walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:38 pm

Route description: Braeriach, circuit from Whitewell

Munros included on this walk: Braeriach

Date walked: 10/09/2016

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1217m

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

For years we'd fantasised about a backpacking trip taking in the Braeriach – Devil's Point traverse – preferably from the north so we could walk the Lairig Ghru from south to north, having done it the opposite way many years ago. It was on our agenda in 2014 but the weather gods tricked us. 2015 came and went with little time for hills, 2016 was looking promising, but the problems of changeable weather and compliant dog sitters were stymieing our chances – so time for a serious discussion about which routes really had to be backpacked and which could be broken into day trips. We decided the B-DP traverse could be broken up – into 2 or even 3 trips - the up side to this was it would give us day trips in the east when that was the only place where we could find good weather. Even so we had two attempts pulled at the last minute because the weather window we'd been relying on slammed shut several hours early. Then one Friday afternoon, having given up hopes for the coming weekend, the forecast changed, the following day the clouds would lift by early morning and the strong winds abate by lunchtime. The bags were packed, the dogs alerted and we were off … Braeriach here we come.

Driving south on the A9 we could see the clouds were above the big Cairngorm hills – but just. We'd decided to opt for the circuit from Whitewells in the Rothiemurchus forest as this would take us along Gleann Einich, somewhere we'd only ever viewed from above. So just over an hour after leaving home we were booting up at Whitewells on a breezy, overcast morning. Would those clouds behave as predicted and lift – or would our wait still be in vain?

Passing the lovely Loch Deo – clouds glowering …

Image

Thanks to Dogplodder's comments about missing the right path through the forest we were very careful to clock the junctions and so crossed the Am Beanaidh, for the first time that day, on the Cairngorm club bridge and headed towards the Lairig with no mishap.

Image

Am Beanaidh

Image

Once through the ancient Caledonian forest we could see the clouds were indeed lifting, looking north at the point where the path from the Chalamain Gap joined the main Lairig path the sky was distinctly blue ...

Image

… and it was improving going south

Image

The Lairig gradually narrowed, a couple of paths head off to the right which could be taken to get up onto the Sron na Lairig ridge but we stayed on the path until it crossed the burn at a rock fall and then turned right up a well reconstructed path onto the ridge.

Image

As we gained height so we gained views – magnificent …

Back north to Rothiemurchus …

Image

… east to the central Cairngorm plateau …

Image

… and east Lurchers Craig ...
Image

… south to Sron na Lairig …

Image

… southeast to Braeriach itself with some of its cories …

Image

… and west to Sgor Gaoith

Image

It must be something to do with the vast panoramas of the Cairngorms but all day I found it difficult to believe that Sgor Gaoith is higher than its near neighbour Sgoran Dubh Mor. I found it equally difficult to believe that Braeriach is higher than Carn Toul – but I expect that was because one is a rounded mountain and the other is a pointy one :shock: I had to check the map to make sure that my eyes were deceiving me :roll: :roll:

As we gained height the clouds lifted but for a while on the shoulder of the Sron na Lairig ridge the wind was rather fierce, but not for long. The views down …

Image

… along to the south …

Image

… across to Cairngorm, the Lairig is the slash in the mid foreground…

Image

… Ben Macdui and Cairn a'Mhaim

Image

… with Devil's Point and Carin Toull coming into view …

Image

… and eventually the summit of Braeriach on the edge of the cliff …

Image

… and the southern part of the Lairig between Cairn a'Mhaim and Devil's Point with the Dee snaking away into the distance …

Image

… and all the time Cairn Toull drwaing the eye southward.

Image

We could see across to the tors of Beinn Mheadhoin ...

Image

and beyond to Ben Avon. Cairngorm vastness at its best, but hard to capture in a photo. Progress was slow - the landscape was magical and we stopped to try to recreate other trips we'd made into the Cairngorms. Was it Lurcher's Craig we'd visited with the kids many years ago when we were adopted by a passing dog? We can't decide, it might have been the rim of the northern corries. But it was lovely to soak up the landscape and merge the present and the past ... oh and make plans for future trips too :lol: :lol:

Once we reached the rim of Choire Bhrochain the views became even more dramatic

… Lochan Uaine nestled between Sgor and Lochan Uaine and Cairn Toul …

Image

… South down the Lairig again …

Image

… Lochan Uaine draining down into Garbh Choire …

Image

… and again with the Black Pinnacle on the right …

Image

… Biggles eyeing up the options …

Image

… across to Cairngorm and the edge of the northern coires …

Image

… Meall a' Bhuachaille and friends …

Image

… and in the far east (on the horizon) you can just make out Ben Avon and its Tors

Image


We settled down at the summit for lunch and were soon joined by three young lads who had set out to do the full traverse to Devil's Point but were now debating if they had left themselves enough time to complete the trip (this was their first summit and it was now 1.15pm) and get to Edinburgh for a party. They happily shared snacks with the dogs, a nip with us and we shared chocolate.

Image

We left them to their deliberations and headed off north west in the direction of Gleann Eanaich.

Springs which appear to be an off shoot of the Springs of Dee and which join the Dee just before it falls over the edge of Garbh Choire Dhaidh soon came into view.

Image

We crossed the easy terrain and soon reached the cliffs above Loch Coire an Lochain and gazed down into its beautiful blue waters, with Loch Mhic Ghille-choil in the middle distance on the left, just to the west of Am Beanaidh, the river that runs through Gleann Eanaich.

