I was discussing this trip with an old mountaineer. He was trying to work out why I was going and he was exploring possible attractions, none of which Carn Bhac's got. In the end he looked puzzled and said "So it's just a big brown thing?" I nodded.
I came from Blair Atholl because I once cycled by Fealar Lodge from Blair and I could see Carn Bhac's not far from there. I'd forgotten how totally knackering that cycle was. I took the early train to Blair.
The track up Glen Tilt's been badly hit by rain and is blocked by landslides. There's a diversion before the first bridge that adds a little climbing on the way out and something of a cardiac arrest on the way back. I was not far short of two hours to do the 20 kilometres (and 300 metres ascent).
A few hundred metres on I came to the bridge over the Tarf. This is the nearest this route's got to an attraction and it's kind of cute. It got put up after one of the gentry drowned here more than a century ago. It gives a decent view of the falls.
Following the path from here to Fealar, it all seemed just pleasant. I was seeing plenty of wild life, ring ouzels, black grouse, golden plovers. Beinn a'Ghlo was looking quite Alpine from this angle. I couldn't see Carn Bhac, but. As I passed the lodge I could see a lower top, a big brown thing, but the hill itself was obscured. Fealar Lodge is I think the remotest permanent dwelling in Scotland. Much of it is pink and I remember somebody, maybe The Angry Corrie, saying this was the colour of choice of its Saudi owners at the time.
It's a very easy walk, dry ground and a light vehicle track most of the way up but I was not moving fast, kind of hammered from the cycle. When I got to the summit, going on to Beinn Uitharn Mhor was incompatible with catching a 5.20 train. I saw there was a Geal Charn, a minor top to the west. You can't have too many Geal Charns in your life. I headed that way. Looking back, I got a view of Carn Bhac for the first time. It's actually a big grey thing.
After Geal Charn it became a bit of a bog-trot with views of big hills. Then I reached the Allt Garbh Buidhe where there's a really well maintained path (looks like it's a cycle route from Braemar.). I cycled to Blair in half the time it took me to cycle out. A bit unnerving because my hydraulic brakes seemed hardly to be working. Still, it gave me twenty minutes for a pint before the train.
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