Sgor Gaoith. Was up there last Wednesday. Also did Lochnagar in July for the first time in ages and also found the path to be surprisingly excellent.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby Silverhill » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:28 pm

Thanks for posting these (as always) excellent pictures. I was in the Cairngorms a few weeks ago, but sadly my camera decided to give up the ghost. At least I can now look at your photos of Lochnagar and the Cairnwell three and remind myself of how great my week out was. :D
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:58 pm

Fantastic set of photos as usual. Looks like you all had a great holiday up here even if the rain didn't stay away completely. Your shots of Lochnagar have pushed me on that I really need to try and get up there soon.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:57 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Enjoyed reading that and some fantastic photo's of a superb area (apart from Glenshee :lol: ), always good to get the whole family involved 8)
Always a shame when the weather interferes with ones plans :(


Thanks, the weather wasn't too bad for this week, last year it was very poor with at least two days lost to constant heavy rain.

simon-b wrote:A great week, Anthony. Lochnagar is a fine mountain, and even the Cairnwell 3 has its merits (I see you avoided the steep final descent from The Cairnwell). Sgorr Gaoith looks good; one to look forward to. You got enough decent weather to get some nice views.


Thanks Simon, it was indeed a most enjoyable week. We had plenty of time to get down from the Cairnwell so decided to save the knees a bit.

litljortindan wrote:Great pictures as usual. I wonder if you took the same wrong path I did early on at Sgor Gaoith. Was up there last Wednesday. Also did Lochnagar in July for the first time in ages and also found the path to be surprisingly excellent.


Many thanks you are most kind, we fortunately only went a short distance out of our way. As for the paths on Lochnagar, must be to make sure our royal family don't have too be put out too much if they climb the hill on he back garden.

Silverhill wrote:Thanks for posting these (as always) excellent pictures. I was in the Cairngorms a few weeks ago, but sadly my camera decided to give up the ghost. At least I can now look at your photos of Lochnagar and the Cairnwell three and remind myself of how great my week out was. :D


Many thanks, glad to be of service :D

Sarah86 wrote:Fantastic set of photos as usual. Looks like you all had a great holiday up here even if the rain didn't stay away completely. Your shots of Lochnagar have pushed me on that I really need to try and get up there soon.


Thanks Sarah, Lochnagar comes highly recommended.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:07 pm

Fabulous photos and narrative. I think I'll just do these vicariously through your family! Lochnagar does look inviting though.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:37 am

AnnieMacD wrote:Fabulous photos and narrative. I think I'll just do these vicariously through your family! Lochnagar does look inviting though.


Thank you Annie, Sgor Goaith and Lochnagar especially are definitely worth the effort. I can see what you mean about the Cairwell 3 however.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:13 pm

Really enjoyed this TR brilliant pictures & sometimes brilliant weather to boot,well done all of you
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:02 am

gammy leg walker wrote:Really enjoyed this TR brilliant pictures & sometimes brilliant weather to boot,well done all of you


Cheers Gammy
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby clivegrif » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:41 pm

Thats a great report, and I see the photos are up to your usual standard - superb!

Fair play to Grace and Hughie for getting up some BIG hills.
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:04 pm

Wonderful report - and stunning photos. This area used to be my 'home territory' but you've produced views that are new to me, and great quality. I love some of the atmospheric showery ones, as well as the dramatic cliffs and all the family participants. :clap:
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Re: A Week in the Cairngorms

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:09 pm

clivegrif wrote:Thats a great report, and I see the photos are up to your usual standard - superb!

Fair play to Grace and Hughie for getting up some BIG hills.


Cheers Clive, I'll pass on your congrats.

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Wonderful report - and stunning photos. This area used to be my 'home territory' but you've produced views that are new to me, and great quality. I love some of the atmospheric showery ones, as well as the dramatic cliffs and all the family participants. :clap:


Many thanks for your kind words.
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