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.

2 Munros 2 Hours (Touche)

2 Munros 2 Hours (Touche)

Postby tomyboy73 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:59 pm

Route description: The Cairnwell Munros

Munros included on this walk: Carn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 21/01/2017

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 6 km

Ascent: 418m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I had a wee job to do up in Aberdeen that involved driving back down the road via the Cairnwell Pass. Dunno, bad road the other way or something. :shh: It was a lovely day and with the previous few days throwing out inversions all over the place. I couldn`t resist a wee lunch break up on the hills to see what it would bring. It was a beautiful drive through Aboyne, Ballater and Braemar. Copper coloured roadside hedges turned to frost covered trees the further west I went. The temperature dropped to -5, but the sun still scorched my face.
I parked up at the Ski Centre and headed up the path. I had read all the guff about how horrible it is with all the ski lifts and buildings, but so what ?
heading up Carn Aosda

These Munros may start about 600 metres but it felt really steep and my heart was punding. I encountered a large patch of snow and as I only had an old pair of cheap trail shoes on, I slipped (make that stretched and pulled) on an odd pair of Yaktraks my wife bought for herself and the kids that bad winter a few years ago. They worked well and I wore them further on up the hill off the snow before taking them off before I ruined them. I saw the sign ..and it opened up my mind..I saw the sign. Not many signs on the hills are there ?
Carn Aosda sign, The Cairnwell hill

So, I thought , another ten, fifteen minutes or so eh ? Two minutes later I was on top !
Not before scaring two Ptarmigan away first though.
Ptwo Ptarmigan

It was a bit breezy on the way up. But on top ? **** me , it was Baltic ! And my hair was all over the place !
struggling with the wind.JPG
New hairstyle

My plan was to just climb this one, have a bite to eat and head back. But 1. it had only taken 25 minutes. 2. It was **** freezin. 3. I could see a cloud inversion further south.
so I headed off towards The Cairnwell, masts, huts and all.
The wind eased as I dropped height , but it didn`t stop the bloody Grouse springing up from nowhere and screaming that mad scream they do.
I passed a pretty loch which looked frozen.
Loch Vrotachan

If you look closely at this picture you will see a fleeing Grouse.
The path is really stoney and sometimes I got a sharp shock when I stood on a rather pointy rock. But I carried on regardless...
The wonderful site of stainless steel was now within my grasp and I hauled myself up the final steep climb.
And yes it was windy ! I had a look around and made my way along to the viewpoint away from the towers and sheds, like everybody else i imagine and plonked myself down and pretended it wasn`t there.
My first inversion, Magic. Over an area with no mountains. :lol:
inversion up ahead

northern gorms.JPG
northern gorms

But at least I had clear blue skies and had nice views for miles.
hairband keeping it all in check

I sat and ate my sandwiches until my hands were red raw. This took about five minutes, before I packed up and headed back down.
As I got to the top of one of the ski slopes I decided to head down that way. There were still plenty of snow patches and I went for a bum slide. I had left my waterproofs at home as it was January. :-P I didn`t slide very far so I got out my big orange survival bag. I saw on the news recently how this could save your life. So yeah, this was a life or death situation. :roll:
I kept it folded up and sat on it so that if it got too fast i could just whip it out from underneath me. The patches were broken up a bit so I didn`t go down in a oner but I must have descended that hill in about 5 minutes :lol:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1026
Munros:147   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 21, 2010
Walk wish-list

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: EuanWardrop, jimur and 80 guests