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Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:22 am
by Fife Flyer

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Yet another period of checking the forecast daily and chomping at the bit to get out into the hills :( I had already planned to make Ben macdui my 200th Munro so now it was just a matter of being patient :(
Finally a decent forecast, high pressure and summer was finally arriving :clap: :clap:
Set off from Fife just after 6.30 and being so early the roads were nice & quiet, anyone who has driven from Blairgowrie to Braemar will know what I mean :wink:
Was surprised how busy the car park at Linn of Dee was, but as the car park is quite large finding a space wasn't a problem. Got the bike out of the car and set off at 8.15, even managed to cycle the uphill section just out of the car park :lol: The track/path that takes you towards the main track was rather muddy and damp, I could see quite a few folk had just ploughed straight through on their bikes, not me :lol:
The cycle to Derry Lodge is now becoming a familiar routine, having said that I still have another 2 visits before the Gorms will be done and dusted 8)
There were a few tents up near Derry Lodge, but carried on over the bridge with my bike. Don't know if anyone else has taken a bike over the 'new' bridge? It is a tight squeeze, don't know if my handlebars are extra wide but I had to lift the front of the bike across the bridge :lol:
Once across the bridge it is then a matter of joining the track about half a mile away, however that half a mile involves crossing a boggy grassy area, grass was damp and not ideal for cycling so pushing the bike was the only option :(
Once the proper track was reached it was back on the bike, I managed to cycle for about another mile or so - with a few dismounts for inclines and crossing water features.
I dumped/abandoned/parked the bike in a nice location, had to be somewhere I could find it, also decided to leave the pump and my gaiters with it. Had my gaiters on but my legs were getting rather warm and rather than carry them I opted to leave them.

ImageDSCF2880 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The track

ImageDSCF2881 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The bike park

ImageDSCF2882 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Nice walk

ImageDSCF2886 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, As you go further west the path becomes a wee bit narrower

The day was progressing nicely I had covered quite a bit of distance by bike so I was beating Mr Naismith :lol: The next obstacle was going to be Luibeg Burn, I could hear it and it didn't sound like a little trickle :lol:
There is a path that cuts off to the left to cross the Burn by stones, but I didn't fancy that as it looked quite challenging, so I just continued on for a short distance and hey presto Luibeg Bridge appears 8)

ImageDSCF2889 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Luibeg Bridge

ImageDSCF2891 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF2892 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

Once across the bridge it was then a matter of following a rough path across boggy ground which then meets up with the main path that "fords" the burn. The path then heads up the shoulder of Carn a' Mhaim, not too steeply and very well maintained with quite a few large boulders which made it just like going up the stairs at home :wink:

ImageDSCF2897 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The path going up Carn a' Mhaim

ImageDSCF2901 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way up, typical Cairngorms path

ImageDSCF2907 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Local resident posing

As I gained height the views certainly improved and as I had now been out this way a few times, for a change I could actually name some of the hills :lol:

ImageDSCF2909 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Glen Geusachan north

ImageDSCF2912 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Glen Geusachan south

The summit of Carn a' Mhaim was reached in pretty good time and the views were superb, especially across to the Devils Point.

ImageDSCF2927 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Summit selfie, got my nice brightly coloured base layer on :lol:

ImageDSCF2920 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, zoom across to Mheadhoin

After a quick drink and a bite to eat it was onwards and downwards. I was looking along the ridge towards Macdui and it looked like being quite a bit of a drop :( The ridge itself was easy to descend along and the views on both sides were very impressive, I was paying special attention to the left hand side as Devils Point to Braeriach is an imminent target.

ImageDSCF2928 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The ridge down

ImageDSCF2934 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Nice shot of Carn Toul

ImageDSCF2937 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Interesting snow formation almost sliding down the gully

ImageDSCF2947 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Devils Point, with Corrour Bothy on the nice green patch

ImageDSCF2946 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Corrour Bothy zoomed

During the descent down the ridge I was keeping an eye on the amount of height I was losing and it wasn't pleasant, by the time I reached the bealach I had descended 230m eek :roll:
Just before I reached the foot of the ridge I met a chap who was going in the opposite direction, he was staying in Corrour Bothy & was making his way through all 18 hills - good luck :wink: He had done the Braeriach 4 yesterday so we were chatting about the terrain and I was even contemplating (not for very long) tackling them after Macdui.

ImageDSCF2949 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back to Mhaim

Once across the bealach the real hard work began, there is a path initially up the side of Macdui, but once the boulder field is reached it obviously disappears. The boulders seemed to go on forever and it was just a matter of selecting the larger ones to push uphill from.

ImageDSCF2950 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back, also shows one or two boulders

After the boulder field was out of the way it was then a matter of turning left (ish) and heading up towards the summit of Macdui. There were a couple of large snow fields to cross, but the snow was soft and it was just a matter of following the foot steps already there :wink:

ImageDSCF2955 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

For anyone who hasn't been up Macdui, the summit plateau is huge and literally littered with shelters. What really surprised me when I reached the summit was the amount of fellow walkers who were wandering around, bearing in mind I had met one guy in almost 5 hours, there must have been about 30 folk taking photo's eating etc :shock: :o
I was hoping and expecting to have the summit to myself, wrong :(

ImageDSCF2958 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, A shelter about 400m from the summit

ImageDSCF2975 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF2979 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

ImageDSCF2963 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, This highlights how many folk were on top, this is just one direction

ImageDSCF2966 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Braeriach

ImageDSCF2967 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, panning left from Braeriach

ImageDSCF2968 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, further left

ImageDSCF2969 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, further left

ImageDSCF2970 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, further left

ImageDSCF2972 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Aviemore?

