OK, Part 2 after Carn non Fhidleir/An S yesterday as Part 1
Decent bite of food and good service at The Gathering (next to the Bothy/mountain gear shop). Several places shut as it was a Tuesday so that means I'll go back to this place as it caters seven days and was good !
Camped over night at Caravan Park, damn decent sleep after the 40.55km yesterday, only woken up once by a duck with a helluva quack on him/her. Decided we'd sleep until 7ish rather than silly o clock, legs would need all the rest they could get. Helped by road to Glenshee being closed overnight so no loud cars whizzing by. A hot shower in the morning is a good way to start the day and the sun was out big time.
Off to Linn of Dee just after 8am, via Coop for sandwiches and pork pies etc. Campsite brekkie of weetabix and bananas whilst packing up. Left car park at 8.40am and there must have been a dozen or so cars already there. Had applied suncream already as well
5km to Derry Lodge and I knew from Carn a Mhaim trip that biking up to Luibeg burn (or just before) was worth the effort. However, here's where our friend, Morna, overdid it with her thin cyclocross - trying to bash water channels gave her a puncture and we did not have a pump (son and I knew what to expect and had full MTBs so we had not bothered either). This was 6.7km in so not far from the Ford (which is fine for crossing on foot just now) but meant we had a problem to deal with at the end of the day .....
The path after the Ford is excellent if a bit damp in places but off we marched and the sun had disappeared so no need to top up sun cream. As day wore on cloud cover got a bit lower in fact but that suits me and my fair skin
The path around the Carn a M spur runs at about 600m give or take then you turn to see Corrour Bothy in the distance, a welcome sight even on a dry, warm day. The footbridge is just a smidge under 12km from the car park and that was 2hrs bang on for us having done 8km in the first hour with help from the bikes.
Like the day before, used the bothy for a break, dog rehydrated in the river Dee and then looked up at the path into the Gods and Cairn Toul across the way. The path is fine and once you get your uphill gear into sync it's fine. I chose the fainter path that stays on the LHS of the burn as it seemed more direct, no worries in the dry weather. Dropped bags to save a few ounces of energy for later and trotted over to bag Devil's Point, summitted in 2hrs 55mins from car park including the break, 14.21km. What is weird is looking at Ben Macdui and Cairn Toul from a summit well over 1000m high and thinking how low you are !
Feeling chuffed now, bashed across the 1200m+ top which is not a Munro (!) to get to Cairn Toul, what a bleeper of a mountain, fantastic and view stellar even with the cloud around. It's just over 3km from Devils Point summit, quite a lot of boulder bashing though. The third Munro is very close by at 1km away and there we finally met some people so had a nice chat (chap from Norfolk who clearly loves his hills and wishes he lived nearer them !). Food and drink on board, could see a waterfall in the distance so dog happy as he was pretty thirsty by now.
Our friend Morna had been to Braeriach from Aviemore side and though we were looking at 4km to summit then long way down to return via Lairig Grhu - little did she know that my planning efforts include reading reports by fellow mountain goats who seek direct routes where possible :
Braeriach is indeed a majestic hill, the buttresses are formidable and the views magnificent. Also found a carved stone that had clearly been an upright slab at some time in its life, photo to follow, Anyone know ?
So, follow the path to the very first bealach and basically you can drop straight down, safely, to Lairig Ghru. In fact some of the top is pathed but no cairn to mark start of it nor can you spot it until below it. In essence the earlier you start down before the grassy part of the bealach the better the chance of hitting the path.
From hereon little to write - the Lairig Ghru is what it is and the path is not fast going as pretty bumpy, stony, uneven and wet. However, hats off the the builders and it does get you there. It's over 4.5km back to the turn off for the Bothy, feels like longer. Met a nice chap with his dog who had walked up from Blair Athol ! Also a chap in very bright bivi/goretex gear hiding in some rocks (he assured us he was fine) at 3pm in the afternoon, seemed a tad odd ?!
Long walk back round foot of CaM to get back to the Ford, passed three people who were walking from Coylumbridge to Linn of Dee. Then back to the bikes. Decided I would bash on and see if could try to get the car up the landrover track. Did that and one gate open near road but second barrier locked So I put my bike on the rack, changed socks/shoes and marched back towards Derry Lodge. Cameron and Morna and Baillie (the dog) were walking and carrying the effed bike so I waited at the bridge then got on son's bike with Morna's on my shoulder a free wheeled down the hill back towards the car park. The mileage etc does not include this "optional extra" leg
Coke Zero from Coop went down a treat with the back-up lucozade left in the car. Boy what a couple of days, absolutely brilliant. My views were enhanced also by having wrapped up my specs in the inner of the tent when packing it away (clever boy) so had only a small pair of prescription sunglasses all day and for the drive home !
Will be back later in summer to get the 2x2 as a four from Derry Lodge, figure that's 5km in on bike, c20km around the four, coming down off Derry Cairngorm and then 5km bike out
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