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Drumochter 4

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:51 pm
by Hbrannigan
After the joys of Lochnager on Monday, we decided to head west and over to the A9 to tackle the Drumochter 4. Jumped in the car at Braemar at 8.40am and arrived at Balsporran Cottages by 10.30am, thanks to a road closure at Spittal of Glenshee.
We headed across the railway track, ignored the first track to the right, across the wooden bridge and took the obvious path on the right. The bottom section of this was very boggy in parts but easy enough to skirt around. The weather looked a bit bleak with clouds swirling around at a pretty low level. Passing the tall cairns on our left, it was out with the compass as visibility had reduced and we arrived at the summit of Geal-charn with no views to be had.
Striking south west on no obvious path, then south for about 1.5km before heading up south east on easy going grassy slopes, passing a junction marked with a small cairn. Then it was an easy walk to the summit of number two for the day, A'Mharconaich. Here we met our soon to be best German friends doing their first Munros.
The clouds had cleared a little by now and we headed back to the junction and veered left, vaguely following a line of fence posts which were stacked around the place. Getting to the top of Beinn Udlamain posed no real difficulties as the clouds had now pretty much cleared but we were getting a bit of drizzle. As we reached the huge cairn at the top, and a quick chat with our German pals, it was time for a bite to eat and a cup of tea. Not to mention we needed to add another 2 layers as it was freezing. Not exactly what you expect in July! The views across to Ben Alder were superb and Loch Ericht seemed to stretch for miles.
Heading across the boulders we descended to the bealach at the head of the Coire Dhomain and followed the path until it pretty much disappeared. We arrived at a cairn and headed right to eventully pick up a path which took us left to the summit and trig point at Sgairneach Mhow, our final Munro for the day.
We had read that the descent from here was pretty hard going but by some good luck we could see a really decent track running alongside the Alt Coire Luidhearnaidh. This wasn't on our OS map which was printed in Feb 2016 but we decided to go for it. The heathery descent wasn't too bad and eventually we got to the bottom, easily crossed the river and headed along the road. Eventually it took us to Dalnaspidal Lodge, a bit further down the A9 than we would have liked but we were soon to not worry too much about that. Crossing the railway, we walked along the cycle route 7 and as we passed by lay by 81, our German friends offered a lift to the car cutting out a painful 3 mile hike on tarmac. 5 minutes late we were headed back to Braemar, where we enjoyed haggis suppers and toasted our German pals with a 12 year old Lochnager single malt.