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It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:22 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mòr , from Glen Feshie

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhrotain, Monadh Mòr

Date walked: 28/05/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 30 km

Ascent: 1548m

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Ahhh, the bank holiday weekend. Usually it rains cats and dogs. Surprisingly, this one was sunny. All right, some showers about, but plenty of bright spells, too. Days are long enough now to plan long walks. I was optimistic after Beinn Dearg four, that my knee has fully recovered and I could tackle long distance walking now, as long as I didn't do anything stupid. How I missed meowing on remote peaks!

We have a long list of "biggies to-do" and every summer, we successfully tick off a few challenging routes. Now, being slower, some of the longest walks seem even more illusive, but I'm trying to stay positive. For last Saturday, I was torn between Glenfinnian Munros and Strathfarrar Quad, but somehow we found ourselves in the Cairngorms :lol: :lol: :lol: Here goes my planning - we never do what we intended a few days earlier, usually just follow the weather... Next week we intend to go camping and I decided not to plan anything at all, because we always end up somewhere else anyway :lol: :lol: :lol:

We didn't have much left to climb in the Cairngorms, basically five Munros around Moine Mhor. They can be all reached from Glen Feshie. We agreed, that we would climb up to Moine Mhor plateau and then decide which of the five M's we could tackle. In the end, we did the classic Beinn Bhrotain - Monadh Mor walk, leaving Cairn Toul group for the next trip. Luckily, we have already climbed Braeriach (from Sugar Bowl) so this leaves us Cairn Toul - Angel's Peak - Devil's Point traverse, which is a big walk but doable in a day, and I can't wait to get my paws on "Angels and Demons" as we nicknamed this trio :D Hopefully later this year.

As for Mor-Bhrotain traverse, it's a long walk as well, with more or less the same ascent as for Beinn Dearg group, plus it can be tricky navigation if cloud comes down. I remembered, from the time when we climbed the Sgorr Gaoith, that the Moine Mhor plateau seemed big and featureless. I was glad we had good conditions this time, at least we could see where we were going :lol:

Track_BEINN BHROTAIN 28-05-16.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


So the morning saw us arrive in Glen Feshie, full of attitude, rucksacks loaded with extra food and water for the long day that awaited us...
Panther ready to go, banana for breakfast :lol:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 003.JPG

We didn't encounter any midges, which was a pleasant surprise. Feshie midges are one of the most vicious ones, they attack even in heavy rain (my personal experience!), so we were happy to avoid them this time. We walked along the tarmac to Achlean and then took the well made path through the forest:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 011.JPG

Once out of the woods, we continued to climb up the slope to Carn Ban Mor. Behind us, there was a superb panorama of Glen Feshie:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 012.JPG

It's been warm recently and snow, even in the Cairngorms, is mostly gone, just a few patches here and there. No need to carry winter gear. I was warming up for the big adventure!
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 022.JPG

Glen Feshie from above:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 024.JPG

Plenty of high cloud above us, I knew it wasn't going to be a scorchio day, but I prefer cooler conditions. To the south/west, the sun shone over the Monadhliath plateau:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 027.JPG

The path is excellent. When we did Gaoith/Mullach route in 2010, I recall, it was badly eroded, but it has been nicely repaired since then:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 033.JPG

Zoom to Creag Meagaidh group:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 037.JPG

The climb up Carn Ban Mor is quite relentless and less fit walkers might find it hard, 700m of constant ascent. I didn't want to push it too hard and overwork my poor knees, but we still kept a relatively decent pace. Just as we reached the small cairn at the top of the ridge, where paths cross, I looked behind and saw a young chap catching up with us. Dear Lord, and I thought I was doing well. At that moment I felt old. Old, slow, fat and wrinkly :lol: :lol: :lol:
But whatever silly thoughts came to me, they vanished the very moment when I looked east. Here, so close yet so far, were the Angels and Demons of the Cairngorms:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 046.JPG

Our target - Monadh Mor:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 049.JPG

After a short snack break, we followed a well-worn path over Moine Mhor. This path soon joined a wide track. For a time being, the feeling of wilderness and solitude was spoiled, but there would be more of that to come later 8)
The track and Cairn Toul in the background:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 058.JPG

Back to Sgorr Gaoith. I'd fancy this one in winter conditions:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 052.JPG

Braeriach. I'm so glad I have already climbed it. Adding this one to Angels and Demons would be far too much for me...
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 053.JPG

It was so annoying, that after climbing 700m, we had to lose height again to cross the upper reaches of River Eidart... Which itself was only a small burn at this point:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 061.JPG

I had a good look at the slopes of the big Munros to the east - doesn't look too bad for the future expedition:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 068.JPG

