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.

Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!


Postby andygunn23 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 6:33 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui, Carn a'Mhaim, Derry Cairngorm

Date walked: 10/10/2015

2 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).

Escaping 'Aberdoom' - What a Quacking Idea!

For the majority it is known as Aberdeen.
For the mentally insane, Aberdream.
For those who are lucky enough to occasionally escape, it's best referred to as Aberdoom.

(The rest of the title will make sense by Sunday).

Here is my take from my two and a half day weekend, two wild nights camping and another three Munros in the bag.

It had been over a month since my last Munro, Mount Keen on the 6th of September 2015. Four weekends had past - where on earth were my priorities?! (2 were spent learning how to skydive; 1 doing the Glasgow Half Marathon;
1 proving I still exist to my friends).

It was Tuesday lunchtime and I got hit with the question of all questions - "You've been awfully quite, what's your plans for the weekend?".

Nightmare! It was already Tuesday lunch and I had no idea what I was doing. With winter fast approaching it was about time to go back to being "boring" (as my friends call it), or as I call it my weekend holidays!

By Wednesday lunchtime I had walk & weather reports on all of my computer screens, OS Maps spread across the office and the rough planning began. Still without a car it was another trip from Aberdoom via the 201 of death into Braemar.

Friday 9th of October
With the days shrinking it would have been impossible (or stupid) to attempt to reach the summit of Carn a'Mhaim on Friday after work. For this reason I took a half day, got the bus to Braemar for 3:30pm and began the long trip into Derry Lodge.

I opted not to take many photos from the walk in because it is the identical route from my previous trip (see - http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=56013).

By about 6pm I bumped into three fine gents cycling down from their day in the hills. Originally I planned to camp at Derry Lodge, they suggested going higher to avoid the midges and apparently it is warmer.

Decision made - it might be getting dark but lets go high! Here is Carn a'Mhaim
IMG_1239.jpg
I wish I had never weighed myself before and after putting on my weekend backpack. I was nearly at the summit, without breakfast, lunch or dinner I was incredibly relieved to get the ~30kg bag off my back, tent pitched and dinner in my belly!

Saturday 10th of October
You have never heard real silence until you have spent a night in the Scottish mountains - it is almost eerie!

Popped my head out the tent (to no midges) to see how long until first day light - clearly not long!
IMG_1242.jpg

Is there a better view to brush your teeth to?!
IMG_1253.jpg

Views like these make lugging the tent for miles upon miles worth while instantly! I actually heard a vicious rumour that Fairmont Hotels are looking to buy a majority share holding in my 'Chateau de Tent'. Only concern is the maximum capacity of 2, but I am sure the views override that minor sticking point.

I embraced the luxury of no midges in the morning and slowly packed my tent before making the final couple of hundred feet ascent to the top of my first Munro, Carn a'Mhaim.

I prayed for clear skies at the top, but truthfully it wasn't looking to promising.
IMG_1255.jpg

But when I hit the summit the clouds just fell down the sides of the hill, was everything I had hoped for, and probably more. Here are some of my photos from the top or near the top of Carn a'Mhaim.

The Devil's Point.
IMG_1256.jpg

Hills hills hills everywhere! I loved how the cloud was just camping out down there!
IMG_1858.jpg

From what I have read this is the narrowest ridge in the Cairngorms - and my route to Ben MacDui, the 2nd highest mountain in the whole of the land.
IMG_1263.jpg

Some pictures just speak for themselves.
IMG_1861.jpg


Just about to make my way along the ridge and up to Ben MacDui when I meet another gent who has just caught up with me. I join Duncan on route the Ben MacDui. I have always said you often meet some of the nicest people at the top of mountains - a fact that was proved correct once again.

Looking back along the ridge from the boulder-ie ascent up to Ben MacDui. With the constant 'up', everything else began to look so small and insignificant.
IMG_1267.jpg


Before long myself and Duncan, who by now I had found out he supported a horrible football team (I will save him the online embarrassment of naming them) had reached the top of Ben MacDui, only Ben Nevis is higher.

Other than being great company Duncan had become a walking, talking book of knowledge. Apparently when the locals found out Ben Nevis was higher they planned to build a giant cairn to regain top spot. Clearly they didn't get far. Here are a few of my snaps for around the summit of Ben MacDui - useful to point out that to have such a clear day at this height, the weather gods were definitely feeling favourable today!

