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A howff and two remote beasts

A howff and two remote beasts


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:40 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

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

Date walked: 30/08/2015

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 39 km

Ascent: 1707m

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Plans changed a bit for this trip due to work so I ended up opting for something closer to home which just happened to be where the forecast was best, see sometimes East is BEST!! Reading up on the route the night before and I was reminded of the secret Howff of the Fairy Glen of which my dad spoke about when I was younger. I really wanted to go and have a look at this Hobbit like wee hut, if truth be told If I had not found it but summated the two Munros I would have only felt like half the job was done.

I left home fine and early as I envisaged around a 10 hour day as I would be walking this route due to me still not having bought myself a bike, don’t know that I will get one now......

Arriving at Keiloch I parked in the walker’s car park and paid my £2.50. The midge swooped fast and I got ready super quick and was off up the road past the estate office. There were signs that it may be a lovely day but the mist was never far away. Once past the estate office I entered the woodland section, all this track I may add is on tarmac.

1.JPG
Entering the first section of woodland, sun shining


The walk on the track is easy going on the outward route but I’d wait and see how I felt on the inward journey!! Eventually below to the left we passed Invercauld House, a lovely setting in the woods. On one of the doors of the outhouse was painted ‘cooler’ it reminded me of Steve McQueen in the Great Escape – The Cooler King! Maybe this was used to intimidate rascal children into behaving when at Grannies!! Kept following signs for Loch Quoich and Glen Slugain and then you go through a gate with a cattle grid and the track here is no longer tarmac but that hardcore but this is the smooth stuff. Next point of note was Altdourie Steading, we turned left at the junction down towards Altdourie and swung by the right of it and round the track till we entered more woodland again, here we took a right, the sign indicated left was toward Inverchandlick which we did not want so right it was. The track ahead seems to run forever but soon we curved round to the right and over a wee wooden bridge and the views ahead to the open moorland were starting to open up.

2.JPG
Track leading up to Start of Gleann an t-Slugain


We were entering Gleann an t-Slugain.

3.JPG
Beautiful Purple Heather Gleann an t-Slugain


Crossed a couple of wee fords and headed up the Glen towards our next point of note, the Secret Howff. I will keep this section brief as I’ll leave the excitement to build for others in their treasure hunt, it’s not hard to find but it added a little excitement for me. The Howff was supposedly built back in the 1950’s to keep climbers/walkers from being seen by Estate staff whom did not want people tramping over the estate lands, to be honest it is really well hidden and you can only see it if from above. Now a days with the right to roam it does not have the secret feeling it probably once had but the story remains all the same. Once we found the Howff and had a good rake inside, we set off up to the top of the Glen while taking a few photos of the Fairy Glen and the Ruins below.

4.JPG
Look what we found - a secret Howff

5.JPG
Aye a Howff alright

6.JPG
Plaque on the inside


Once up at the top you start to descend down and I passed a group of DOE students, they all said hi and were pleased to ruffle both the dogs, although they weren’t too sure about the student’s lol.

7.JPG
Top of Gleann an t-Slugain, Bhuird ahead in the clag


Ahead I could see Beinn a’Bhuird was in the clag but the track ahead looked simple heading North. Once further round I got great views into the Eastern Corries of Bhuird, the Bloodhound Buttress & Dividing Buttress.

8.JPG
Path running over the Glen, we take a route to the right but straight ahead is Bhuirds Eastern Corries

9.JPG
Glas Allt Mor watering stop and scenic waterfall


I stopped at the crossing of the Glas Allt Mor to water the dogs and have a wee rest myself, the feet still felt great and the climbing was not so hard as it was more gradual on tracks today compared to the hills I’d recently done. Next stop was the Sneck, ahead I could see the tors at the top of it and we followed the track which was not so good here to the Sneck. Once up we turned right and headed up to the plateau leading to Ben Avon. Once up top we got great views over the plateau to the summit Tor, back the way Bhuird was in the clag but we’d take our chances with it later.

