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Beautiful Braemar

Beautiful Braemar

Postby weaselmaster » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:25 pm

Munros included on this walk: Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn a' Mhàim, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 03/02/2018

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 33.7 km

Ascent: 1650m

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This winter business is a real nuisance. I have a plan to get my Munros done and there's the unpredictability of high winds, snow on the roads and avalanche risk to factor in. Damned annoying! Most of the hills I had considered for this short weekend involved an ascent from the north/nor-east which is exactly the worse aspect on the various "pizzas of death" re avalanche risk. Casting about for other possibilities I came up with Carn a'Mhaim from Linn of Dee, then the 3 Cairnwell hills which I reckoned should be fine. It did seem a bit of a long walk to Carn a'Mhaim for 1 Munro, but then Linn of Dee is a favourite place, so I reckoned I could suffer it :wink:

We drove up on Thursday,an accident on the M80 slowing things down even more than usual. Weather when driving up to the Glenshee Ski Centre was perfectly horrible - high winds blowing spindrift everywhere, several inches of snow on the road, dazzle from the giant moon. Arrived at Linn of Dee around 8pm and set up camp at the car park - no snow at ground level. Up earlyish the next morning to walk in to Derry Lodge and along the track that leads to the Lairig Ghruleann Laoigh Bheag. We were surprised to see how little snow there was on Meall an Lundain and the lower reaches of Derry Cairngorm, although the hills further west shone an ominous blue/white. The sky was overcast, but occasionally shafts of sunlight would brighten up the hillsides. As usual the river and the trees were lovely. We made Derry Lodge, noting that a large branch had fallen off the tree we like to camp beneath, right onto our preferred spot. Hmm. Onwards over the boggy section then rejoining the track again. We headed up to the Luibeg Bridge as Allison didn't much like the look of the river crossing and then we were on the skirts of Carn a'Mhaim.

ImageDSC00535 by Al, on Flickr

Upside down tree
ImageDSC00537 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00538 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00539 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00540 by Al, on Flickr

Carn a'Mhaim
ImageDSC00542 by Al, on Flickr

Carn Toul/Devil's Point
ImageDSC00543 by Al, on Flickr

Last time we'd headed to the summit from the direction of Beinn MacDhui, enjoying the narrowish ridge but missing out on the sense of the mountain in its own right. A steady 500m ascent took us gradually summitwards. Wind had stripped a fair bit of the snow in the upper sections. Ahead of us was Carn Toul and the Demon's Penis - I'm looking forward to another traverse from Braeriach when the nights get longer. Onwards to the 1014m cairn then to the summit proper, obscured by clag. We retrace our steps, enjoying a couple of long bum-slides on the way down and noting with some irritation that blue sky appears at the summit about 10 minutes after we've left it. :sick:

ImageDSC00544 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00545 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00548 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00549 by Al, on Flickr

Evidence of our bum slides :lol:
ImageDSC00550 by Al, on Flickr

Clear at the top now...
ImageDSC00553 by Al, on Flickr

Back down to the track, which has some more footprints on it by now. We risk the river crossing, which is fine and enjoy some fine sunshine on the walk back to the car. A fine day out - a good winter hill this one.

ImageDSC00554 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00556 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00557 by Al, on Flickr

Rather than spend another night in the car park we decide to mosey along to Braemar campsite and have the luxury of a shower (not the hottest or most powerful 6/10). One other tent in the camping area. Cold as we went to sleep. Overnight we had several inches of snow but the road along to Glenshee was gritted and clear. Bit of a culture shock to be there in the midst of ski-season: lots of cars being marshalled into the car park; odd looks from the other folk as we walked along to the centre without any skis. Stopped to ask one of the helpers which route we should take up Carn Aosda - "just keep to the sides" was the answer. We wandered up between the ski-tow and the fence, making use of snow shoes in the soft powder. Steep but short, we were at the summit cairn in no time - the advantages in starting off at 650m :lol:

ImageDSC00558 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00559 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00560 by Al, on Flickr

Not much visibility as we set off NW towards Carn a'Gheoidh - sometimes there were icy footprints to guide us, sometimes nothing. The wind chill was considerable, a constant flutter of brittle snowflakes. We made the cairn on Gheoidh, sat and had lunch behind the rocks and prepared for the ascent on The Cairnwell. Retracing our steps where we could see them back towards Ski country, picked up the line of the ski fence and followed that to the mast decorated summit of The Cairnwell. Took a line down to the left of the chairlift, Allison being slightly paranoid about things falling on her head from above. Definately the quickest Munro summit to car park this one! managed to squeeze out of the sardine parking and back down the road by tea time.

The top of Gheoidh - honest
ImageDSC00561 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00562 by Al, on Flickr

Towards the Cairnwell
ImageDSC00563 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00564 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00565 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00566 by Al, on Flickr

715m of ascent for three Munros!
ImageDSC00567 by Al, on Flickr
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