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Beinn a Chaorainn & Beinn Bhreac

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:31 pm
by bigbertie
Last Thursday frustration was building - I hadn't been to the Highlands for 3 weeks!) so I checked the forecast for Friday - bad in the West so I decided to leave that to the masochists (wisely I think - see Doogz post!) and headed for Braemar. Friday I started from Linn of Dee car park at 8.30 and headed up Glen Lui.
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Glen Lui with Carn a Mhaim ahead

I had vaguely thought of doing Carn a Mhaim and Derry Cairngorm but as it was clear and dry in the glen I decided to continue up Glen Derry and try Beinn a Chaoruinn - if the going was bad on the tops I could then return straight down the glen, otherwise I could continue over Beinn Bhreac. The path up the east side of Glen Derry is excellent (I didn't realise it had been a land rover track till I read the walkhighlands report).
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Old scots pines in Glen Derry

Further up the glen was getting more desolate and the weather was looking gloomier - had I made a mistake? Near the top of the glen you can see into Corrie Etchachan with its gloomy crag. I could just make out the Hutchinson hut where I once spent a really miserable February night - it's not 5 star! (But it's better than being outside)
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Corrie Etchachan looking ominous

At the top of the glen I turned east up Beinn a Chaoruinn, now in light but steady rain. Luckily the going was easy and there was not as much soft snow as I had feared. I made several attempts at a summit photo, but gave up when my hands froze and the camera was running with water. Here's the best....
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Too miserable to stop for a cup of tea

As I was already soaked I decided I might as well push on to Beinn Bhreac. Fortunately the boggy bits were covered with fairly hard snow, so it was an easy crossing, enlivened by a view to the West over Corie Etchachan (see photo - the crag at left back is Coire Sputan Dearg, the centre crag is Creagan a Corie Etchachan, and at back right you can see Shelter Stone crag...I think).
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the cloud clears to reveal three major crags

Now it was down to the glen and the long walk out. It was Friday night and I passed lots of people heading up to the bothy near Derry Lodge - it must have been full. I was glad to be going back to civilisation.

Re: Beinn a Chaorainn & Beinn Bhreac

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
by Myth
Nice pics bb, and well done - I wouldn't have liked that much cold, and my family draw the line at walking over melting snow - too horrid for words!
Walking in up that path I took a tumble into the Dee and broke a lovely old Pentax ME Super camera much to my disgust.
Always seems such a LONG start to any walk trotting up the glen there.
Is it just me or are the bothies down there always full? I've had to bivvy outside a couple of times.

Re: Beinn a Chaorainn & Beinn Bhreac

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:34 pm
by kevsbald
NIce description and photaes.
It's the walk back out of Glen Luibeg, which always gets me.
The car never seems to get any closer. I liked the photo of the summit - nice wind chill at 4000ft? :D

Re: Beinn a Chaorainn & Beinn Bhreac

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:36 pm
by bigbertie
Yes the walk up to Derry Lodge is very pleasant, but frustrating when you seem to have to do it as an extra to any mountain expedition. I could almost be tempted to break my rule of not using a bike for Munro bagging! And the bothies are often full, especially Friday and Saturday - they are not that big anyway.
Here's one more photo - an unusual fallen tree polished on the underside of the arch - probably lots of deer having a good scratch.
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scratching station for the deer?

Edit - bad luck about the camera Myth - I won't ask for details of your encounter with the Dee!