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Craigellachie, Geal-charn Mor and Torr Alvie from Aviemore

Craigellachie, Geal-charn Mor and Torr Alvie from Aviemore


Postby malky_c » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:23 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Geal-charn Mòr

Date walked: 19/03/2017

Time taken: 6.4 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 1000m

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Corbetts: Geal-charn Mor
Date: 19/03/2017.
Distance: 25km.
Ascent: 1000m.
Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes.
Weather: Sunny with couple of showers; windy up high.

Another weekend of rising temperatures and endless wind predicted. At least Sunday's forecast improved dramatically as it approached, giving me an excuse to head out. Much as I enjoy not bagging, having a list certainly motivated me to choose a destination and get out of bed early - the 'see what the weather does' approach tends to have me in no rush to leave the house. I was on the train today so catching that helped focus the mind a bit, even if it didn't leave until 9:40am.


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Off the train shortly after 10:15, I wandered down past the YHA and found the underpass that leads to Craigellachie nature reserve. Lower down was definitely shorts and t-shirt weather, although I was glad of my jacket above 600m. It's a nice path through the nature reserve onto Craigellachie, and today I had to watch my step to avoid treading on any frogs - they were everywhere!

Craigellachie lochan:
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Froggy path:
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Path up Craigellachie:
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Aviemore:
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There were a few folk on Craigellachie, but unsurprisingly I met no-one on the heathery traverse to Creag na h-Iolaire. The going wasn't completely pathless - there was a faint deer track in places, but it was typically rough. As I crossed over to make the ascent of Carn Dearg Mor, a shower moved in, but it didn't last too long.

Lochan Dubh:
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Loch Alvie:
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Back to Craigellachie in the first shower:
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Speyside from Carn Dearg Mor:
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Geal-charn Mor from Carn Dearg Mor:
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I was going to include the northern outlier of Geal-charn Beag but in the end I couldn't be bothered - the ground was soft and in places quite slippery, so I traversed around to the Burma Road instead, and picked up the obvious path to the summit of Geal-charn Mor. Although it was rather windy up here, I managed a lunch break overlooking Glenmore and the wall of clag that was not moving from the Cairngorm plateau yet.

Glenmore and Loch Morlich:
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Back to Carn Dearg Mor:
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I went SW from the summit towards another Geal-charn Beag. Easy walking, but increased wind and another shower soon had me heading towards An Sguabach instead. My aim was to use the A9 underpass near Alvie Lodge to avoid getting tangled up in the new dual carriageway, but I hadn't put too much thought into how to get there.

Towards Kingussie:
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Loch Alvie and the Cairngorms from An Sguabach:
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Glen Feshie and Loch Insch:
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I dropped down to Creag a' Mhuilinn with its phone mast, which had great views over Loch Alvie and Strathspey in general. I dropped further down the south ridge from here before edging west (finally out of the wind) to cross a deer fence. This was a bit heathery but there were paths about - perhaps a more zig-zagging route might have kept me on some kind of path.

Loch Alvie:
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An Sguabach from Creag a' Mhuilinn:
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I wasn't sure where I might cross the Allt Each. It was in the bottom of a ravine looking quite impressive but not crossable. A path followed the top of the ravine down towards West Delfour, where hopping over a few rocks got me over with little bother. However this still left me with the Allt an Fhearna to cross, which was a little wider. Fortunately still possible to keep my feet dry hopping from rock to rock, before I was on a good track, followed by brand new tarmac past Alvie Lodge (I think this may have accidentally slid off the back of a lorry bound for the new A9 :wink: )

Allt Each:
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Then it was into the destruction zone, where thankfully the new A9 underpass was fully functional. Once I had crossed the (really old) A9, I was straight into the woods on an unmarked track which took me to the railway bridge at Speybank. I had been looking forward to finding my way up the banks of the Spey from here - it always looks so attractive from the train (although not the new Badenoch Way/Speyside Way extension which runs directly alongside the railway - that's a bit dull).

Speybank with Creag Mhigeachaidh behind:
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It was back into the woods briefly, inadvertently herding up some sheep before I popped out in a lovely green meadow on the banks of the Spey. Despite the Spey being just there, I couldn't really see much of it yet as there are quite thick trees and bushes along the top of the bank.

Sheep in the woods:
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Geal-charn Mor:
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I finally found views of the river. I was away from the official 'way' here as the river bank seemed much more attractive. It led me to a lower plain next to the river and on to the Duchess of Gordon's monument, which appears much more hidden away than the Duke's one. In some ways it seemed a shame that the official 'Speyside Way' didn't come this way, instead tracking through planted forestry next to the railway, but then again, the route is still there to be followed if you seek it out, and probably the better for it.

Finally the river:
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Ord Ban behind:
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Duchess of Gordon's monument:
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From the Duchess's monument, it was up through mixed woodland and over a stile and the Kinrara House drive. I just headed straight up onto Torr Alvie, which was pathless but easy going, and before long I hit the track that follows the summit ridgeline. Reasonable views from the Waterloo Cairn and really good ones from the monument itself, especially across Loch Alvie. Well worth another stop.

Towards Sgor Gaoith:
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Memorial cairn on Torr Alvie:
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Geal-charn Mor from Torr Alvie:
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The monument:
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Loch Alvie:
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Carn Dearg Mor and Craigellachie:
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I picked a way steeply down to the east of the monument. I had been planning to drop right off the NE nose, but I'm glad I didn't, as it turned out to be quite outcroppy when I walked beneath it afterwards. There was more tarmac around the lochan of Bogach, but the afternoon light was lovely now. I think I could probably have followed the river bank some more here, but I was thinking about my train home and hopefully a pint before it, so headed for the official 'way' instead. Some more exploring for another time.

Bogach:
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Torr Alvie across Bogach:
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Part of the new Speyside Way:
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The Lairig Ghru - the plateau has finally cleared:
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After crossing beneath the railway just outside Aviemore, I made an error by trying to cut a corner, and ended up on top of a vertical cutting that the road went through. Oh well! Then a quick diversion to the Old Bridge Inn for a pint before catching the train home.

A good day out - half high and half low, with some interesting new places investigated. I've always fancied finding a way along the Spey between Kingussie and Aviemore, but it was well worth combining with a hill or two as well.
Last edited by malky_c on Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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malky_c
 
Posts: 6084
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Location: Glasgow/Inverness

Re: Craigellachie, Geal-charn Mor and Torr Alvie from Aviemo

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:57 pm

Good to see three known routes neatly linked together. You should start your own walking web site! :D
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dogplodder
 
Posts: 3817
Munros:237   Corbetts:65
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Joined: Jul 16, 2011

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