Tell you what, I needed that seat!
IMG_1269.jpg

Being higher than everything in sight you finally realise how vast the mountains in the Cairngorms are!
IMG_1270.jpg

IMG_1272.jpg

I had planned to also take in Beinn Mheadhoin on the Saturday but with the weather apparently looking 'wet' on Sunday I opted to join Duncan back over Derry Cairngorm and make my way into Braemar. As they say the mountains will always be there.

So we made our from down from Ben MacDui in search of Derry Cairgorms. Some of the views were equally breathtaking.
IMG_1279.jpg

Here is where I find out if my parents read these reports.
"I wouldn't show your parents these" - Duncan.
IMG_1277.jpg

I can confirm it is a long way down - I wonder if I had a parachute...
IMG_1278.jpg

Rather gentle, but again lots of boulders on route up to Derry Cairngorm.
IMG_1280.jpg

Nearing the summit of Derry Cairngorm - my 23rd Munro and 3rd of 3 this weekend.
IMG_1285.jpg

We had made reasonably swift progress and I even had time to make it back to Breamar to catch the last bus home. But... I had came all this way, I still had plenty of food so I opted to camp beside the river next to Derry Lodge.

I said cheerio to Duncan who ventured off home.

Sunday 11th of October
I had definitely made the right decision to come down off the hills. I woke up to low clouds and the never-ending feeling that it was going to rain.

I packed up my tent (swiftly, to avoid being eaten to death) and retraced my steps back to Braemar, with one minor detour.

The peaceful route down to Mar Lodge, covered in cobwebs.
IMG_1290.jpg

I had always known it as Victoria Bridge, what was Edward doing here?!
IMG_1293.jpg

Ahh...maybe the name of the bridge depends what way you walk across it......
IMG_1294.jpg


Up next was the Braemar Duck Pond. I have memories of visiting here as a child. I had no idea what to expect, maybe visiting it as an 'adult' would ruin my childhood memories of this vast pond with millions of friendly ducks. Unfortunately my brother wouldn't be joining on this occasion because my last memory involves an accidental swim in an attempt to make one duck his pet.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
IMG_1296.jpg

This is the first time in my life I have ever burst out laughing at a photograph I have took - loved it!
IMG_1311.jpg

Quack, Quack Quack!!!
IMG_1307.jpg


After a good half hour nearly losing my fingers feeding the ducks I ventured into Braemar with an hour to spare before the bus to feed myself with Guiness and breakfast.

Unfortunately none of the pubs were serving Guiness at this time :( so I had to settle for a full breakfast and coffee.
IMG_1867.jpg


By now the weekend was over and I was back in Aberdoom and gloom. Another great weekend and I am already looking forward to planning my next adventure - hoping to go from Derry Lodge to Aviemore over three days so if anyone has any helpful advice please fire it across!

Finally, a huge thanks to Duncan (I am slightly panicked now I have his name wrong... but you know who you are :lol: ) for letting me join him on his circuit. A proper gent, a poor football team, a wealth of Scottish knowledge (which I am currently 'Googling' away!), but ultimately a great ambassador for the friendliness stored in these great Scottish Munros! I wish you and your wife all the very best for your future hills! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I write these reports so I don't forget any walks as the numbers grow or as I get older and my memory gets... sorry what was I saying?? Ahhh yes I remember, weaker - but I am sure I won't be forgetting this weekend in a hurry. Brilliant!

Until next time,
Andrew
23 down - lots and lots to go.
Attachments

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

User avatar
andygunn23
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 82
Munros:158   Corbetts:2
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby dooterbang » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:30 pm

Great read, again, young Andy :) It is very true that most folk you meet on the hills are sooper friendly, met many wondeful people whilst wandering the highlands.

30kg!! Really?? That is heavy :shock: !

How did you get on with the Glasgow Half Marathon? I did it 15 years in a row until a knee injury forced me out 2 years ago, best time was 1hr 30m. I was actually down at it cheering on a mate, he did it in 1hr 24m. I live 5 minutes from the Squinty Bridge.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Paul.
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:53
Grahams:17   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby andygunn23 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:33 pm

dooterbang wrote:Great read, again, young Andy :) It is very true that most folk you meet on the hills are sooper friendly, met many wondeful people whilst wandering the highlands.

