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Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Finishing the Monadh Ruadh


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:18 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhrotain, Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar, Monadh Mor, Mullach Clach a'Bhlair

Corbetts included on this walk: Conachcraig

Date walked: 05/10/2013

Time taken: 15.31 hours

Distance: 64.6 km

Ascent: 3395m

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The plan this week was to finish off the remaining 8 Monadh Ruadh hills. My walking buddy had been up in Braemar all week and had put in a respectable time for doing the Lochnagar circuit, so that added an extra frisson to proceedings - couldn't let the Sickly Kid get round quicker than me - though I'm not in any way competitive :lol:

Up at 03.50 and away before 04.30 - there followed a deeply unpleasant drive up to Ballater in which I had difficulty staying awake, despite a can of Lidl's Red Bull equivalent. It was both claggy and raining as I drove up through Glenshee which hardly filled me with enthusiasm for the day ahead. But driving down to the Spittal of Glen Muick the weather cleared and I even work up a bit. Parked, paid up and set off.

I'd decided I might as well climb the Corbett, Conachraig which was beside the path - well, why not? I headed straight up the SE flank which was pathless, steep and heathery and left me feeling destinctly knackered by the time I got to the top area, surprising a group of deer, hares and ptarmigan. On the way down, SW, I noted there was a good clear path that rejoined the main route to Lochnagar - would have been a bit easier than tramping through the heather :roll:

Image
P1040527 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Conachraig
Image
P1040529 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meikle Pap
Image
P1040532 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Corrie Lochnagar
Image
P1040538 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040539 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There were quite a few groups of folk ahead of me as I walked up to Fox Cairn Well. I'd been advised to head up Meikle Pap to get a view down into the Corrie of Lochnagar, and this was indeed a good move. Quite windy up at "the slippery nipple". Back down to join the main path and up the edge of the corrie, meeting Hutchie and JamesJones en route. Had a chat and walked a bit up the slope with them, but as I had a time to beat I ddin't hang around and went off to Cac Carn Beag on my own, joining the 200 club when I got to the top of this one. Views were curtailed by clag, but I could see the main way I was heading.

Cac Carn Beag
Image
P1040540 by 23weasels, on Flickr

200 Up!
Image
P1040541 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040542 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There seemed to be very little change in altitude as I headed over to Carn a Choire Bhoidheach - just a traipse over moorland. The hill, a whaleback, was so uninspiring from this angle that I didn't even bother to take a picture of it. Touched the cairn then headed NW to rejoin the track to Number 3, "Carn Taggart" as I'll call it. I almost missed the path up to the top - I knew there was a hill up there somewhere but couldn't see a path. Anyway, just headed straight up once more through the heather and got to the summit plateau. There were 2 cairns - I wan't sure which was the actual one, but headed over to the further away one to eat some lunch. I was minded that there was aircraft debris on this top and set off to find it after filling my belly. Lots of debris, big and small, just to the north of the second cairn. Bit of an odd feeling.

View to Loch Muick
Image
P1040549 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top of "Taggart"
Image
P1040551 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Views NW
Image
P1040552 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wreckage #1
Image
P1040553 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Wreckage #2
Image
P1040555 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed back down to the track and off it was to number 4, Cairn Bannoch, who's pointy cairn I could see ahead. There's a great track up "Taggart" if you're coming round in the opposite direction... Didn't take too long until I reached the top of Bannoch - weather was a bit colder/blowier by this time. Picked my way over the boulders and back to the path, heading for the final hill of the curcuit, Broad Cairn. Unusually for me I was feeling pretty bored by this succession of small hummocks masquerading as Munros - there was no sense of having worked hard to earn a top, just a "bagging circuit" with them all laid on a plate in featureless terrain. At least the drab Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach looked much more impressive from this angle, with steep cliffs and a waterfall scouring its way down the side.

