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2 Days in the Cairngorms with night in Hutchinson Bothy

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:28 pm
by thorburn7
Been desperate to get into the Cairngorms again since last September when I cycled to An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir from the Linn of Dee. There's something magical about journeying through such a remote wilderness. Its calming and awe inspiring. To abandon the hustle and bustle of ordinary life and view nature in a land scarcely untouched is wonderful.
With 2 days of dry and warmish weather forecast and the daylight hours increasing once more I thought now was the right time to traverse the Faicaill ridge and hike into the heart of the Cairngorms and spend a night in the Hutchinson Memorial Hut.
Colin and I drove up to Aviemore at 7:30 from Greenock. Arriving at the Ski Centre at 10:30. We dropped into the Ranger office to document our plans and make sure they had a record of our route and time expected back. I can imagine they would get quite concerned if you just left your car there for 2 days without saying anything. I also left a note in the car window as I was scared the police might smash the window looking for a suicide note. Read about a family who went camping on an island in loch leven and the same thing happened to them so i was taking no chances :lol: .

We set off from the car park at 11:00 and headed along the path towards the Coire an t-Sneachda. This was a very pleasant walk and the views toward the Coire and back to Loch Morlich were stunning.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Coire an t-Sneachda with the snow fading away in the sun.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Colin climbing onto the start of the Faicaill ridge with a good view back to Loch Morlich.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

As ridges go this one manages to pack a lot into such a small area. A dramatic descent down is required before the real hands on part begins.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The meat of the Faicaill ridge is this brilliant scramble up onto the Cairngorm plateau. Not technically difficult but gives a good adrenaline rush on the way up.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Our first view of the great wilderness of the Cairngorms from the top of the Faicaill ridge.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

1.5hrs after reaching the Cairngorm plateau we were on top of the 2nd highest mountain in Britain.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Our traditional summit photo to capture our achiement of reaching the top. 15:00 on Ben Macdui
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The Cairngorms get a bad reputation of being full of rounded hills but there were plenty of crags as we descended off Ben Macdui on the way to Derry Cairngorm.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Our second Munro in sight. Derry Cairngorm.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Made it to the summit at 17:00. This had the honour to be my 130th Munro.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Right below Derry Cairngorm was our accomodation for the night. You can just make out the Hutchinson Memorial Hut in the distance.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Great little bothy and thankfully only had one other occupant staying the night. Shout out to Tommaso. Very comfortable night with no need for the fire. The fairy lights are a good touch haha.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

After tucking in to some pasta and a few drams of whisky we were ready for bed. The wooden bench was surprisingly okay. Tommaso and Colin chose to take the floor but there was definitely room for another on the bench.
Morning greeted us with glorious sunshine. Today was forecast to be a belter. Rose from our sleeping bags at 08:00 had some breakfast and set off back to the car at 09:30.

Commemorating our visit to the Hutchinson Bothy.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Waking up in the middle of nowhere with a view like this doesn't get any better.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr


Crossing Derry Burn on our way to bag 3 Munros on the way home.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The landscape of the Lairig an Laoigh on a summers day is enough to cheer up Scotsman who's survived the winter.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

I found myself taking a lot of panoramic photos to try and capture the sheer brilliance of the views but they never seem to be as good and actually being there. This is from the top of Beinn a'Chaorainn. You can just make out the granite tors on the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin. Our 2nd target of the day.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Summit of Beinn a'Chaorainn @ 11:45.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We descended Beinn a'Chaorainn back to the Lairig an Laoigh and began to climb the east side of Beinn Mheadhoin. From here we got a great view of our previous Munro top in the distance.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Our first glimpse of Munro summit #2 for today.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

These granite tors were incredible and made it seem as though we were in Nevada instead of the Cairngorms.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The true summit of Beinn Mheadhoin. Easy enough to get on top from this side.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Selfie on Beinn Mheadhoin. Wanted to get those granite tors in so this is my "summit selfie" even though we aren't actually on the true summit @ 14:30.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We descended to the south west over Stacan Dubha towards the Loch Avon basin.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Me with the view of Loch Avon as we climbed down toward the resting place of the shelter stone.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Took us a while to find it but the shelter stone is hidden in this boulder field somewhere :lol:
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Some kind soul marked the right one with a wee cairn on top.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Colin perched ontop of the shelter stone with Loch Avon behind. Its actually rather difficult to get up there.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We made our way round the side of Loch Avon via an extremely cold river crossing. Damn all that snow melt! Carn Etchacan rises above the boulder field.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Our path took us up Coire Raibeirt back onto the Cairngorm pateau.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The late evening sun was marvelous as we reached the top of Cairn Gorm.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Final summit of an amazing 2 days in the Cairngorms. Cairn Gorm @ 19:00.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Cracking sunset as we left the top and descended back towards the car.
Image2 days in the Cairngorms by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Got back bang on 20:00 which is exactly the time I gave to the Rangers office. No one was around so we posted a note through the wee post box thing outside and hopefully someone received the message.
Stopped off in Aviemore for food in Macduis before the long journey back to Greenock. Was midnight by the time we arrived and boy that was a phenomenal sleep that night! :lol:

Re: 2 Days in the Cairngorms with night in Hutchinson Bothy

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:13 am
by onsen
Well done fella's. :thumbup:

Re: 2 Days in the Cairngorms with night in Hutchinson Bothy

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:10 pm
by gld73
Looks like a great walk - and not often you get 2 days in a row of good weather like that in the Cairngorms! (Colin is a good person to have in photos mind, his hair is an excellent indicator of wind strength and direction :lol: )

Re: 2 Days in the Cairngorms with night in Hutchinson Bothy

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:53 pm
by Alteknacker
You got great weather to experience this wonderful place! The pics brought back many pleasant memories of my own visits to this area in September 2016. Unfortunately I didn't get the clear weather you did on Macdui :( . You'll struggle to better conditions like these!

"I found myself taking a lot of panoramic photos to try and capture the sheer brilliance of the views but they never seem to be as good and actually being there." Yes, this was exactly my experience - it's nigh on impossible to capture the scale of things in the Cairngorms. And one has to reshift one's focus from the summits to the corries, cliffs and glens to really see what the place is about.

I have found though, that if I view the panos on the biggest screen I can get my hands on, it doesn't improve things somewhat.