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Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!


Postby gizmogirl » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:03 am

Route description: Braeriach, circuit from Whitewell

Munros included on this walk: Braeriach

Date walked: 26/07/2014

Distance: 27 km

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Having used the Walkhighlands site for quite a few years and enjoyed reading the reports about the exploits of others, I decided that it was about time I actually posted a report myself! My usual walking buddy, Dogplodder, has been nagging me to do this for ages, but up till now (on the principle of “why have a dog and bark yourself!”) I’ve left the reporting to my worthy walking companion!

In 2009 Dogplodder and my other walking buddy, Evelyn, set off to tackle Braeriach. Evelyn didn’t quite make it to the summit on that occasion and ever since then has had it on her “to do” list and has been working on me to tackle it with her. Saturday was the day : long hours of daylight to allow those of us of slowish pace to make it up and down, and hopefully a reasonable day of weather. Rain was forecast for later in the day but we reckoned if we could get to the summit and at least part of the way down again before the weather broke we would be happy.

We parked at Whitewell (didn’t fancy the boulders of the Chalamain Gap!) and set off with a spring in our step along the forest paths towards the Lairig Ghru.

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First glimpse of the day's target
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The Sron na Lairige ridge and Braeriach behind

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Getting nearer but still a long way to go!


We reached the source of the Allt Druidh and headed up on to the the Sron na Lairige ridge, following the good path (still under construction according to a notice propped up agains a rock) and were grateful for the steps which made the steep ascent easier. By this time we were sharing the hill with various other walkers (most of whom overtook us!) and we enjoyed the “craic”, exchanging chat about hills and routes.

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Source of the Allt Druidh, tumbling out of the rocks

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Looking north from the Sron na Lairige ridge

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Looking south along the Lairig Ghru

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The Lairig Ghru and Lurcher's Crag


After a lunch stop on the Sron na Lairige ridge we headed up to the coll where we were rewarded with our first views of the Cairngorm mountains to the south. Even though it was hazy there was a haunting, atmospheric beauty about the panorama that lay before us.

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Carn a' Mhaim, Cairn Toul and Devil's Point


Then it was onwards and upwards to the summit … definitely no turning back for Evelyn this time!

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Braeriach cliffs and the summit ... nearly there!

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Lochan Uaine nestling below Cairn Toul and Angel’s Peak

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Storm clouds gathering


We didn’t hang about at the summit because the weather was beginning to look decidedly ominous. We had thought about continuing the circuit, but had decided earlier in the day that if visibility was going to be an issue we would be better to stick to the known path and reverse our outward route. After a stop for something to eat back down on Sron na Lairige we set off again but stopped very soon to put on the waterproofs … just in time as it turned out, because in the space of five to ten minutes the ridge was shrouded in cloud and the heavens had opened! We picked our way carefully across the boulders and were relieved to reach the path back down to the Lairig Ghru.

IMG_4588.JPG
A final look back of Braeriach before it disappeared under cloud


Back down in the Lairig Ghru the really heavy rain slackened to a steady drizzle which accompanied us all the way back to the car as did the midges! By the time we reached the forest we were both pretty tired, the spring had pretty much gone from our steps and it seemed a never-ending haul back to the car! But hey .... we did it and had a great day in the process!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:18 am

Hi girls :D Sure women ruled the Cairngorms on Saturday! I was on the other side of Glen Feshie, patiently bagging the inaccessible Corbetts...

The day was a bit hazy, but really enjoyable, at least until the cloud came rushing in... We started early so managed to get down to Glen Feshie before the rain arrived, but midges... They were the WORST I have ever experienced, millions of them and they didn't even mind the rain!!! We run back to the car :lol: Could it have been the National Hungry Midge Day?

The rocks and cliffs of Braeriach look stunning. When I did it, they were still covered in a thick layer of snow though it was June.
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby goth_angel » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:10 pm

Well done! We were just across from you doing the Devils Point, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine. Midges horrific in the Lairig Ghru! :shock:
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:53 pm

Excellent report, gizmogirl. That is one long walk but your sense of achievement must have made up for the tiredness.

