Creagan A` Chaise and Carn a Ghillee Chearr 20.5km 880mt 6h 2nd June
Wester Rynaballoch, the Haughs o Cromdale. Parking @ GR 102285, back along the Speyside way to where a good track leads S between fields skirts trees for a heather slope leading to Chaise. Rain during the nite so leather boots , take wet gear just in case. Cloudy with mist in the glen, but no rain here and little wind. Heard a cuckoo calling, a good sign? From track to path then crest the ridge for a needle shaped Coronation Cairn made for Edward 7th. Eat and drink. The broad L shaped top gives 2km of tough wet travel to reach a trig and a cairn massive, built for Queen Victoria`s Golden Jubilee. This recalls the one I saw on the Cheviot when doing the Donalds . I take a look around. It`s impressive - they must have loved the Royalty up here.
The higher Cairngorms still in cloud. I can see yesterdays hills and nearly 8km away my next Top. A drink, then return to, and pass the needle - drop down into deeper bogland. It`s becomes a chore - a rough 3km of, so just blank it out and go. Past the col, I rise with the land, but the going remains the same. Sheep here, I can`t see but they must have webbed feet. There`s Carn Eachie with its stone cairns, rest, then more bog to reach at long last the trig point of Ghillee Chearr. Views - another wind farm, Ben Rinnes looking good and some lesser hills. Further on lies Creag an Tarmachan - the location of a WW2 aircrash site, but a wee bit far to go today. I`ve had enough. The sun comes out and with it the heat as I plod back to the col, down to the heather slopes to the farm and car. Having run out of clean/ dry socks, it`s time to head home. Pleased I`d completed the full walk but nae wonder the heilanders got beat if they haed tae run thro this stuff.
I shoulda split this trek into two walks, magical thing hindsight. Seen enroute, no folk , sheep buzzards and plenty birds. Thought I saw a ringed ouzel up top, but maybe that was wishful thinking. Good three days - 10 hills climbed and a corner off my Grahams chart.
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