10.JPG
Summit Tor Ben Avon ahead (Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe)

11.JPG
Back to Bhuird - Still in the clag


It was an easy enough walk over to the Summit Tor and we scrambled up to the top and took some photos, the wind was really picking up from the West so we crouched down on the Eastern side of the Tor to have some lunch out of the wind. The views were stunning all over Aberdeenshire, I could see over to Bennachie and over to Ben Rinnes as well as the closer Corbetts of the Lecht.

12.JPG
Summit Tor

13.JPG
Bhuird starting to clear

14.JPG
Lochy overseeing the Pride lands of Aberdeenshire

15.JPG
Bennachie zoomed


We set off back to the Sneck and bumped into a guy from Perth whom had just been on Bhuird and was heading to Avon then home. He too was chasing the weather today.

16.JPG
If that's not a Sneck then I don't know what is......


Once at the sneck the pull up to the Bhuird side is on gravelly terrain but we got there and made our way to the 1174m top to take a rest out of the wind where we spoke to a fit fella whom was just doing Bhuird today.

17.JPG
Looking over to Bhuird North Summit

18.JPG
Back over to Ben Avon

19.JPG
Into the heart of the Gorms, Derry Cairngorm front, Ben Macdui and Cairn Toul visible at the back


He took off and we never saw him again till the summit of Bhuird around 15 minutes later. I had to get the map out here as it certainly didn’t look the highest point on the huge bulk of this mountain, the guy we spoke to said it was though as he’d been up a few times. This made my mind up to go over to the South top so I could get a view back to the summit.

20.JPG
Summit Beinn a'Bhuird

21.JPG
This way, looking over to the South Summit


We stayed for around 10 minutes then set off along the Eastern side of the mountain then cut over to the Southern top and right enough the true summit looked miles higher from the Southern Top!!

22.JPG
South Summit pic


The descent off here was tough going, over boulder fields, I knew we had to get over to the eastern shoulder as we wanted to be descending down toward Carn Fiaclach where we’d meet the track out. Once over there you see the route out and as others have spoken about in their reports it’s a bit disconcerting knowing you want to be heading for the Glen to the East but you are essentially heading South West, however the track curves round the shoulder of Carn Fiaclach and then turns back towards where you want to be heading.

23.JPG
Carn Fiaclach ahead, we take a right on the path round to the West and round the shoulder to the left


I found the crossing of Quoich Water quite difficult, the dogs enjoyed me skulking up and down the bank looking for somewhere to cross as it gave them time to plooter about. Eventually I opted to make a jump from the bank onto a big flattish rock that would lead me to an Island in the middle then an easy couple of steps to the other side, thankfully no mishaps and I was over to the dogs dismay. We joined the track again and made our way up and over the top toward the Fairy Glen.

24.JPG
A wee sweem in the Fairy Glen


The midge were really annoying me now and I walked with my hood up to try and stave them off me, I was really motoring here as I wanted out of the Glen where I may get some respite with a gentle breeze. My feet were getting sore now but I couldn’t stop as this would play right into the midges plans so I motored on till I reached the bottom of Gleann an t’Slugain where I took ten minutes. I probably shouldn’t have stopped as I had stiffened up and it was hard to get going again. We followed the same track back and spoke briefly to the occupant of Altdourie Steading whom was out walking his two dogs. What a lovely place it is to stay, when my lottery numbers come up eh.... Now it was a case of stopping for a rest every couple of Km’s as my knees were starting to get sore too now.

25.JPG
Two pea's in a pod with Lochnagar in the background


I was beginning to wonder how many others had picked the exact same rocks or walls I picked to have a seat on the way back. I was checking off the points of note on the way back and eventually walking like John Wayne I crept into the Keiloch Car park and fed the dogs and quickly changed my footwear before the simple drive back home, via Aboyne for a poke of Chips from the Chipper! I’d had a great day on two remote beasts of mountains. What next? Well with starting a new job tomoz I do not know, it will be last minute plans now I imagine till things settle into place.......Cheers
Last edited by Beaner001 on Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A hawff and two remote beasts

Postby teaandpies » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:47 pm

East was best this weekend :lol:
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Re: A hawff and two remote beasts

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:09 pm

Looks like the clag lifted just in time.