I can verify that the midges in Glen Torridon were just as bad - I had to eat my lunch walking in circles around my pack as there was no way I could stop!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:53 pm

Well done you two for Braeriach and three cheers for gizmogirl's first walk report - there'll be no holding you now! :clap: :lol:
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby litljortindan » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:05 pm

Had been thinking about Braeriach and wanting to avoid the gap of death too myself so will consider this route. You did indeed get some fine views there.
I went for Lochnagar instead last week just because of the easier access. Your report might inspire a Braeriach visit next month though if I'm feeling confident.
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:42 pm

Wonderful photos - especially the strips of rock and grass :D

Well done for conquering Braeriach - we're pondering a trip next month so its really helpful to see the route you took. :clap:
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:55 pm

Well done ladies, smashing views too
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:46 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Hi girls :D Sure women ruled the Cairngorms on Saturday! I was on the other side of Glen Feshie, patiently bagging the inaccessible Corbetts...

The day was a bit hazy, but really enjoyable, at least until the cloud came rushing in... We started early so managed to get down to Glen Feshie before the rain arrived, but midges... They were the WORST I have ever experienced, millions of them and they didn't even mind the rain!!! We run back to the car :lol: Could it have been the National Hungry Midge Day?

The rocks and cliffs of Braeriach look stunning. When I did it, they were still covered in a thick layer of snow though it was June.


Glad you enjoyed your day, BlackPanther. We watched the cloud rolling in from Glen Feshie and were amazed at how quickly we were shrouded in it! There was no snow at all, apart from in some of the gullies. As for the midges ... horrendous indeed!!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:48 pm

goth_angel wrote:Well done! We were just across from you doing the Devils Point, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine. Midges horrific in the Lairig Ghru! :shock:


Glad you had a good day, too, in spite of the midges. They were absolutely horrendous!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:54 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Excellent report, gizmogirl. That is one long walk but your sense of achievement must have made up for the tiredness.

I can verify that the midges in Glen Torridon were just as bad - I had to eat my lunch walking in circles around my pack as there was no way I could stop!


We did indeed have a great sense of achievement, Annie. I chuckled at the thought of you you walking in circles round your pack to eat your lunch! It's really the only way to cope with midge attack! We were ok higher up but when we got back down into the Lairig Ghru they were horrendous ... but at least it kept us moving to get back to the car when our legs were complaining!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:08 pm

litljortindan wrote:Had been thinking about Braeriach and wanting to avoid the gap of death too myself so will consider this route. You did indeed get some fine views there.
I went for Lochnagar instead last week just because of the easier access. Your report might inspire a Braeriach visit next month though if I'm feeling confident.


Glad that the report might inspire you to tackle Braeriach. This route is definitely worth considering. It was long but very straightforward with no technical difficulties.... a good path all the way up on to Sron na Lairige and then a plateau area with boulders where the path is not so clear and you'd need to take care in poor visibility, and finally you regain the path on the ridge to the summit. Wonderful views even in hazy conditions. We opted to go back down the way we went up but you can also continue on a circuit back to Whitewell. Hope you enjoy it!
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:15 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Wonderful photos - especially the strips of rock and grass :D

Well done for conquering Braeriach - we're pondering a trip next month so its really helpful to see the route you took. :clap:


Thanks Huff_n_Puff! We liked this route .... especially not having to cross the boulder field of the Chalamain Gap! It is long but straightforward and the worst bit of it was the midge attack in the Lairig Ghru! I think to continue the circular route for the descent would also be nice to do for variety, but we opted just to go back down the way we had gone up in that the weather was closing in. Hope you enjoy it, whatever route you choose.
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Posts: 23
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Re: Braeriach ... been there and done it at last!

Postby gizmogirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:17 pm

mrssanta wrote:Well done ladies, smashing views too


Thanks mrssanta! We had a great day!
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Posts: 23
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