We reached Tom Dubh, which to my surprise is a Munro top. Such an insignificant lump in the ground, overshadowed by the much higher Monadh Mor, that we didn't even bother to take our traditional cairn snaps. Kevin suggested a longer break, cuppa and sandwich with nice views around. I glanced at my watch, it took us only 3 hours to reach Tom Dubh from the car park. That's a very good time for my current shape. Knees also felt fine. Yuppie, time for a break!
We lazed about on Tom Dubh for quite a while, but eventually i reminded Kevin, that we still had two Munros to climb today :lol: We descended slightly to cross Allt Luineag. The river was not in spate, but we couldn't find anywhere to cross on stepping stones. Kevin wasn't really eager to take off his boots, so he dug up gaiters, put them on and picked what seemed the shallowest line of attack. He walked across without any problems. After fumbling with my gaiters for a few minutes, I followed.
Although in the picture below it looks benign, I can understand that in spate conditions, this river could be a serious problem...
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 069.JPG

Now, the final ascent to Monadh Mor was a formality. Just a grassy slope with a few boulderfields scattered around:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 073.JPG

Sgorr Gaoith and Allt Luineag from half way up the final ascent:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 077.JPG

Looking west, you know you are in the Cairngorms... The neverending plateau:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 088.JPG

The summit of Monadh Mor is pretty flat, with a large cairn. I run to the highest point first and posed for my summit photo. Munro no. 184! Lucy claimed her 15th:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 120.JPG

Our second target, Beinn Bhrotain:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 097.JPG

Glen Geusachan and Deeside:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 102.JPG

Towards Cairn Toul:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 109.JPG

Zoom to Devil's Point:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 101.JPG

Kevin's first new Munro this year! No wonder he's smiling :D
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 127.JPG

We didn't linger on the first Munro for too long, after a quick photo session we continued to Beinn Bhrotain:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 128.JPG

This was, I must say, the most interesting part of the route. Views across Glen Geusachan are breathtaking...
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 130.JPG

...and the Munro in front of us has an interesting, steep cliffs on its eastern side:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 134.JPG

The final meters of descent to the bealach are on quite eroded path, we managed without falling but in wet weather this spot could be very slippery. Now, we had only the last 150m of ascent to the summit of Beinn Bhrotain, mostly on boulders.
View back to Monadh Mor from the slopes of Beinn Bhrotain:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 148.JPG

The summit is topped with one large stone shelter...
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 155.JPG

...and one smaller, with the trig point in the middle. I celebrated my 185th Munro - Lucy did her 16th:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 165.JPG

It was time now for another break, but first, I took some time to record panoramas...
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 217.JPG

2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 219.JPG

Kevin's no. 196, he's only a stroll away from a double ton!
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 233.JPG

Weather has improved for the afternoon, still plenty of high cloud, but sun shone through.
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 154.JPG

One heavier cloud lingered over the eastern sky:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 161.JPG

I was so busy taking photos, that I didn't even notice that we were not alone on the summit! Can you spot the wee visitor on the cairn?
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 184.JPG

There were actually two of them: male and female snow bunting. A very friendly couple - didn't mind posing for photos :lol: obviously they were used to the sight of people by the summit cairn, maybe they hoped for grub. Sadly, all we had left was chocolate and apples, not exactly the kind of food snow buntings would appreciate :lol: :lol:
The snow bunting photo session is posted in Wildlife section:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=63280
The birds did leave us after 10 or 15 minutes, probably disappointed they didn't get a snack :lol: We stayed a bit longer, stretched our legs and enjoyed the afternoon sun. But we knew, we still had a long way to go back and the return route included some re-ascent. So off we went, retracing steps back to Monadh Mor, then down to the Moine Mhor plateau. I was afraid, my knees might protest on the final ascent back to Carn Ban Mor, but surprisingly, they behaved. It was my foot soles that felt sore, after countless miles of trudge over paths, grass and boulders. And the top of CBM still looked just as far...
It's a long way -- back to Glen Feshie
It's a long way -- to go
It's a long way -- across the plateau
And my feet are falling off! :lol: :lol:
I was relieved to reach the CBM path. The final descent back to Glen Feshie almost MADE my feet fall off, but I couldn't bring myself to complain. The evening was lovely and we stopped countless time to take photos of Glen Feshie below:
2016-05-28 beinn bhrotain 193.JPG

Tired but happy - and with enough strength and stamina to finish the walk with a smile!
2016-05-029.JPG

It took us a reasonable time of 10 hours (including breaks) to complete this route. And I was really glad to have two well behaving knees for the first time in months :D
.....
I can understand why MM and BB have such a bad reputation, of being boring hills. If climbed in poor weather, this route would feel bland and neverending, just constant up and down, up and down over boring lumps and bumps. But the views on a good day are truly amazing and justify the effort put into reaching these remote peaks. Such is the flavour of the Cairngorms!
We really enjoyed this grand day out and we're hoping to come back soon to finish the business with Angels and Demons :D
.....
Our second outing on bank holiday weekend took us to one of the steepest glens in western Scotland. TR to come soon.
Last edited by BlackPanther on Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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BlackPanther
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby simon-b » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:13 pm