ImageDSCF2984 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The Barns zoomed

After taking plenty of photo's and the usual bite to eat it was time to head down :( I had 2 options for the descent, bear left down into the glen or down the shoulder past Sron Riach, I chose the 2nd option and as it turned out it was a pleasant gentle descent :lol: The initial part is over boulders but after that it was plain sailing.

ImageDSCF2986 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way down

ImageDSCF2987 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking across to the ridge of Carn a' Mhaim

ImageDSCF2997 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way down to Glen Luibeg

ImageDSCF2999 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, typical Cairngorms feature

ImageDSCF3008 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back up the shoulder

The only potential problem was the crossing of Luibeg Burn, in spate it would be a problem but not today. Once on the other side it was then just a matter of following the path which traverses the lower slopes of Carn Crom before joining up with the main path.
It didn't take too long to be re-united with my bike and the cycle back to the car park seemed to be much easier, maybe as there is more downhill and freewheeling is always a huge bonus after 6 hours in the sunshine :lol:
Arrived back at the car at 3.30 and after a drink etc it was time to head home. As I expected the traffic was the complete opposite of the trip north. The highlight was getting stuck behind 2 French campervans travelling in convoy, as I now know the road rather well I was able to nip past them fairly quickly :lol:
Really enjoyed the day and will probably be heading back again next week (weather permitting), but before that I am heading out again tomorrow having arranged a meeting via "Talk Highlands". I won't divulge where we are heading, watch this space :lol: :lol:

Edit carried out - thanks to Cairngormwanderer for his far superior knowledge :wink:

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:32 am
by Borderhugh
Nice wee report M. Looks like the weather gods have rocked up at last. I was up that way the other week and bagged 4 from the north inc. Macdui. Carn a Maim plus the Briariach 4 on are on my to do list. It looks like I will cycle in the way you went and stay the night at Corrour if I am lucky.

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:03 pm
by tommyatr
Well done on reaching the double ton martin.

Cracking walk report and pics as always. :clap:

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:08 pm
by Mal Grey
Congrats on reaching your 200 landmark.

Nice report, some amazing views there. The zoomed ones are quite impressive.

My memory of Cairn a Mhaim is of how small this large 3400' peak felt when surrounded by 4000 footers, but what a nice "little" hill it was with its fairly distinct, non-Cairngorm-style ridge.

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:29 pm
by simon-b
Congratulations on the 200, Martin :clap: . I'm at work now so no time to read the whole report yet, but will have a look when I get home.

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:45 pm
by rockhopper
Congratulations on #200 - and a great way to do it :clap: :clap:
Have never been up this route having approached the Cairngorms from the north and west but does look good especially on a bike - maybe some time - cheers :)

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:11 pm
by BlackPanther
Congratulations on 200! :clap: :clap: :clap: And a lovely day to celebrate. So far, we had very little summer to enjoy, hopefully it's changing for better now!
Interesting route for McDhui. I did it twice, but both times from Coire Cas (shorter drive from Inverness side) :D Always fancied that ridge between McDhui and Carn a'Mhaim though, maybe one day...
We have 6 Munros in the Cairngorms left to do, Ben Avon from Tomintoul and the remaining five can be done from Glen Feshie, that saves us the drive around to Braemar.

Loved the photo of Devil's Point with the bothy building on the green patch :D

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:29 pm
by skuk007
Nice report and photos, bringing back the memories of when I did these - seems too long ago now.
Did pretty much the same route up the first two and then added Derry Cairngorm on for good measure!

I took the bike all the way to the Luibeg Burn crossing before stashing it and hiding my spanners/repair kit in the heather. Unlike yourself I jumped on the bike and left my other stuff hidden - it's probably still there, like a little time capsule, so one day when the need comes for a housing estate to be built here it might be discovered :)

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:08 pm
by Huff_n_Puff
Congratulations on the 200, a wonderful mountain to achieve it on :clap: :clap: :clap: The first time I went up Macdui, in my long past youth we went up from Derry Lodge and like you was amazed at the number of people at the top when we'd seen no one on the way up, it was only when one of them congratulated us on combing up "the hard way" that I realised there was a gentle stroll to be had from cairngorm :shock:

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:46 pm
by simon-b
Back home now! A nice walk for your 200th. Ben Mac was a special one for me too; my first. Good luck with the Braeriach range.

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:29 pm
by ancancha
Congratulations on the 200 :clap: :clap:
Always a sore one to have to desend a long way after all the effort of getting up that high :(
Still nice to have the bike to take the sting out of the tail at the end.
Know what you mean about MacDhui summit, surprised no-ones opened up a snack bar yet :lol:
Nice photos :clap:

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:43 pm
by Beaner001
Well done Martin, 200 is quite a feat :clap: :clap:

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:54 pm
by mrssanta
That was great. The boulders up macdhui sound like hard work. But what a gorgeous day.

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:10 pm
by Collaciotach
Well done on number 200 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

S'math a rinn thu

Re: Summer on Macdui on a special day

PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:39 pm
by AJNicholls
Great stuff FF and big congratulations from me too.

Glad you got a good day for it as I've only seen a view from Macdui via other people's pictures. I guess if and when I attempt Carn a'Mhaim I'll do it on its own, but I look forward to returning to the Derry Lodge path, that was quite a pleasant stroll.

Look forward to your next big milestone when you hit 300. Erm...wait a minute!! :)