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All there is in the Cairngorms

All there is in the Cairngorms


Postby walkingpoles » Sat May 19, 2018 12:05 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuird, Beinn a'Chaorainn (Cairngorms), Beinn Bhreac, Beinn Bhrotain, Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Avon, Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Bynack More, Cairn Gorm, Cairn Toul, Carn a'Mhaim, Derry Cairngorm, Monadh Mor, Mullach Clach a'Bhlair, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Sgor Gaoith, The Devil's Point

Date walked: 13/05/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 170 km

Ascent: 11000m

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The idea was to see how far I'd get in a week. That's how it turned out. Pics are at the end.

My former flatmate joined me for the first two days, which made things easier (thanks for carrying half the food!). We drove to Invercauld bridge and hiked up Glen Slugain. Somewhere there is a secret howff where we left our bags before making a round over Ben Avon and Ben A'Bhuird. Great tor climbing on the former. It was the correct to ford the Quoich water 2km further upstream than the official ford. We had the howff to ourselves and left the next morning through a lovely forest towards Beinn Bhreac. The Scottish pines look awesome. After reaching the lowest point we decided to climb Beinn Bhreac via its west side. Lots of heather made it a rather slow ascent. All the ptarmigans probably didnt like us going there and we didnt like it so much neither. Great ptarmigan spotting though. In hindsight it would probably have been sensible to climb Ben A'Bhuird again. We continued through the fog to Beinn A'Chaorainn where we split and my companion went back via the secret howff to the car only to get a text message from his boss that he could have another day off if he wanted. I walked north to the ford of Avon (pants off and quick in this meltwater conditions). I thought to have a lonely night in the refuge when some DoE kids came to pitch their tents next to the bothy. As an unexpected bonus I got to listen to some music I can't even tell the genre. I left the youngsters to their cooking and climbed Bynack More in the evening. Wonderful tors on the way.

The refuge has the interior design of a big shoe box and comes with a spade. Cosy enough. After a night with lots of sleep I followed loch Avon and climbed Cairn Gorm via a steep but well maintained path. The wind was getting atrocious but I wasn't exposed to it until the last push to the summit. I descended the same way (my backpack was waiting at loch Avon) and got to the shelter stone. Somebody left a boulder mat there. Brilliant, or so, I thought. Left my bag in there and ascended to Loch Etchachan. That's where the rain hit me sideways. I made my way up Beinn Mheadhoin in no visibility and much wetness, leaning against the wind. Once on the plateau it turned into flying on instruments (viewranger on my mobile) to find the summit tor. I didn't dare to climb it in these wet and windy conditions but simply walked around it and descended back to the loch. I got deviated too far south and had to cross an unnecessarily ugly screefield, but I made it back to the loch in still good enough spirits to climb Derry Cairngorm. Navigation was easier over there, found the two cairns and hiked back to the shelterstone. I considered it windproof when checking it out earlier. Well, it isn't. Certainly not with the horrid southernly winds I was confronted with. I built a shelter within the shelter with my mat and my emergency blanket to have a fairly good nights rest, though. Achievement unlocked.

In the morning I was lucky that the rain stopped. There was a mix between sunshine and snowfall when I peeked from under the stone (stunning view, see photos. Camera got so severely soaked the previous day that it refused to work for the remainder of this trip. Mobile pics from here on.). Late start, but I am not the quickest when you first have to wring out the trousers before putting them on. I also considered this day as a practical rest day. I simply walked over Ben Macdui and Carn a Mhaim to Corrour bothy where I met a severe outdoor enthusiast. We had a fire going and enjoyed a calm evening in the bothy.

