Great walk but horrible drive home from Beinn Iutharn Mhor
by dogplodder » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:56 pm
Route description: Beinn Iutharn Mhòr and Càrn Bhac, Inverey
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Iutharn Mhòr
Date walked: 23/06/2018
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 30 km5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The early morning drive via Cock Bridge was beautiful, with the ever changing views of the Cairngorm range, Ben Avon's tors and an abundance of rabbits on the road to keep us entertained. We had an unfulfilled toilet stop at Braemar (toilets not open) and parked at Inverey. The plan was to start the walk all together then at the right pyschological moment Ian would change gear and speed off ahead in search of CaG while we continued at a normal person's speed towards BIM.
I told my grandson about the community Ey burn split and this being the last place in the east to speak Gaelic. Then we talked about the outlawed colonel, saw the sign for his bed but managed to resist going down to have a look. Well we did have a long way to go.
At some point before the next bridge Ian felt the urge to speed up and was soon a dot on the track ahead. On tracks where bikes are commonly used this man does not need a bike!
Spot Ian on the track ahead
Looking back at what we'd aleady done and still raring to go
Target hill now in view
We weren't bothered by insects as the wind was strong enough to deter even the clegs, which have been such a menace this summer.
Water surface whipped up in breeze
It was good to be back, walking the same track as three years earlier to climb Carn Bhac with Moira, and I was surprised by how familiar it felt, even down to the rocks left by glaciation as we approached the lodge. That time we had seen a white tailed eagle between the lodge and Carn Bhac but this time nothing more than lapwings and oyster catchers on the level stretches by the river.
Erratics approaching Altanour Lodge
There had been changes to the lodge since I was last there. Now it was fenced off, albeit with a stile which Jonny climbed to have a closer look.
Remains of former shooting lodge
It had been a while since we left home so we stopped here for a second breakfast, before starting the next stage of the journey - new ground for me, heading for BIM.
Beinn Iutharn Mhor (on right) is Gaelic for "the big hill mountain"
For part of the way we followed the burn
WH said there was a zig zag path, which we looked for as we approached the north east shoulder, but couldn't agree as to whether it was to the right of the craggy bit or to the left. So in the interests of research Jonny took the left and I took the right side. It was steep both sides and neither of us found any path, meeting up again on the ridge.
Rehydration point while looking across to Carn Bhac
Looking back to Altanour Lodge
Then followed the most enjoyable part of the route, along the ridge to the summit. We met a man with two small terriers on leads who said this was his third attempt on reaching the summit and this time he was determined to make it. We walked together for a bit but then he got talking to someone else, after which we never saw him again, which was strange as we went straight to the summit before retracing our steps along the ridge to where we left him and he was nowhere to be seen.
Heading along ridge to summit
Beinn Iutharn Mhor summit (1045m)
When we reached the summit I asked Jonny if he understood why folk do this and he said "Oh yes, I totally get it and I love it" which was so good to hear from a 15 year old.
Notch on skyline is the Lairig Ghru
Ridge looking northeast from summit
The guy with the terriers had said (before he vanished) that there was a zig zag path off the ridge but it was a bit round the corner from where I'd gone up. So my idea was to make for that on the way down. But that didn't quite go to plan. My excuse is that Jonny was telling me a very long joke which had me so absorbed I wasn't fully concentrating on the fact we started our descent down the side of the ridge too soon. At first it was fine. Easy walking on grassy slopes of a comfortable gradient. But then the slope steepened to not so comfortable and at the point we should probably have climbed back up. Jonny said later he was glad I didn't make us do that but our descent was briefly very steep and after my shoulder and ribs injury on Binnein Mor I wasn't keen to do any more damage! It wasn't the most elegant descent but we got to less steep ground from where we made for the burn that I knew would take us back to the lodge where we had arranged to meet Ian.
Our descent route from ridge
Allt an Stuic Ghiubhais
To allow for all eventualities I had suggested 4.00 as an approximate time to meet at the lodge. As it worked out we reached the lodge at exactly 4.00 but Ian had reached it at 3.00 before walking back a bit to meet us.
Reunited with Ian
Back at the lodge
Knowing we had another 5 miles walking on a hard surface I suggested we stop at the bridge and dip our feet in the water. It's worth the hassle of taking off boots and socks for the bliss of steeping swollen feet in cold water and I find makes them more comfortable for the rest of the journey.
Cooling hot feet
Banana for energy
Still 5 miles to get back to the car
The return along the glen went fine, although Jonny was noticeably less chatty than he'd been and I figured he was tired. But then he had walked close to 20 miles and I'd never walked that distance at his age! He perked up when I said we'd stop for fish suppers at the Hungry Highlander - which we did, although had to wait about 20 minutes as it was so busy.
It was while we were waiting I felt my eyes jabbing and when I checked in the car mirror they were badly bloodshot. It must have been the pollen. I'm mainly allergic to grass pollen and Glen Ey and its surrounding hills are covered with grass. It had been warm and sunny - optimum conditions for a high pollen count and despite daily antihistamine I was having the worst allergic reaction I've ever had in the way it affected my eyes.
I put eye drops in which gave momentary relief but had to stop twice more on the journey home to reapply. My eyes felt like hot needles jabbing and tears were streaming down my face, but as the only driver all I could was keep driving. The strong sun was low in the north west and even with the sun shield down and sun glasses on there were times I had to hold my hand up to see the road ahead. To add to this misery I kept seeing squashed rabbits on the road and the image I still see in my head is of the weasel hit by a car coming the other way, looping about in its death throes.
Eventually we reached the A9 but even then the sun was a problem. I was very relieved to complete that journey and get my passengers safely home! Apart from that it had been a fabulous day.
by Sgurr » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:45 pm
by dogplodder » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:28 pm
Sgurr wrote:Sun glasses and sun shield useless for me in those conditions. I bought a baseball cap (something I'd never usually wear) and pull it down low when driving into the sun. Do sympathise, it is horrid with allergic eyes.
Must have a handy baseball cap next time I'm likely to be in this situation!
by Sgurr » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:29 pm
by dogplodder » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:50 pm
Sgurr wrote:Did spot one in your third from last pic.
So there is!
by shredder » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:48 pm
by dogplodder » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:38 pm
shredder wrote:A fine day's walking and good to see the grandson enjoying it. That was a long trek for the young lad - will he go out with you again I wonder?
Good question. He did go out with me again, but nothing quite as long.
Reading this, what I'm concerned about is the bad hay fever reaction I had that day and the struggle it was driving home with streaming eyes. Moira and I are heading this way on Saturday (almost the same date) and I've elected to drive so the dog can come. Is this a wise decision given that I had a bad allergic reaction a few days ago?
A local GP says there's been an explosion of bad hay fever in past two weeks and thinks it's due to the clean air and the pollen not having pollutant particles to attach to making it sink, meaning there's more of it floating about. Maybe I should leave the dog and let Moira drive.
by Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:03 am
It hasn't happened since and I've always wondered what caused it.
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by tweedledog » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:59 am
Good luck with the walk. it would be a shame not to take Keira...
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