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Cairnwell Munros and the Breest

Cairnwell Munros and the Breest

Postby mcbboyd » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:05 pm

Route description: The Cairnwell Munros

Munros included on this walk: Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 15/11/2014

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 17 km

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As a generally fair weather, solo walker I was delighted to read that the weather forecast for this weekend was looking pretty optimistic for Saturday in the Cairngorms. The plan was hatched to head over to Glenshee in order to walk this route around the three Munros and, if time was on my side, a little extension over to Carn Bhinnein as well.

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Arrived at the Glenshee ski centre car park at 07:45 (sunrise was 07:48 this morning) and set off straight up the track towards Carn Aosda. The place was deserted at that time, and I didn't meet a single soul all morning. The walk up this track is hardly the most visually appealing at this time of year, with the dormant ski lifts and various tracks carved into the hill, but it was only a short, steep walk and the views over to the North and West once at the summit were well worth the effort. It was still fairly dim and murky when I reached the top here, what with the early morning light and fairly thick overcast cloud (thankfully well above summit height).
ImageLooking North from Carn Aosda by mcbboyd, on Flickr

ImageCarn Aosda - summit view by mcbboyd, on Flickr

A quick stop to take in the views and take a couple of photos and I was soon on my way again, the next target being The Cairnwell, clearly identifiable thanks to the masts on top. It was a straightforward walk around here on the land rover tracks and pretty easy going, only the last few steps up to the summit being particularly steep. By the time I reached this summit, however, the clouds had rolled in, so was left with only the masts and sheds to look at (which, in many ways, I find interesting in itself). Of course, no sooner had I set off back down the track and the cloud cleared off again, revealing a great view of the A93 snaking its way northwards.
ImageA93 from The Cairnwell by mcbboyd, on Flickr

Next up was the third and last Munro of today's trio. It was nice to finally turn my back on the more industrial looking parts and admire the more pleasant views ahead. Particularly stunning were the views on offer from Creag a' Choire Dhirich (my photos not doing justice to the scenery on display) especially the sunlight reflecting off Allt a' Choire Dhirich in the valley below.
ImageView from Creag a'Choire Dhirich by mcbboyd, on Flickr

ImageView from Creag a'Choire Dhirich (North) by mcbboyd, on Flickr

Walking across the Coolah, en route to Carn a'Gheoidh, was easy enough, although pretty boggy in places (which is hardly surprising given the rain of the past few days). The clouds kept rolling in, then clearing away every so often. Every time the visibility cleared up the views just seemed to get better and better.
ImageView from near The Coolah looking North by mcbboyd, on Flickr

Once again, however, upon reaching the top of my next Munro, the thick clouds had rolled on in and seemed to just hang there. I stopped for only a short while on Carn a'Gheoidh before deciding to carry on further along and walk over to Carn Bhinnein. Just as I set off on this stage, the clouds suddenly parted to reveal my next target dead ahead. It became immediately evident why its nickname, the Breest, had come about.
ImageThe Breest from Carn a'Gheoidh by mcbboyd, on Flickr

It was relatively wet underfoot again on this part of the walk, with streams flowing down the paths, but not too slippy. Didn't take that long before I was climbing up to the top of what was probably my favourite hilltop of today's outing. Even though it was pretty hazy, with a lot of cloud around whilst I was here, it was a great little summit. Managed to scare off around 20-30 mountain hare from here, and I sat down and watched them all scampering off down the hill at great speed. Stopped in a sheltered spot to tuck into my lunch, before setting off on the return walk back to Glenshee.

Once again, on crossing Carn a'Gheoiadh the cloud was pretty thick, so I just plodded on by and kept going back along the Coolah. Partly by accident I took the little detour path around Carn nan Sac on the way back. I missed where the main path veered off to the left, and although I soon spotted this, it looked like a great viewpoint ahead.
ImageCreag a'Choire Dhirich from Carn nan Sac by mcbboyd, on Flickr

After crossing back over Creag a'Choire Dhirich the little path along the side of Loch Vrotachan was really boggy today, but offered some great views over the little loch.
ImageLoch Vrotachan by mcbboyd, on Flickr

Just the final descent back through the ski lifts to go and I was soon back at the car. A great short day's walk to pick up a trio of Munro's and really easy going, starting at such a high level. And whilst some of the hillsides may look a little scarred, the views are still great if you keep your back to that.
ImageLooking back by mcbboyd, on Flickr
Last edited by mcbboyd on Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 35
Munros:55   Corbetts:13
Fionas:8   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:26   
Joined: Mar 16, 2014

Re: Cairnwell Munros and the Breest

Postby SecretSquirrel » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:03 pm

Good use of the daylight hours this time of year and 3 munro's bagged :D It looks like you did a fair bit of wandering on those hills, and adding the top, Carn Bhinnein seems a good deviation to the route.

Nice pic down to the A93.
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Posts: 420
Munros:124   Corbetts:26
Fionas:24   Donalds:76
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:1
Joined: Jul 2, 2012
Location: Hamilton

Re: Cairnwell Munros and the Breest

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:13 pm

I really enjoyed this route when I completed them last year. It a good round to squeeze in at this time of year. Looks like you made the most of the day.
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Posts: 572
Munros:18   Corbetts:8
Fionas:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:1
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