Carn Bannoch
Image
P1040559 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Broad Cairn
Image
P1040562 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Muick from Summit Broad Cairn
Image
P1040566 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Over the boulders to the final top, some good views down to Loch Muick and I was off over the boulderfield that eventually reaches the track. Walked on til reaching a cairn and a wee path off to the L - checking the map, I note this goes down Coire Chash and along the side of Loch Muick and looked a bit more interesting than the high level return. Glad I chose to head off this was as I found the pleasant path the best part of the day. Quite a few folk were out for a walk along it and at times I did feel a bit overdressed. It did join up with the other return path about 2/3 of the way along and you come to a good smooth track. Jogged parts of this to ensure that my time would be reasonable - pleased to note how much stability walking poles give you when you're running :D

Image
P1040573 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040575 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Track down to the Loch
Image
P1040576 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040577 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040578 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Who lives in a house like this?
Image
P1040579 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040582 by 23weasels, on Flickr


Lochnagar6.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Back at the car exactly 1 hour quicker than Sickly Kid - of course I had other reasons for wanting to be back in reasonable time - had to drive over to Glen Feshie and get camped for tomorrow's walk. Traffic wasn't too bad over the Cockbridge to Tomintoul road and I quite enjoyed the drive, with the top down. Got to Glen Feshie and headed down to the car park at Achlean, which was still replete with returning walkers. I had thought I might camp by tha car, but there's a notice forbidding such activities. So it would have to be plan B - walk down the Feshie to Ruadh Aiteachain and camp there overnight. This would give me 5km off tomorrow's walk, but would also mean that I had to do the entire round with my big rucksack and full kit. I discarded as much as I was able, leaving it in the car and around 5pm set off down the path towards the Feshie.

Image
P1040583 by 23weasels, on Flickr

About 1 hour's walking got me to the meadows at Ruadh Aiteachain and I found a spot sheltered behind a fallen tree to offer a bit of wind protection. A swift noodle dish, coffee and macaroon bar and a couple of whiskies and I was off to sleep not much after 7pm. High living :lol:

Tomorrow's start - Mullach hides behind the others
Image
P1040584 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bedded down - wee tent's fixed
Image
P1040585 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I'd packed my 4 seasons sleeping bag after recent experiences with the summer ones, but it was a bit roasting overnight :) Up and off by 07.40 - heading up the bulldozed track up the side of Druim Nam Bo. It may not be very pretty, but it did provide a good surface underfoot at the best gradient available to get up to Mullach Clach a'Bhiar. There's quite an impressive view down into Coire Domhain from near the top of the track, then the gradient eases and it's a straightforward walk over to the dome of MCaB. It wasn't very impressive, but the peak of Sgor Gaoith sticking up like an unruly quiff to the North was better.

Ascent up the bulldozed track
Image
P1040587 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View into the corrie
Image
P1040588 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Mullach's mighty peak :?
Image
P1040591 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgor Gaoith
Image
P1040593 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path I'd chosen heads over to the 974m cairn before descending to the gully containing the River Eidart. Thought I'd have to get my socks and shoes off but found some stepping stones and made it across easily enough.

Image
P1040601 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up another steep, pathless heathery, boggy hillside then the process repeated going down to the tributaries of Allt Dhaidh Mor - managed to take a little slip just beside the water coming down over the slabs. Up again and ahead of me was the boulder strewn slope of Beinn Bhrotain - the top 150m or so had remained hidden in clag all the way towards it. Summoning some strenght I slowly clambered up the boulders towards the summit, somewhere up there. By this time the wind had got up and was fair chilly. Up to the cairn, sheltered in the lee to have some food and managed to get the jet-boil going for a brew.

Bhrotain
Image
P1040605 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040606 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Bhrotain
Image
P1040607 by 23weasels, on Flickr

In the occasional clearing in the clag I could see the narrow bealach between Bhrotain & Leac Gorm, with impressive views down into Coire Cath nam Fionn. As I walked up towards the final top of the day, Monadh Mor, I caught sight of a shapely peak that looked oddly familiar. It wasn't until I was crossing the springy surface of Moine Mor - the Great Moss, and could see the adjacent hills that I realised the shapely fellow was none other than The Penis of the Demon, and the peaks to it's left were Cairn Toul, Braeriach et al.

Path from Bhrotain
Image
P1040609 by 23weasels, on Flickr

What's this, then?
Image
P1040612 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Oh, it's that Demon's Dongle :roll:
Image
P1040613 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards top Monadh Mor, Braeriach beyond
Image
P1040615 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There he is again...
Image
P1040616 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back to Beinn Bhrotain
Image
P1040617 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Monadh Mor
Image
P1040619 by 23weasels, on Flickr

My last Cairngorm peak - until I start the Corbetts :lol:
Image
P1040620 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed north off Monadh Mor then NW towards Tom Dubh, having to avoid a ravine on the way. The views over towards Sgor Gaoith and its cliffs were great and was interesting to see how it changed in the light. Didn't seem just a week ago I stood on the windswept top and looked down into its coires.

