walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird


Postby RTMcB » Wed May 02, 2012 10:24 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuird, Ben Avon

Date walked: 28/04/2012

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 39.4 km

Ascent: 1677m

7 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).


Ben Avon Beinn a'Bhuird.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Excellent forecast meant we had to get out and up some Munro's! Driving north through Glen Shee, a wee sprinkling on snow was visible on the Cairnwell 3 circuit and to the east on the Glas Maol circuit. We thought it wouldn't be too bad further north. First mistake. :lol:

First task was to pitch the tent at the Invercauld campsite in Breamar. I overheard one bloke at reception saying it was "fresh" last night - second mistake - then site warden informed me the ducks were back with their ducklings but we had planned for this - earplugs.

Back on the road turned off 100m too early. Third mistake - ended up at the rear of Invercauld House. No sign of a "walker carpark" so out of there and back on road to find proper parking.

This would be a long route, so we brought the bikes to use on route out and on the return. Although for most of this route we had to carry the damn things :? I had to fix my front brakes cos they were binding too tight. As we set I asked SMRussell to test her gears, but in true OH style she just rolled her eyes and continued on her way - unbeknownst to her she was in the highest gear. She would regret her eye-rolling for most of the cycle out :lol:

Fourth mistake turning left before reaching Altdourie cottages. This was due to ourselves and another party confusing each other with which route to take. Track under the bikes didn't feel right and when Breamar Castle came into view it was time to start question our path. Rather than retrace our cycle we cut across a field over some barbed wire fences (careful with our sensitive bits :D ) and up a 50 degree slope with the bikes! The proper tarmac track was a relief to see. We hadn't lost too much time. But we were quite knackered.

Cycling up towards Slugain Lodge we meet a party of 3 blokes who had wild camped near to Clach a'Cleirich. They had turned back due to waist deep snow! It had taken them 30 mins to do 100m into the Glas Alt Mor. Great, coupled with the tiredness, this report put a downer on my aspirations for the day ahead. We headed on anyway, thinking if it were too bad we could still turn back.

Fifth mistake taking the low path into the Fairy Glen and onto Slugain Lodge - not great with bikes. Although, on the return the high road wasn't much better to cycle on. We made it out of the glen to find a great track interspersed with drainage ditches. I went over my handlebars on one of these, then my chain came off and SMRussell whacked her "Govinda-Jaya-Jaya" (as she put it at the time) on the cross beam :lol:

We locked up the bikes at the foot of Creag an Dail Mhor. A good call as the path ahead wasn't the best. We caught up a with a group of 3 blokes with 2 lovely dogs. They were taking a breather before attempting the snowy bit. The snow wasn't initially as bad as we had been told. It was knee deep but with the trail already broken it was ok going. That was until we reached the point were they had turned back, at the top of Clach a'Cleirich. From that point on it was a case of one step, shift weight onto leading foot, leading foot falls through light crust into thigh deep snow. Grrrrr! :( It took us an hour and a half to do the 2 km up to the Sneck. I was puffed out and ready to head for home but SMRussell, always full of beans, was keen to crack on to the summits.

50 mins later we were on top of Ben Avon's fantastic Tor, all covered in snow, not at all icy. Perfect views to Lochnagar and Bynack More 8) 20 mins from Ben Avon we caught sight a yellow Sea King MR chopper. It circled Ben Avon's summit twice then made a bee-line for us! MR dude gave us a wave, we gave him a thumbs up, then they shot off into the coires of Beinn a'Bhuird, then departed to Cairn Gorm.

Progress to Beinn a'Bhuird was swift. Passing a bit to close to Squareface for my liking but we were following in footsteps that were maybe 1-2 days old. Thankfully those who bagged B a'B before had dug out the cairn, plus 3 sets of footprints signposted the summit nicely, thank you! Only from the summit did the view to the west open up, it was pretty breath taking, a snowy winter coat on all the hills!

We headed due east to get off B a'B, with SMRussell engaging in a little bum-sliding, then retraced our steps and cycled back to car without incident. Just about a 1 km form the car we disturbed 3 stags and 4 does in a field. They crossed our path and headed off into the trees. That truly was the icing on the cake.

Made it back to Braemar for 21:30 to find that nowhere was selling hot food. Thus, dinner consisted of swift pint of Tennents (for me) and an IPA (for her) and 2 packets of crisps. Back to campsite to find a layer of frost on the tent, even with 2 sleeping bags it was coooold. Finally got to sleep at 4am. We didn't fancy continuing our bagging weekend so headed for home - with two cases of saddle sore! :lol:

28.04.12 A550 5.jpg
Southern part of B a'B from Slugian Lodge ruins

28.04.12 A550 6.jpg
a better view of B a'B south top

28.04.12 A550 9.jpg
View north from the Sneck

28.04.12 A550 47.jpg
Ben Avon sporting a snowy coat

28.04.12 A550 16.jpg
SMRussell summits Ben Avon

28.04.12 A550 32.jpg
My turn to strike a pose!

28.04.12 A550 19.jpg
View east from Ben Avon

28.04.12 A550 50.jpg
Lochnagar

28.04.12 A550 56.jpg
looking west from Beinn a'Bhuird

28.04.12 A550 57.jpg
pretty sure that's Ben Macdui

28.04.12 A550 63.jpg
glad someone dug out the cairn!

28.04.12 A550 72.jpg
View east back to Ben Avon

28.04.12 A550 79.jpg
Beinn a'Bhuird's corries
User avatar
RTMcB
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 64
Munros:147   Corbetts:18
Grahams:16   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:17   Hewitts:67
Wainwrights:63   
Joined: Dec 13, 2011

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby GariochTom » Wed May 02, 2012 11:17 pm

Enjoyable report and great photos - looks like you had excellent weather but the cycle and walk sounded hard work! Glad we opted for an easier hill a couple of weekends ago - we had been planning to do B a' B but without bikes!
User avatar
GariochTom
Wanderer
 
Posts: 142
Munros:148   Corbetts:34
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:1
Joined: Aug 5, 2008
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby SMRussell » Thu May 03, 2012 8:53 am

RTMcB wrote:we brought the bikes to use on route out and on the return. Although for most of this route we had to carry the damn things :?