Glen Feshie is a lovely place, I walked along it after Sgor Gaoith and Mullach Clach a' Bhlair. Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor do have a nice wild feel about them, and they are good when you get the views, as your photos show.
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:35 pm

Hi BP - the river crossing looked easier than the day I did this route and fell head first straight in to the middle of the river. I carried on to the other side and sat on the bank for 10 minutes deciding whether to carry on or head back. In the end I carried on and I was glad I did as it was a really enjoyable day in a great area.

I have the same three hills left to do in the Gorms but with Braeriach as well. Decent weather this month and hopefully I can get them done.
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:05 am

simon-b wrote:Glen Feshie is a lovely place, I walked along it after Sgor Gaoith and Mullach Clach a' Bhlair. Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor do have a nice wild feel about them, and they are good when you get the views, as your photos show.


I agree it's a charming glen, as long as it's not swarmed by midges...
We walked along it as well, on the way to Leathad an Taobhain. Views in the glen were more interesting than up on the Corbett, which is a boring, heathery lump with vt track almost all the way to the summit. We returned over Carn Dearg Mor, another round hill with yellow brick road to the top. Not a popular pair of C's and having been there, I can understand why.

Gordie12 wrote:Hi BP - the river crossing looked easier than the day I did this route and fell head first straight in to the middle of the river. I carried on to the other side and sat on the bank for 10 minutes deciding whether to carry on or head back. In the end I carried on and I was glad I did as it was a really enjoyable day in a great area.

I have the same three hills left to do in the Gorms but with Braeriach as well. Decent weather this month and hopefully I can get them done.


Good Lord, head first into the river! :shock: :shock: I have fallen feet first or bum first into several rivers, streams and puddles, but this sounds horrific! Hats off to you that you decided to carry on!

Maybe we'll cross paths somewhere on Angels and Demons :D :D We hope to visit them soon, too. But there is so much left to climb... Off tomorrow with a tent, maybe to Braemar (Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac), see what my lovely husband comes up with :wink:
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby angusb » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:26 pm

Hello BP, many thanks for your walk report on these two. I climbed them yesterday and, not for the first time, read your report beforehand to see what was in store. As always, I found it very informative and entertaining. Despite the forecast, it stayed dryish for me, one or two drizzly showers but not enough to worry about., The cloud stayed on the high tops most of the day, only clearing occasionally, so glad to see your photos and see what I missed! Barely made out the trig point on BB, and had a bit of trouble coming off it, but a great walk-out. Hope to meet you on the hills someday.
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:39 pm

angusb wrote:Hello BP, many thanks for your walk report on these two. I climbed them yesterday and, not for the first time, read your report beforehand to see what was in store. As always, I found it very informative and entertaining. Despite the forecast, it stayed dryish for me, one or two drizzly showers but not enough to worry about., The cloud stayed on the high tops most of the day, only clearing occasionally, so glad to see your photos and see what I missed! Barely made out the trig point on BB, and had a bit of trouble coming off it, but a great walk-out. Hope to meet you on the hills someday.


I'm glad my report was helpful! :D
We actually re-visited this route last week, doing Cairn Toul - Devils Point traverse from Feshie, so you missed us by a few days :lol:
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:24 pm

Did these two with Kath the same way you did with a slight detour on the return. That's when I discovered the therapeutic effect of a cold water paddle on hot sweaty feet - definitely worth the hassle of getting the boots and socks off! :lol:
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:15 pm

Hey BP, you'd have been able to see your two favourite munros from the top of Beinn Bhrotain :lol:
Fhidhleir & Sgarsoch

Nice report and photos :clap:
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Re: It's a long, long way back to Glen Feshie!

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:07 am

dogplodder wrote:Did these two with Kath the same way you did with a slight detour on the return. That's when I discovered the therapeutic effect of a cold water paddle on hot sweaty feet - definitely worth the hassle of getting the boots and socks off! :lol:


Yes, I know that effect, too :lol: Funny, I'm struggling to convince Kevin to embrace barefoot river crossings. He prefers to stay booted, unless there's no such option... Even on the way to Am Faochagach he pole-vaulted over the river :lol:

ancancha wrote:Hey BP, you'd have been able to see your two favourite munros from the top of Beinn Bhrotain :lol:
Fhidhleir & Sgarsoch

Nice report and photos :clap:


Oh, please, not them again... :lol: :lol:
I saw them well enough from Cairn Toul!
That's why last Sunday we went WEST.

Off to write Angels and Demons TR...
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