Image


We picked up a path that took us most of the way from here down into Gleann Eanaich,

Image

but unfortunately it petered out leaving us about a kilometre of rough, boggy hillside to cross before hitting the excellent track that runs alongside the Am Beanaidh all the way to Rothiemurchus.

Looking south towards Loch Eanaich …

Image

… north towards our destination.

Image

There were no problems crossing the Beanaidh Bheag or the following ford, and further on we crossed the Am Beanaidh bridge.

Image

A last look at Braeriach, with Loch Coire an Lochain hidden in the folds of the landscape.

Image

Afternoon sun on Am Beanaidh.

Image

Cairn or suclpture at the edge of the forest?

Image

It was only when we got into the trees that the midges started to make their presence felt, but they were fairly half hearted and a wiff of Smidge sent them on their way. We passed Loch Deo looking much more benign than it had in the morning

Image

and it wasn't long before we were heading north up the A9 looking forward to beer and chilli con carne.

Braeriach using this route did not disappoint – we had a long but relatively easy day that took us to parts of the Cairngorms we'd never visited and led to wonderful reminiscences of other walks around these hills stretching back over 40 years. Its no problem to come back again for Breariach's neighbours ... life's good in the slow lane :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 845
Munros:226   Corbetts:13
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby mrssanta » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:00 pm

oh that was lovely, such enormous views!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2743
Munros:216   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:41
Wainwrights:36   
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:33 pm

Looks like you had a wonderful day and some great photos. Braeriach is one of my favorite mountains and I have wondered what the descent into Gleann Einich would be like, it looks superb. We have set out from Whitewell towards Gleann Einich and through Rothiemurchus aiming for Braeriach in winter a few times, but there has always been so much deep soft snow lower down that we have ended up running out of time and turning back :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 576
Munros:133   Corbetts:11
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby dogplodder » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:45 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed that and liked the look of your Gleann Einich return which I've not done. How did the dogs' paws cope with the gritty rock higher up? 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3223
Munros:214   Corbetts:50
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:14 pm

I also found B-DP traverse too big for one day... Hence my Glen Feshie trip :lol:

The Cairngorms look so atmospheric in autumn colours. I must go back to Braeriach some time... BTW when we did it, we couldn't find the cairn :shock: There was so much snow on the summit plateau, that it was completely buried! And it was in early June! Some surprises the hills keep for us :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2864
Munros:232   Corbetts:146
Grahams:102   
Sub 2000:34   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire


Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:22 pm

mrssanta wrote:oh that was lovely, such enormous views!
The views are terrific, but sometimes that vastness is lost in a photo ... a bit like the north Yorks moors perhaps?

Cairngorm creeper wrote:Looks like you had a wonderful day and some great photos. Braeriach is one of my favorite mountains and I have wondered what the descent into Gleann Einich would be like, it looks superb. We have set out from Whitewell towards Gleann Einich and through Rothiemurchus aiming for Braeriach in winter a few times, but there has always been so much deep soft snow lower down that we have ended up running out of time and turning back :lol: :lol: :lol:
We really enjoyed the route, apart from the shortish boggy bit getting to the track in Gleann Einich. Your comment about trying it in winter makes me wonder if it would be a possibility for snowshoeing?

dogplodder wrote:Thoroughly enjoyed that and liked the look of your Gleann Einich return which I've not done. How did the dogs' paws cope with the gritty rock higher up? 8)
The dogs handled this one very well, none of the problems they had earlier this year.

BlackPanther wrote:I also found B-DP traverse too big for one day... Hence my Glen Feshie trip :lol:

The Cairngorms look so atmospheric in autumn colours. I must go back to Braeriach some time... BTW when we did it, we couldn't find the cairn :shock: There was so much snow on the summit plateau, that it was completely buried! And it was in early June! Some surprises the hills keep for us :D
I'm wondering if we will do your Glen Feshie route next year, but take tents - I really fancy exploring the plateau a bit more ... but that means a dog sitter :lol: Snow in June, in Scotland - what, never :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 845
Munros:226   Corbetts:13
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby litljortindan » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:06 pm

Great weather, great pictures, great route. What is in Biggles' mind as they gaze down the glen I wonder.
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1556
Munros:110   Corbetts:47
Grahams:22   
Sub 2000:38   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:29 pm

Superb report, superb pics, superb mountain :clap:
User avatar
Beaner001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 721
Munros:226   Corbetts:22
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Sep 17, 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:40 pm

litljortindan wrote:Great weather, great pictures, great route. What is in Biggles' mind as they gaze down the glen I wonder.
Thanks - as for Biggles' mind - food (preferably fresh) and mischief :lol: :lol:

Beaner001 wrote:Superb report, superb pics, superb mountain :clap:
Thanks - you're right about the mountain :D
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 845
Munros:226   Corbetts:13
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Patience rewarded on the Brindled Upland

Postby mrssanta » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:28 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:
mrssanta wrote:oh that was lovely, such enormous views!
The views are terrific, but sometimes that vastness is lost in a photo ... a bit like the north Yorks moors perhaps?

definitely, they are much better in real life. One of England's underappreciated gems
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2743
Munros:216   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:41
Wainwrights:36   
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

5 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: davidfm, Strathdrynie and 49 guests