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Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow


Postby spiderwebb » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:23 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuird, Ben Avon

Date walked: 04/10/2014

Time taken: 9 hours

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The original plan for this weekend was a trip to Knoydart to complete the 3 munros there, with Electricfly and the springer pack, but monitoring of the forecast in the west meant that plan had to be cancelled, these would be too good to waste on poor weather.

I poured over the map and hatched a plan to walk Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird weather permitting of course and the forecast suggested a poor start to the day but brightening later in the day, the key question being how late and was it accurate at all. For once, unlike me, I trusted in it and decided to go a unilateral decision, easy on your own.

I had put off these two hills over and over, not sure why, maybe the long walk in, the long day as a whole, cannot explain it.

I set off, the usual early bird in me, somewhat slower that morning, but once up, I was motivated and set off for Braemar around 0615hrs, bike loaded in the car.

The drive over was, well, wet and on arrival at the car park raining steady. I took one picture en route to try and capture the atmospheric rain clouds, but basically it was pish !

Now not being too keen on the biking bit, I was faced with a cycle in full waterproofs, not looking forward to this. It took several coffees and a couple of fags before I left the comfort of the car.

I cycled up beyond the woods, probably could carry on much further but I had had enough so bike parked.

A short while after leaving the bike the rain stopped and I turned the corner to head into the range and Bhuird to the left, Ben Avon behind on the right all in clag, but a visible snow line.

Further into the glen, snow appears to be a little more than a dusting.

The ascent up to the Sneck was the first time this day that I felt I was actually climbing something and arrival at the top revealed a good view north, but both sides up to Bhuird and Ben Avon were cloaked in clag.

WH5.jpg


The ascent of Ben Avon didn’t look to difficult and it passed fairly easily

But soon I was above the snowline, the walk in through the clag but clearly not completely a thick envelope. At one point I thought I glimpsed the summit tor, but it happened so quickly I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, until it did appear through the murk.

WH7.jpg


I dropped my sack and climbed the tor for the summit and was rewarded by a view, which disappeared as quickly as it came, a pattern that repeated itself while I grabbed some food in the shelter of this massive rock feature. It was cold, my hands in gloves were cold, I wished I had my mitts.

WH8.jpg


But things appeared to be improving as more views opened up to Ben Avons multitude of tors.

WH9.jpg


The cold was getting to me it was time to go, and as I walked back to the Sneck a turned and now the summit tor was revealed.

WH10.jpg


And a pano of the same

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The clag was certainly lifting but even at this point looking back down to the Sneck with Beinn a Bhuird beyond I could not have believed that with 15 minutes I would be bathing in sun.

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View down the route taken up to the Sneck.

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Beinn a Bhuird now clear too

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The Sneck and Bhirds northern spur.

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Pano of the same

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Ben Avon as I ascended out from the Sneck, within a little over half hour I had gone from freezing hands to a hot ascent.

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Look back to Ben Avon revealing most if not all of its tors.

WH18.jpg


Now to Beinn a Bhuird across the plateau. I had originally plotted aroute that would take me in a semi circle, on the basis of bad weather, amd hence some tick off features to aid navigation…I still like to use the compass.

But with visibility so good I headed direct.

WH19.jpg


Beinn a Bhuird summit looking back to Ben Avon

WH20.jpg


The entire Cairngorm range beyond…that’s me in front

WH21.jpg


I kept to the edge as I departed from the summit to take in the superb eastern corries that I had only glimpsed from below in the mornings weather, so a serried of shots taking in this stunning scenery.

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The start of my descent afforded a stunning view of Lochnagar

WH27.jpg


My route of descent takes a line to the right flank of that final bump, somewhat disconcerting given I was aiming for the glen to the left but it is a detour worthwhile for it is easy walking.

WH30.jpg


But I was in no rush to leave this place, time was my own.

WH31.jpg


A small burn crossing, well small today, no mishaps and a slight ascemnt back to the main track. One last look back at the day…. Do I have to leave


WH32.jpg


WH33.jpg


I reached the bike and it started to rain as if to carry on from where it left off earlier. I was not for putting on waterproofs now and cycled off into the sun…Someone was trying to have the last word :lol:

This is a day I will not forgot for many reasons. It was the end of a journey, the Cairngorms complete. A journey I started on my birthday whilst on Winter Skills at Glenmore Lodge back in 1984, a journey that began that day with navigation training across the plateau to Ben Macdui.

Conditions were not good that day, but the journey had begun and a love for which has never died.

This was my first walk that looking back I had not thought of my dog Holly, I felt guilty for that when I arrived home.

So a journey or at least a part of it complete, and a fitting end to this part that I was blessed with a day where I viewed each and every one of those hills that I had set foot on, through all those years, many more than once :)
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby larry groo » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:43 pm

Good stuff!!!

Exciting to see the dusting on the tops.....

Winter is coming... yippee!

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby Silverhill » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:24 pm

I absolutely love these two hills. I did them a few months ago and was blown away by the space, the tors, the corries and the view over the rest of the Cairngorms. 8) A good choice to finish your journey! :D
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby jonny616 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:04 pm

Lovely Dave. Nice to see the snow on the hills. Can't believe you spoilt this great walk with a bike :lol:
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:13 pm

Nice one Dave, i still have these two and Monadh Mhor to finish my Cairngorm section, i don't know that i want it to end though so will hold off i think :shock: 8) At least till next year for these two anyway.....
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:36 pm

Great report spiderwebb

Shame you took that bike thingy with you -spoilt a really good long walk :lol:

Favourite bit for me was walking along the edge of the tops after Beinn a Bhuird and looking at all the views down in to the glen whilst trying to also look west at the views over towards Ben Mac - it's a wonder I didn't fall off.