I managed to walk past the top of Beinn a'Bhuird last summer when I did the same route, never even noticed the summit basically because I didn't think it was the highest point so had to head back to the cairn. The bit after Beinn a'Bhuird was my favourite with the rock formations and steep drop on the left and the view over towards Ben Macdui to the right.

Good luck with the new job.
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Re: A hawff and two remote beasts

Postby ancancha » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:28 pm

It was pouring when I did Avon and windy, so I quit and came back down without getting Beinn a'Bhuird :roll:
Nice to see your photo of the sneak, must have been really great walking across that and up to Beinn a'Bhuird :clap:
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby Petr Dakota » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:57 pm

I think I saw you here after 11:00 :D I walked from Ben Avon to Beinn a'Bhuird and shortly after I made this pic I saw someone walking up with dogs in the distance below...then I even asked myself "Can be it Matthew with his dogs ? " as I know from your reports ? :o Maybe you saw me there on the horizon in the junction between the path to Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuird where I continued up to the Beinn a'Bhuirde ascent and probably shortly after then you met a man walking down ( I met him walking from the summit of Ben Avon as he was walking to the summit...I was in black with a red rucksack :D :wink: I overtook the students around half way to Ben Avon :D I did 3 Munros there yesterday...without a bike...long distance - report soon :wink:
20150830_110616.jpg
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby martin.h » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:21 pm

Hi Matt,
That looks a nice long day. I'm looking to visit this area next year as we've done very little in the Cairngorms and you've convinced me to put that right.

I know how you feel with the sore knees and sore feet, it seems to be the default setting for mine nowadays :lol:

Good luck in the new job and hopefully we'll get the chance to meet up again sometime next year. :D :D

Cheers,
M.
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby Petr Dakota » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:30 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:I think I saw you here after 11:00 :D I walked from Ben Avon to Beinn a'Bhuird and shortly after I made this pic I saw someone walking up with dogs in the distance below...then I even asked myself "Is it Matthew with his dogs ? " as I know from your reports ? :o Maybe you saw me there on the horizon in the junction between the path to Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuird where I continued up to the Beinn a'Bhuirde ascent and probably shortly after then you met a man walking down ( I met him walking from the summit of Ben Avon as he was walking to the summit...I was in black with a red rucksack :D :wink: I overtook the students around a half way to Ben Avon ( I mean the half way between carpark and Ben Avon ) :D I did 3 Munros there yesterday...without a bike...long distance - report soon :wink:
20150830_110616.jpg
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Re: A hawff and two remote beasts

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:49 am

teaandpies wrote:East was best this weekend :lol:


:thumbup:

Gordie12 wrote:Looks like the clag lifted just in time.

I managed to walk past the top of Beinn a'Bhuird last summer when I did the same route, never even noticed the summit basically because I didn't think it was the highest point so had to head back to the cairn. The bit after Beinn a'Bhuird was my favourite with the rock formations and steep drop on the left and the view over towards Ben Macdui to the right.

Good luck with the new job.


I thought the same, it's a strange plateau, looking back at the map it's a huge bulk of a mountain :shock:
Cheers

ancancha wrote:It was pouring when I did Avon and windy, so I quit and came back down without getting Beinn a'Bhuird :roll:
Nice to see your photo of the sneak, must have been really great walking across that and up to Beinn a'Bhuird :clap:


Luckily only a few spots of rain for me, I forgot to mention it was the first time this summer I've had to wear hat and gloves while walking, cold wind :(

martin.h wrote:Hi Matt,
That looks a nice long day. I'm looking to visit this area next year as we've done very little in the Cairngorms and you've convinced me to put that right.

I know how you feel with the sore knees and sore feet, it seems to be the default setting for mine nowadays :lol:

Good luck in the new job and hopefully we'll get the chance to meet up again sometime next year. :D :D

Cheers,
M.


