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Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1

Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1


Postby tomyboy73 » Sun May 30, 2010 12:29 am

Route description: Lairig Ghru

Date walked: 20/05/2010

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 620m

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After weeks of great anticipation, the day had finally arrived and we were off to walk the Lairig Ghru. Although there was meant to be three of us it turned out it was just myself and my mate Jim. We drove up towards Braemar from Glasgow/Paisley at about 6.30am with Jim`s brother who was going to take the car back home. So all those weeks of planning ahead looked great with the sun splitting the sky and a great forecast for the weekend , however not actually sussing out how to get to the start of the walk by road was a bit of an oversight and our first stupid mistake of the weekend had occured when we drove by Braemar and ended up at Balmoral Castle! The look on Jim`s brother`s face said it all, "... and you two are heading into the cairngorms on your own ?" So eventuallty we find the Linn O Dee car park and we head off into Glen Lui. Not twenty minutes into the walk and we`re already converting our trousers into shorts and topping up on the old H2O and by the time we get to Derry Lodge the sweat is dripping off us and we stop by the derry burn to shade ourselves under the trees and dip our hands in the cool running water and remove those pesky little stones and grit from our boots.
P1020223.JPG
resting at Derry Lodge

After a five minute break, taking some pictures, we`re on our way again to our first day`s destination, the Corrour Bothy. We`re making good time as we head up Glen Luibeg and our plans for a nice meal and a walk up The Devil`s Point are looking good as we stroll along in the sun. That is, until, we make our second stupid mistake of the day! After crossing the luibeg bridge and climbing up the "staircase" at the other side the heavens opened up and the biggest raindrops i`ve ever seen started to pelt down on top of us, forcing us to throw on the waterproofs and covering up our rucksacks with map et all inside. Now, I know if you`re reading this and you`ve been on the Lairig Ghru, you`re scratching your head and saying to yourself "how can you go the wrong way?", well we did. For some reason we headed up by the Luibeg Burn, past Coire na Poite, totally ignoring the path (?) thinking from memory this was the way to go. But the lord works in mysterious ways as we wouldn`t have saw the scary beastie that we encountered had we gone the right way. With Jim about ten yards ahead of me as we were looking for the continuation of the path on the other side of the deer fence, i placed my trekking pole in the heather right next to a sight i never even imagined i would see, a snake! "Jim, snake!" i shouted and he about turned and came back to see the coiled serpant looking up at me. "What is it?" he asked, "do you think it`s poisonous?" "Nah", i nonchalantly replied, "don`t think you get poisonous snakes up here", (almost my third stupid mistake of the day) So Jim got pretty close with the camera and took a couple of photos before the adder (later confirmed to us by fellow walkers as such) slithered away into the heather.
P1020248.JPG
Ssssssssssnaaaaaake !!!!!!!!!

So off we went in our excitement in the totally wrong direction, thinking that another hour or so we would hit the bothy and get some scran. I must say though, in our defence, we kept saying to ourselves "think we`re goin the wrong way?" but like a couple of idiots we kept walking saying we`ll give it five minutes and head back to the bridge, but 5 minutes turned into an hour before realising we were not anywhere near The Devil`s Point, which should be right in front of us.With our tails firmly between our legs and the sunburn on our faces hiding our embarresment we headed back to the bridge, where within a minute or so we discovered the path that we should have been on 2 hours ago, Doh !
As the massive Beinn Bhrotain loomed in front of us a walker coming in the opposite direction told us that he saw seven walkers heading for the bothy and we cursed ourselves for going the wrong way and not bringing a tent with us.As it happened, we got to the bothy as the rain came on again and to our great delight it was empty and we had first dibs on it. Off came the wet boots and socks and on went the chicken jalfraizi, but we decided to leave The Devil`s Point till the morning.
P1020268.JPG
The Devil`s Point

Anyway, we had a great night in the bothy with some other walkers who joined us later, a young couple from Wales, a west to east coast walker from Aberdeen and a couple of English guys and their dogs, sharing tales and biscuits into the night.
P1020317.JPG
inside the bothy


Link to Part 2
Last edited by tomyboy73 on Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tomyboy73
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Re: Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1

Postby gaffr » Sun May 30, 2010 9:04 am

That's a fine image of the Adder....have come across a number in various parts of the country but never have managed, either to have the camera ready or they have moved off into deep cover, and they are not, for me, the sort of creature that I would go poking into the vegetation to find! Often it is the little diversions from a planned route that gives the greatest reward...who needs to stick to a timetable anyway. Hope the poor weather does not affect too much the second part of your report.
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gaffr
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Re: Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1

Postby mountain coward » Sun May 30, 2010 9:19 am

:lol: no poisonous snakes in Britain :lol: Also LOL to the navigation :lol: But you have some superb pics there - the snake one is great - they usually do slither away but, if you got close for that photo, I'm surprised it didn't have a go (purely in it's defence of course)... You should put that pic out on the 'wildlife' page...

Thanks for the pic of the inside of Corrour - haven't managed to get there yet and was wondering what it was like - must have been warm if someone had bare feet!!
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Re: Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1

Postby monty » Sun May 30, 2010 8:04 pm

Excellent picture of the Adder :D Went the wrong way :lol: So which direction are you going for part two :D
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Re: Walking the Lairig Ghru, day 1

Postby tomyboy73 » Mon May 31, 2010 7:26 pm

:D part two to follow soon, all i can say is it`s an education everday with me out in the mountains, lol. day 2 was an absolute stunner, didn`t get lost, still did a couple of stupid things and you won`t believe the end! :D
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tomyboy73
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Posts: 991
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Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jan 21, 2010

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