I woke up fully replenished and headed up the path towards Devils point. It was very sunny, but the wind picked up speed again. Definitively not funny. Fortunately it was mostly blowing from the cliffs than against it. Paying respect to the wind I followed the ridge a bit inside on the plateau and climbed Carmintoul and Angels peak. I gazed into the abyss on the other side of the ridge, very carefully, the wind being such a serious player on that day. I followed the ridge to Braeriach which was still covered in snow. I found the cairn and walked back on the other side of the plateau. Visibility was still great, so it was against better judgement that I turned right, passed by some lochs and climbed Sgor Goaith. The wind only became stronger and I had to walk on a fairly tilted angle and turn my face the other way. Fortunately the munro summit was the nearer of both tops and I reversed direction to climb the Mullach something, close to Glen Feshie, which I considered to be a sad bog hill. Navigation through the bog wasn't always straightforward, though. The bog was rather dry but not of the easily ignorable kind. In the end I reached a road which leads over the summit. In all, a stupid munro but the one that made me proudest to reach that day. I still had to cover lots of boggy ground back to the Devils point which I reached quite late. The contours of Cairn Toul made a good direction to follow. Only it looked so far, that it felt quite unreal that I was standing on it half a day earlier. I made it back to the fairly full bothy at nightfall for dinner and some chat.

Another late start after my long day, despite the now great conditions. The wind had completely stopped and the sun was shining brightly. I climbed back up towards the Devils point and headed over to Mhonad Mor and Beinn Bhrotain. I descended via the col between the two munros which was a bit dodgy, but it worked OK. It was already 3 o'clock when I reached the bothy to eat lunch. I took the shortcut to the Hutchinson hut which basically meant climbing Ben Macdui again. But there is an easy path and so it was certainly quicker then following the valleys via Derry Lodge. At loch Etchachan I walked back up to Beinn Mheadhoin. A lot easier when you can see something. Climbing the summit tor was way simpler than anticipated. Mission accomplished in climbing all the munros. Back at the loch I considered briefly to sleep again under the shelter stone, fearing that the Hutchinson will be overcrowded, but luckily dismissed that thought. Most folks at the Hutchy stayed in tents, there was plenty of room for the five of us who slept inside (whereas apparently the shelter stone was occupied). The evening was so mild, even well after sunset, that I cooked and ate outdoors together with three nice and interesting folks on a bothy trip. Inside the bothy there was a fire going but also lots of talks about karma and stuff. Not my kettle of fish and I was really glad to share the evening with likeminded people. Karma was still going strong when we went inside to find our places for the night.

We woke up to horrid rain, pitying the folks sleeping outside. Some guys coming from the valley passed by the bothy completely soaked. We only left after the rain cleared. I basically walked out to Aviemore in a straight line: up to the loch Etchachan, down to the Loch Avon, up to Cairn Gorm (nearly), down to the Skicentre and into the Rothiemurchus forest. I enjoyed seeing the forest with its pines, broom, gorss and blueberry bushes. The footpath down from the skicentre is closed due to a landslide, but it is easy to circumvent. I fell asleep on that path, thinking that nobody won't come here, to be awakened by a curious dog that came quite close to my face. Got scones and tea at Glenmore, stupidly decided to walk a bit further, had a look at Loch Morlich (nice, I admit) and then followed the old logging road to Aviemore. Quite hard ground and my right shin started to hurt badly. Oh well. I made it in time for fish'n chips and boarded the last train to Edinburgh. At Perth I met two folks again from the Hutchinson bothy. You always meet twice.:)

tl,dr:
I covered 170km of distance, 11km of height, climbed 18 munros, had some great nights in bothies or shelters, met great folks, lost a kilo or two and threw away my boots in Edinburgh. Already planning my next trip.

