Magnificent 6 cairn gorms from Whitewell including Braeraich
by scottishkennyg » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:02 pm
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhrotain, Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Monadh Mor, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point
Date walked: 08/06/2013
Time taken: 14 hoursRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The walkabout commenced at 0730 from the car park at Whitewell. It began with a cycle up the track in Gleann Einich toward the Loch. The clouds ahead looked good and promised fine weather.
The track rises gradually and crosses water, one big river crossing justified the carrying of flip flops.
I arrived at the cairn signalling the start of the stalkers path up coire Dhondail at 0845 . The gradual rise up into the corrie offered fine views over loch Einich to Sgor Gaoith and back down to Rothiemurchus. A steep section of snow at the upper section caused a moment of panic and minor injury as I had no crampons or ice axe. Thankfully it only resulted in a cut finger and ice burns to forearm and damaged pride.
Anyway, the next section involved a gradual climb up to the expansive plateau . Then it was a gentle walk passed the Wells of Dee, the falls of Dee then up onto Braeriach summit at 1056.
The base of the cairn was under snow. The top afforded great views over to Ben Macdui and friends then along the massive granite cliffs of Coire Bhrocain and the surrounding steep rocks of An Garbh Choire leading to the other big ones still to come on this route.
Had a chat with a couple of lads who had set out from Corrour bothy at 6am, later found out from two others that they had woken them all up at 5 am by turning the light on.. The joys.
I continued along the massive cliff edges and passed the subsidiary top cairn, where there was 4 walkers enjoying an alfresco high level lunch on the edge of the cliffs with a view money could not buy.
I zig zagged down to the col before ascending the boulder covered slope to reach the cairn perched on top of Angels Peak at 1215 (Sgor an Lochain Uaine). Random ethereal thought occurred as to whether this top was given Munro status to counteract the “Devils” Point with the higher “Angel’s” Peak.
I proceeded along ridge and up over more dry slabs and boulders to reach the top of Carn Toul at1242. The two opposite cairns offered contrasting views of the surroundings.
Descended over steep boulders to reach gap before a climb up to reach the summit cairn high above the cliffs of the Coire an t Saighdeir and the Lairig Ghru at 1307.
Brief chat with other walkers and some much needed resting of the feet. I noticed loch nan Stuirteag below and speculated about adding another other one/two munros to this trek. (Monadh Mor, Beinn Bhrotain) Checked the OS map which was folded in such a way that I could not see the summit I was on. I plumped to descend to loch and reassess there. Of course I decided to go for it. I climbed steadily up ridge and then noticed the wee prominent peak to the left down Glen Geusachan with the prominent steep slopes on the south flank. ********, that looked very much like the mental image I had of the Devil’s point. No way. Anyway, I pressed on trying to con myself that it was not.
I arrived at the nice round summit cairn of MM at 1455 and chatted with two other walkers still refusing to accept that I had only down 4 munros.
I pushed on SE to BB. A pleasant stroll along a broad whaleback ridge passing a party of 4 before the drop to the col then a pull up over more boulder strewn terrain to reach the Beinn Bhrotain trig point and summit cairns at 1540.
I retraced steps back to MM summit cairn 1630 and refuelled savouring the last bottle of lucozade. I then opened the map out and verified that the fin back shape over there was the Devils Point (literally meaning the Pen.s of the demon) Exactly what I felt of myself.
Anyway after some deliberations I chose to go back over and climb the prominent edifice.
After a most enjoyable walk over the Cairn Toul flank I was on the tip at 1815, Munro number 6 plus extras. No wonder my feet were burning and aching. The top did however offer superb views down Glen Dee, Lairig Ghru, Glen Geusachan and the surrounding hills.
I spoke to a German walker who was on an 8 day holiday and wished him well with his quest for Ben Nevis via Ben Alder. I retraced the inward route beyond the loch and the three tents, take four, before contouring round the hillside then striking out over the vast plateau toward the distant prominent peak of Sgor Gaoith.
I eventually arrived at the cairn for Coire Dhondail at 830pm. I descended over higher ground to avoid the snow section and arrived safely at the bike at 9pm.
Changed into flip flops to allow air into the feet and just enjoyed the rapid cycle ride back to the car arriving at 2145. I really appreciated the refreshing ice cold water melting on the sore feet which were feeling like they had been hit by a propeller.
Back in the car I could sense the pains from the physical demands of the day, four blisters (one on the sole of each heel, and one on the underside of each big toe.) Overcooked calf muscles from sun exposure and a well scalded neck. Still at least the new lightweight hat worked well.
On reflection, this would not be classed as a walk for the chicken hearted or unfit. The massive plateaus and long distances between obvious landmarks makes it is easy to appreciate why many so many people can become disorientated moving around in this vast tundra.
With hindsight aside for the return trip to the Devil’s Point I reckon that I could have been back at least in time to watch the final of Britain’s got Talent in the pub with a steak pie and pint of Guinness.
by Collaciotach » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:18 pm
by Fudgie » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:11 am
by mrssanta » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:06 pm
by scottishkennyg » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:54 pm
by scottishkennyg » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:47 pm
by scottishkennyg » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:44 pm
mrssanta wrote:that's a very big walk for one day!
Me thinks you are spot on Mrs Santa..