Cheers Marts, stay in touch

Petr Dakota wrote:
Petr Dakota wrote:I think I saw you here after 11:00 :D I walked from Ben Avon to Beinn a'Bhuird and shortly after I made this pic I saw someone walking up with dogs in the distance below...then I even asked myself "Is it Matthew with his dogs ? " as I know from your reports ? :o Maybe you saw me there on the horizon in the junction between the path to Ben Avon and Beinn a'Bhuird where I continued up to the Beinn a'Bhuirde ascent and probably shortly after then you met a man walking down ( I met him walking from the summit of Ben Avon as he was walking to the summit...I was in black with a red rucksack :D :wink: I overtook the students around a half way to Ben Avon ( I mean the half way between carpark and Ben Avon ) :D I did 3 Munros there yesterday...without a bike...long distance - report soon :wink:
20150830_110616.jpg


Aye Petr I remember seeing the guy with the red rucksack (you) and at the time I thought jeez that guy is fast as you just flew across the sneck and up a'Bhuird but the red ruck sack stood out. Pity we never met, maybe see you on another mountain though :D
Well done on the three, jeez your legs musta been sore by the end, a bike would certainly have helped us both on the walk out but I do like walking :D
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:34 pm

Well done Matt on seeing more on these hills than I did- wouldn't be difficult though! :crazy:


Not a lot of fun wandering about in the clag looking for the rather unexciting cairns on Beinn a Bhuird- thank goodness for GPS! :(


Cracking photos on the dogs enjoying themselves as ever :clap:
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:16 pm

Nice report Matt, great mountains as you say one big bulk is Bhuird. I enjoyed these tow, although used the bike as far as the woods ended. Cycling in pish isn't good for morale :(

That path out does throw you, heading the wrong way round that last wee lump, but a good track nonetheless.

One of these walks I put off for a long while, reading all the reports of what a long day etc, but found them fairly easy going, probably as you don't feel you've climbed anything until the Sneck. :D
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:35 am

pollyh33 wrote:Well done Matt on seeing more on these hills than I did- wouldn't be difficult though! :crazy:


Not a lot of fun wandering about in the clag looking for the rather unexciting cairns on Beinn a Bhuird- thank goodness for GPS! :(


Cracking photos on the dogs enjoying themselves as ever :clap:


Aye luckily for me the mist started clearing on Bhuird in time for the summit, know what your saying re the featureless landscape though :lol:

spiderwebb wrote:Nice report Matt, great mountains as you say one big bulk is Bhuird. I enjoyed these tow, although used the bike as far as the woods ended. Cycling in pish isn't good for morale :(

That path out does throw you, heading the wrong way round that last wee lump, but a good track nonetheless.

One of these walks I put off for a long while, reading all the reports of what a long day etc, but found them fairly easy going, probably as you don't feel you've climbed anything until the Sneck. :D


I agree Dave, not as hard as I was expecting but still a long day without a bike. I'd like to revisit in the winter, not hellish snow but a good dusting so the landscape changes a bit :lol:
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby dogplodder » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:09 pm

I thought I'd commented on this already but evidently not! :roll:

As I said in my report, most impressed you found the howff as we looked and didn't - obviously didn't try hard enough! :D
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby rockhopper » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:54 am

That looked most enjoyable - good weather decision too. Haven't been up this way having approached these hills from the west but does look interesting esp with the howff - cheers :)
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby grumpy old bagger » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:11 am

Wow, that was a long day... looked great, though!
Love the howff.... I love places like that, wondering about all the stories their walls could tell.... what they've seen...
Knees and hips for me :( Still, as long as we can put one foot in front of the other, eh?
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Re: A howff and two remote beasts

Postby Silverhill » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:07 pm

Well done, that is a big walk! One of my favourites. I loved the vast landscape, the tors, the rough corries, the bare summit plateaus. I hope to return sometime. :D
The picture of the inside of the howff made me laugh. It looks as if one of your dogs (Lochy?) photobombed it! :lol: Hope you’ve settled into your new job.
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