Your right about the route by the final bump, I had to check and double check the map as everything was telling me to head over to the left and take a more direct route back to the main track.
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby spiderwebb » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:09 pm

larry groo wrote:Good stuff!!!

Exciting to see the dusting on the tops.....

Winter is coming... yippee!

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Second that, winter is coming, lets hope the snow conditions are better than last year :D

Silverhill wrote:I absolutely love these two hills. I did them a few months ago and was blown away by the space, the tors, the corries and the view over the rest of the Cairngorms. 8) A good choice to finish your journey! :D


It is an excellent walk, I wished I hadnt put it off for so long, but after a day like that, I have no complaints.

jonny616 wrote:Lovely Dave. Nice to see the snow on the hills. Can't believe you spoilt this great walk with a bike :lol:


Haha yes the bike, well it was better in the saddle with the winter trousers thats for sure, and I can see that some of the early sections would seem tedious, but glad I took it, gave me more time to take in the scenery which was simply stunning :D

Beaner001 wrote:Nice one Dave, i still have these two and Monadh Mhor to finish my Cairngorm section, i don't know that i want it to end though so will hold off i think :shock: 8) At least till next year for these two anyway.....


My advice beaner is not to hold it off, as with so many of the hills I climb they will be returned too. Doing Munros is a bit like taking a world tour, where you only stop in each place for a small time, but can then look back and decide where to return too for longer. But I know what you mean by not wanting it to end as with so many things in life :(

Gordie12 wrote:Great report spiderwebb

Shame you took that bike thingy with you -spoilt a really good long walk :lol:

Favourite bit for me was walking along the edge of the tops after Beinn a Bhuird and looking at all the views down in to the glen whilst trying to also look west at the views over towards Ben Mac - it's a wonder I didn't fall off.

Your right about the route by the final bump, I had to check and double check the map as everything was telling me to head over to the left and take a more direct route back to the main track.


As soon as it began to clear as I descended off Ben Avon I stucl to the edges both down to the Sneck and across Beinn a Bhuird, the views into the corries were amazing. But yes that final bump threw me too, I wanted to head left but glad I didnt as the path is a good one, in fact the whole days paths were excellent. I'll be returning to these thats for sure and maybe an overnighter as I met a couple of lads on Beinn a Bhuird who were to overnight at the Sneck, which would make a lovely spot..have to check the map though to see if it would provide a sunrise view. :D
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:02 am

Some crackin pics there - very atmospheric. Well done.

Have to say, am a bit depressed to see the first snows of the season now. :? I did Bynack More the same day, and not a sniff of the white stuff :wink:

PS: Anyone who can smoke half a pack of Regal King Size during a walk like that deserves a round of applause :clap:
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:18 am

Winter has officially arrived in the Cairngorms! :D
We walked through a snow shower on Beinn a'Bheithir but it all melted immediately.

Ben Avon looks fantastic, can't wait to do it, but it will have to wait till next year.
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby malky_c » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:32 pm

I saw a preview of this and thought it was going to be all clag and misery - how wrong I was :lol: . Some lovely photos of the corries in there, and a reminder to come back to this end of the Cairngorms again :)
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:24 pm

Sorry you had to bag these 2 yourself Spider,it wasn't till I had done them with jonny616 & Scottish leaf that I remembered I had said I would walk them with you,
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby spiderwebb » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:47 pm

Lightfoot2017 wrote:Some crackin pics there - very atmospheric. Well done.

Have to say, am a bit depressed to see the first snows of the season now. :? I did Bynack More the same day, and not a sniff of the white stuff :wink:

PS: Anyone who can smoke half a pack of Regal King Size during a walk like that deserves a round of applause :clap:


Dont let snow put you off lightfoot, in my opinion its the best time of year, and even if your not accustomed to axe and/or crampons there is plenty that can be tackled. Anytime you fancy a winter walk let me know :)
Only half a packet hah :lol:

BlackPanther wrote:Winter has officially arrived in the Cairngorms! :D
We walked through a snow shower on Beinn a'Bheithir but it all melted immediately.

Ben Avon looks fantastic, can't wait to do it, but it will have to wait till next year.


Why wait BP, this would make a good winter round, the path in and out would be straightforward if you had a dark start or finish.

malky_c wrote:I saw a preview of this and thought it was going to be all clag and misery - how wrong I was :lol: . Some lovely photos of the corries in there, and a reminder to come back to this end of the Cairngorms again :)


When I arrived at the start I thought it would be all clag and misery too :lol: But as I said unlike me to take much notice of forecasts, if I decide I'm going, I go, take it as it comes. But yes fantastic corries and rock features.

gammy leg walker wrote:Sorry you had to bag these 2 yourself Spider,it wasn't till I had done them with jonny616 & Scottish leaf that I remembered I had said I would walk them with you,


No worries gammy, good excuse to do them again. I'm down your neck of the woods at the end of the month for a few days, once I've got my plans sorted I'll let you know. A number of folk wanting to walk/meet up :D
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:28 pm

Good report and fine hills ,first of the now complete Monadh Ruaidh I enjoyed :D

You don't need to think about her she'll be shadowing your soul every step

The bonds remain for all time :)
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:28 pm

Great report and pictures. Love that last photo - not so keen on the snow though! Seems everyone else is looking forward to it but not me :(
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Re: Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird the first snow

Postby jimandandrea » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:59 am

Enjoyed your report. We did these 3 weeks ago and forecast was excellent ... it did not live up to that prediction and we had a, not so good, Ben Avon. Snow would not have been a surprise! As we past the Sneck it completely cleared and we could see what we had 'mist'. Interestingly we took almost the same shots of the views. Stunning route.
We bikes as well. If you enjoy biking, why not.
Its not every big house you pass that has a Henry Moore (esq) on their lawn! :shock:
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