30kg!! Really?? That is heavy :shock: !

How did you get on with the Glasgow Half Marathon? I did it 15 years in a row until a knee injury forced me out 2 years ago, best time was 1hr 30m. I was actually down at it cheering on a mate, he did it in 1hr 24m. I live 5 minutes from the Squinty Bridge.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers

Paul.


The weight isn't too much when it's on but I definitely carry far too much - always over pack in case the weather is worse than expected! Sure I will learn more and more about what I actually need over time.

Admittedly I hadn't trained for the half, although roaming around the hills can't be the worst form of training? I did it in 1hr 45min. The stretch from the squinty bridge to Glasgow Green is always longer than I expect - there was lots of people out cheering people on, it definitely gives you that extra burst of energy so cheers!! :clap:
User avatar
andygunn23
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 82
Munros:158   Corbetts:2
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby basscadet » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Oh some of those photies are brilliant - best I've seen of the gorms for ages! :clap:

When I was transportless and living in Aberdoom, I used to get the smegabus doon tae Glasgae on Friday might, spend the night in a cheap hostel and get the 6.30AM bus up to Lomond/Crianlarach/Tyndrum etc... Actually took overall not that much longer than the 201 scum shuttle ;)
User avatar
basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2779
Munros:84   Corbetts:52
Grahams:18   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:33   Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:17   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:21 pm

Great read and photos.

I know it's daft by my two favourite photos are the close up of the duck and that breakfast looked very appealing.

I think I may have passed yourself and Duncan on the climb up to Derry Cairngorm then chatted to you for a couple of mins on the summit before heading off down towards Derry Lodge.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1744
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:17   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby Silverhill » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:16 pm

Wow great pictures with the partial inversions! 8) I hope to have my second attempt at these hills next summer. The weather scuppered my plans last June.
User avatar
Silverhill
 
Posts: 1243
Munros:279   Corbetts:3
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby Turbo Beans » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:54 am

Hey Andy great report! The view from Ben Macdui is pretty awesome.

Was just reading through it and I was like, jeepers I’m sure I know that guy. I’m sure I worked for a few months last summer at Marathon with you! For my sins I was in Planning and Maintenance.

I’m still in Aberdeen and always keen to get out of the city. I’ll PM you my details and give me a shout if you fancy blasting up some hills together!

Andrew.
Turbo Beans
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3
Munros:36   Corbetts:2
Grahams:1   
Joined: Jul 29, 2015

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby andygunn23 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:10 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Great read and photos.

I know it's daft by my two favourite photos are the close up of the duck and that breakfast looked very appealing.

I think I may have passed yourself and Duncan on the climb up to Derry Cairngorm then chatted to you for a couple of mins on the summit before heading off down towards Derry Lodge.


Thanks!

Yes! You took the route down alongside Loch Avon - read your report it looks like a stunning wee circuit, may have to try it out one day.

We have a calendar competition at work and I put forward a few for everyone in the office to rate - everyone went for the duck. Ironic how the easiest photo to take (all you need is food) was the one most people find the most amusing. It's definitely a duck with an attitude! Breakfast was phenomenal, would definitely recommend that place if you are back in Braemar (think it was called Gordon's or something similar).
User avatar
andygunn23
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 82
Munros:158   Corbetts:2
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Escaping Aberdoom - What a Quacking Idea!

Postby andygunn23 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:17 pm

basscadet wrote:Oh some of those photies are brilliant - best I've seen of the gorms for ages! :clap:

When I was transportless and living in Aberdoom, I used to get the smegabus doon tae Glasgae on Friday might, spend the night in a cheap hostel and get the 6.30AM bus up to Lomond/Crianlarach/Tyndrum etc... Actually took overall not that much longer than the 201 scum shuttle ;)


It is good to hear someone else who has suffered the pain (no offence) of that bus service! I'm never sure if it's late or early - I did ask the bus driver that on Friday and it was a case of "oh we just leave when the bus arrives". :shock:

I have thought about doing but I always leave my final decision about leaving until the Friday just praying for some clear summits! Hopefully get a car before the end of the year then I will drive where ever the weather is best each weekend...
User avatar
andygunn23
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 82
Munros:158   Corbetts:2
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Location: Aberdeen

2 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 14 guests
cron