These three had been tempting me for a while, but I wasn't sure about a 2 or 3 day expedition involving the bothy because I can't usually do more than one day in a row in the hills due to issues with my foot. Before I went I was trying to find out information about how far I could cycle,and the consensus seemed to be the Luibeg ford but that saves you about 17km of walking which helps. The long range forecast looked great so I planned to do it this saturday. A couple days before and the weather changed, now MWIS was stating 45-65mph winds with walking difficult especially on the Cairngorm plateau so I thought - here we go again, another chance missed.
I went for it anyway, reckoning if nothing else I could check out the bike hike route to Corrour then back down off the Devil's Point. Knowing that wind is the worst enemy, I was firmly prepared to back out.
Left Aberdeen 5am, picking up Scott along the way and got to Linn of Dee at 6.45. The ticket for the car park is £3 now, and thanks to the kind person in the shop in Braemar (which wasn't officially open) I had the right money - she gave me 2 quid cos I'd forgotten to take cash with me!
Biked out to Derry Lodge, no issues and then crossed the bridge to head around to Luibeg. I am quite experienced on a mountain bike and found the track fine - my pal isn't quite to experienced so he was a little slower and pushed up a few rockier sections, but by and large it's not too bad. Made it to the Luibeg ford in an hour from Linn of Dee and left the bikes there.
The walk round to Corrour bothy from there is easy as you basically follow a contour on a decent path. A guy did pass us on a mountain bike, but I'd be worried about bursting a tyre as it's very stony in sections. It's an hour's fast walk so you'd probably not gain much by forcing the bike along there. As I read before I went, you have to "want" to take the bike along it, it doesn't make it easier.
Up from the bothy we went to Devil's Point and the wind was starting to build. It was gusty enough in the glen to blow my walking poles along the ground, so I was fully expecting to turn back. Up onto the plateau at 900m and the winds were pretty severe. I had to put my sunglasses on to stop my eyes watering, but it wasn't at the point of not being able to walk, so continued up to the summit. There's a good shelter cairn there although the wind wasn't actually too bad at the top. Definitely worst down at the bealach. 1hr from bothy up to summit.
Next was on to Cairn Toul, and we had to go through the wind funnel again - questions being asked in our heads about whether it was worth carrying on, but again once we got up a bit we found the wind had dropped. It's a bit stony and bouldery in places up there but this is nothing compared to getting to the peak of Cairn Toul which is very stony under foot. By now we were in cloud and going was slow, but still the wind wasn't out of control so we summitted CT being cautious about gusts near the summit. 1hr 45 from Devil's Point to Cairn Toul summit.
Double checked the direction then headed back down and towards the final munro of the day, Angel's Peak. Once off the stony summit of Cairn Toul the going was ok, although back into the belly of the storm and the wind was pretty strong at this point! It's not a bad jaunt between the two tops however, and we made it between them in about 40 minutes, being treated to some amazing views every so often as the wind cleared the clouds out the way.
Now it was time to head back the way we came which we were dreading, as the boulder field was no fun, and there was no obvious path cut around the contour to avoid Cairn Toul peak again. It's not too bad, bit of an ankle turner and you have to avoid the occasional boulder seam but soon we were going back over the subsidiary peak at 1213m (Stob Coire an t Saighdeir) and then down to the plateau before the descent to the bothy. We were very glad to get out the wind and the descent to the bothy was pretty quick. We made it from Angel's Peak to bothy in 1.5hrs.
A quick pit stop in the bothy then we were off again, the quick march around to pick up the bikes and fire back along the track to Linn of Dee. Back in Aberdeen by 6 o'clock - total trip time 9hrs (2 bike, 7 walk).
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.