Route not accurate for the first 2 days due to the secret.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Why suddenly no rain?
ShelterStone.jpg
Waking up from under the shelter stone


Approaching Corrour bothy
WeeDee.jpg
Wee Dee near Corrour bothy


A classic
Corrour.jpg
Corrour bothy with Devils *


Abstract Jaxter pose on Bein Bhrotain
Beinn Bhrotain.jpg
Fooling around


Climbing all the munros: top of Beinn Mheadoin
Mheadhoin.jpg
Wohoo


Rothiemurchus forest
Rothiemurchus.jpg
Scenic. Very scenic.
Last edited by walkingpoles on Tue May 22, 2018 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Sat May 19, 2018 11:18 pm

That was just pure greed cramming in all those hills. :shock: :lol:
Seriously though... good effort. A great few days. Just a pity the weather wasn't a bit kinder.
:clap: :clap:
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby Jaxter » Sun May 20, 2018 11:11 am

Love the Jaxter pose :lol: :lol:

The cairngorms are awesome to spend time in - perfect treking country 8) (but you forgot the Corbett Sgor Mor :wink: )
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby walkingpoles » Sun May 20, 2018 3:33 pm

Cairngormwanderer wrote:That was just pure greed cramming in all those hills. :shock: :lol: UBX ÑQ
Seriously though... good effort. A great few days. Just a pity the weather wasn't a bit kinder.
:clap: :clap:


It's easy to get carried away up there. :D Amazing place through and through.
If I were living in Scotland I'd have probably gone for a more leasurely approach though. :wink:

Jaxter wrote:Love the Jaxter pose :lol: :lol:

The cairngorms are awesome to spend time in - perfect treking country 8) (but you forgot the Corbett Sgor Mor :wink: )

I should rehearse taking pics of doing the pose myself. All tries didn't look as good as the version in stone. :D
And it's good to have an excuse for going back. Sgor Mor and some climbing sound like a good plan for another outing. Next time will be hiking on the west side, though.
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby rockhopper » Tue May 22, 2018 12:33 pm

Jings :shock: Here was me thinking I'd covered these hills pretty efficiently but this takes the biscuit ! - cheers :)
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby walkingpoles » Wed May 23, 2018 9:55 am

Waaaah, a penguin hands me a biscuit. *melt* :D :D

I climbed some mountains nearly more than once, so not so efficient (unless you look at it from a training point of view. I am certainly fitter than before I set off :) ). And it was worth the detours. :D Shame that I won't be able to use my freshly acquired local knowledge anytime soon.
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby Sgurr » Wed May 23, 2018 11:41 am

walkingpoles wrote:Waaaah, a penguin hands me a biscuit. *melt* :D :D

.


Not just any penguin. Rockhopper himself
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby walkingpoles » Wed May 23, 2018 1:42 pm

Sgurr wrote:
Not just any penguin. Rockhopper himself


Amazing video! The look on the faces of the gentoos is priceless. The only ever rockhopper I saw was too busy breeding and didn't hop. Looking forward to meeting some more later this year. :D happydance
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby Alteknacker » Wed May 23, 2018 2:42 pm

What a great way to spend a week - can't imagine anything better except the same in fine weather!

Interesting to see that Jaxter has started an art movement... (there's also a [poor] imitation of the pose in Mancunian's report :D )
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat May 26, 2018 9:22 am

It says Time Taken: 7 Hrs. I take it this is a typo and it was really seven weeks?
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby walkingpoles » Sun May 27, 2018 12:16 pm

Alteknacker wrote:What a great way to spend a week - can't imagine anything better except the same in fine weather!

Interesting to see that Jaxter has started an art movement... (there's also a [poor] imitation of the pose in Mancunian's report :D )


What can I say, Jaxter rocks. Time to jump on! :D

Corncerning weather, here is a pic to determine the beaufort scale: Gusts forming on Loch Avon.
Highlands-01.jpg
Loch Avon before the rain


Caberfeidh wrote:It says Time Taken: 7 Hrs. I take it this is a typo and it was really seven weeks?

Well spotted. Fishing at Loch Avon and the restaurant at the wrong side of the Cairn Gorm help with the food supply. :D Anyway, have a penguin
Gentoo.jpg
Jumping Gentoo
Last edited by walkingpoles on Sun May 27, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: All there is in the Cairngorms

Postby walkingpoles » Sun May 27, 2018 12:20 pm

doublepost, sorry
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