Fifth mistake taking the low path into the Fairy Glen and onto Slugain Lodge - not great with bikes. Although, on the return the high road wasn't much better to cycle on.


Aye. If anyone thinks of doing this route with bikes unless you're an experienced mountain biker (unlike us) it would be best to ditch the bikes at NO123951 before Slugain Lodge. Both the low road to the lodge and high road over the lodge will involve pushing the bikes rather than riding (particularly the low path) and the well made path on approach to the main ascent is fine but the drainage ditches are a real pest.

It is certainly worth taking bikes though - the cycle back was braw :D and the hills themselves were grand!
User avatar
SMRussell
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 484
Munros:157   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:100
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby tamw51 » Thu May 03, 2012 9:48 am

Quite an adventure you had there! :D Bet you were glad you carried on well worth a bit of hardwork, exceptional views! Very Jealous!
User avatar
tamw51
Scrambler
 
Posts: 244
Munros:143   Corbetts:7
Grahams:5   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:2   
Joined: May 21, 2009
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu May 03, 2012 10:53 am

That was a good laugh :D I plan to do these with my bike as well, maybe i should just walk :lol: It appeared to be the weekend for getting waves from the Sea Kings as we got one at Knoydart on Sunday :D
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2940
Munros:18   Corbetts:206
Grahams:160   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:269   Hewitts:1
Islands:14
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby Fudgie » Thu May 03, 2012 10:59 am

It sounds like the two of you have a laughably shambolic day but still managed to keep plodding on and you should be applauded for that :lol:
User avatar
Fudgie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 994
Munros:96   Corbetts:20
Grahams:3   Donalds:7
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: Port Glasgow

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby sneachda » Thu May 03, 2012 11:53 am

Looks like you had a good day, despite the mishaps. Sometimes makes for a more memorable outing!

I was wondering if you could help me? Do you have a higher resolution image of the photo you have labelled "View east from Ben Avon" (it's near enough west BTW). What would be even better is if you had a photo looking into Garbh Coire, possibly from when you passed close to Squareface. I am thinking specifically of Stob Coire an t-Sluichd. I'm keen to see how much snow was there.

Many thanks in advance.
sneachda
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 5
Joined: May 3, 2012

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby SMRussell » Thu May 03, 2012 12:37 pm

sneachda wrote: What would be even better is if you had a photo looking into Garbh Coire, possibly from when you passed close to Squareface. I am thinking specifically of Stob Coire an t-Sluichd. I'm keen to see how much snow was there.


Unfortunately a snow flurry struck while we headed up from the sneck past Squareface so the camera was safely tucked away from the elements and was not taken out again until Ba'B summit. However, the photo "View north from the Sneck" offers some insight. Have attached a few other snaps which could also help.
28.04.12 A550 37.jpg
The Mitre Ridge1

28.04.12 A550 37-2.jpg
The Mitre Ridge2

Stob an t_S.jpg
Stob an t-S1

Stob an t_S2.jpg
Stob ant-S2
User avatar
SMRussell
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 484
Munros:157   Corbetts:9
Grahams:5   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:16   Hewitts:100
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby sneachda » Thu May 03, 2012 12:43 pm

Hi,

Thanks for posting the extra pictures - they are really helpful.

cheers,

S
sneachda
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 5
Joined: May 3, 2012

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby Alastair S » Thu May 03, 2012 1:01 pm

Nice one you two. I'm sure the wonderful (it testing at times) conditions more than made up for the mishaps :)

Doing these two without a MTB really knackered my knees for weeks and finally prompted me to getting one. The ride out may be hard going but it really pays off on the way home.
User avatar
Alastair S
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1283
Munros:78   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:22
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Location: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby RTMcB » Thu May 03, 2012 1:59 pm

Cheers all. MTB is great to use, especially here as the ascent is what makes up the last 20% of the route. The view from Slugain lodge was great, everything just opened up and revealed our targets for the day. Most of the Cairngorm Munros around Braemar benefit from cycling in.

Real shame we didn't get enough rest in order to do our planned walk on Sunday, Beinns Bhreac, a'Chaorainn, & Mheadoin from Derry Lodge. Maybe this weekend if the weather looks ok. :D
User avatar
RTMcB
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 64
Munros:147   Corbetts:18
Grahams:16   Donalds:25
Sub 2000:17   Hewitts:67
Wainwrights:63   
Joined: Dec 13, 2011

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby kevsbald » Thu May 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Sensational. :D
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2151
Munros:260   Corbetts:115
Grahams:76   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby skuk007 » Fri May 04, 2012 10:38 pm

Nice report and great pics, so much more snow than the West coast.
User avatar
skuk007
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1419
Munros:44   
Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Aug 24, 2009
Location: Bristol

Re: Snowy Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird

Postby LesMurray » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:09 pm

Great report - thank-you. Off there tomorrow. Looks the same!
LesMurray
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1
Munros:209   Corbetts:2
Joined: Sep 3, 2012

7 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 52 guests