Image
P1040622 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Flat terrain to Tom Dubh
Image
P1040623 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gaoith
Image
P1040625 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040626 by 23weasels, on Flickr


I joined up with the track heading towards Carn Ban Mor and onwards down the track cut into the side of Ciste Mhearad. This came down into pinewoods before the final flat section back over heather and back to the road. Sun out, jacket off, legs sore, but it had been a good day :D

Return route
Image
P1040628 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040629 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gliders at the flying club
Image
P1040631 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040632 by 23weasels, on Flickr


fesh3.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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weaselmaster
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby Graeme D » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:32 pm

Superb serial bagging Alistair! :clap: Love the shots of the "Demon's Dongle". 8)
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby riverlodge » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:46 pm

love the autumn colours, great shots.
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby ceaser » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:59 pm

congratulations on hitting the 200 WM , cant beleive you only managed to beat a girl by an hour on your first walk :D
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:58 pm

ceaser wrote:congratulations on hitting the 200 WM , cant beleive you only managed to beat a girl by an hour on your first walk :D


I know - she obviously walks faster when on her own than she does with me :?
Mind you, she didn't go hunting for aircraft debris either, I suspect :lol:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby ceaser » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:16 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
ceaser wrote:congratulations on hitting the 200 WM , cant beleive you only managed to beat a girl by an hour on your first walk :D


I know - she obviously walks faster when on her own than she does with me :?
Mind you, she didn't go hunting for aircraft debris either, I suspect :lol:


BUT ,she was probably walking and not feeling well :lol:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby PeteR » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:10 pm

Another understated title there Alistair :lol:

A couple of great rounds though :clap: And some great shots too :D

I'm hoping to finish off the Monadh Ruadh on Saturday, but I'll only be doing the one hill..........I'm just a lightweight :lol:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:47 pm

PeteR wrote:Another understated title there Alistair :lol:

A couple of great rounds though :clap: And some great shots too :D

I'm hoping to finish off the Monadh Ruadh on Saturday, but I'll only be doing the one hill..........I'm just a lightweight :lol:

Which one's that then, Pete?
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:02 am

weaselmaster wrote:
PeteR wrote:Another understated title there Alistair :lol:

A couple of great rounds though :clap: And some great shots too :D

I'm hoping to finish off the Monadh Ruadh on Saturday, but I'll only be doing the one hill..........I'm just a lightweight :lol:

Which one's that then, Pete?


Just plotted a 19 mile route to pick off Braeriach :D I'll be accompanied by my occasional walking partner from work, but I don't think he knows yet the length of the walk I've planned :lol:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby battie72 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:51 pm

ceaser wrote:congratulations on hitting the 200 WM , cant beleive you only managed to beat a girl by an hour on your first walk :D


Remember he said he jogged part of the way too Ceaser! :lol:
And I'd just like to point out that I strolled it at the end with my newest hill friend so could have done it quicker....... :wink:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby ceaser » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 pm

battie72 wrote:
ceaser wrote:congratulations on hitting the 200 WM , cant beleive you only managed to beat a girl by an hour on your first walk :D


Remember he said he jogged part of the way too Ceaser! :lol:
And I'd just like to point out that I strolled it at the end with my newest hill friend so could have done it quicker....... :wink:



always thought Weasel master was holding you back Alison :D
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:50 pm

Congrats on the 200

And using the correct name :D :clap: :clap:
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby basscadet » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:39 pm

On when I first opened the report I thought you did all those hills on the same day and was awful confused :lol:
Still a long days though.. Not many of those left this year :(
Like the photos.. The cairngorms are difficult because there is always so much foreground..
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby weaselmaster » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:19 pm

Just plotted a 19 mile route to pick off Braeriach :D I'll be accompanied by my occasional walking partner from work, but I don't think he knows yet the length of the walk I've planned :lol:[/quote]

You'll enjoy the topping of snow I noticed when driving by today - just on braeriach
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Re: Finishing the Monadh Ruadh

Postby Scotjamie » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:31 pm

Nice one WM. Enjoyed the white mounth pics as I did this mostly in clag (causing me to walk a few miles more than even your good self). Great looking walk across the Moine Mhor!
I passed Meagaidh about the same time as you passed Braeriach - also with a lovely dusting
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