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Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:51 pm

Route description: Beinn Iutharn Mhòr and Càrn Bhac, Inverey

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Iutharn Mhòr, Càrn Bhac

Date walked: 05/06/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 33.2 km

Ascent: 1001m

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At last it's time to update my progress on WH :D The first of my five holiday reports concerns a certain two Munros just south of Inverey. A couple of years back, we climbed Tulaichean and Righ from Spittal of Glenshee, suffered from nasty weather all day long. It was the day of downpours, cold wind and boggy terrain. We didn't even dare think about adding Beinn Iutharn Mhor. Another Munro in this area, An Socach, was climbed on its own in winter conditions. That left Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac, the last two M's in this area, an obvious approach from Inverey.

The long walk-in suggests bikes, but we wanted to camp and start early in the morning. The bike frame on our car is constructed in such a way, that when on, it blocks access to the boot. So it has to be either bikes or camping equipment. We went for the latter and instead of driving up to Braemar and back (5 hrs in the car) on the same day, we left on Saturday afternoon and pitched our tent in a nice spot just below the slopes of Creag nan Gabhar. It was a hot weekend and surprisingly, very few midges. We spent Saturday evening lazying in the front of the tent, and on Sunday morning we got up early to tackle our "biggie".

Sunny morning in Glen Clunie:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 160.JPG

From the very morning it looked like it was going to be a scorchio, so we packed in loads of water, sunscreen and wore trousers that could be turned into shorts.
Ready to go:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 002.JPG

Our route was the classic traverse for these two hills, up Carn Bhac first, then to BIM over some peat-haggy ground. At least the hot weather meant, bog and mud was reduced to minimum!

Track_BRAEMAR 05-06-16.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The walk-in is on a very good track, wish it were closer to home, we would definitely bring bikes:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 008.JPG

For almost 9 km, it was just the track, the river, heathery slopes around and blazing sun above. Yet it's a very charming glen. A few snaps from the walk in...
Looking back towards the Cairngorms, last remnants of snow on higher peaks:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 024.JPG

Creag an Fhuathais, a minor top of An Socach, dominates the view:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 029.JPG

The first glimpse of "our" hills...
2016-06-05 inverey munros 034.JPG

Beinn Iutharn Mhor (more distant, to the left) and Carn Creagach, seen from the bridge about 1km before the ruins of Altanour:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 040.JPG

We passed Altanour, refilled bottles from a stream and re-applied sticky sunscreen. Thankfully, some cloud popped up above us and mercifully gifted us with a bit of shadow... It was still horribly humid though and I hoped we would avoid thunderstorms later on!
The track becomes less obvious past Altanour and at some point we just stroke uphill in NW direction, towards Carn Bhac. We had already unzipped the bottom halves of our trousers and now we had to suffer through some scratchy heather :? albeit not for long, soon we came across a faint VT track and followed it for some time. Higher up, as we neared the col between Carn Bhac and Carn Creagach, the ground became more grassy and easier to walk.
View back to Altanour from the lower slopes of Carn Creagach:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 045.JPG

On the col, the final slope to Carn Bhac behind me:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 048.JPG

It was a sweaty experience already, and we still had BIM to do! As we simply could not push too fast in this sauna, we slowed down and took every opportunity to snap photos and videos. These hills are not the best, the most breathtaking viewpoints due to their rollin-rollin nature and gentle, round shapes, but they still posses some quiet charm - the whisper of the wilderness in your ears :D
2016-06-05 inverey munros 056.JPG

When we reached the summit, the cloud became more overcast, but even so, the sauna conditions didn't improve by much :lol: :lol: I posed for my 186th Munro:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 079.JPG

The best views from Carn Bhac are to the north, towards the mighty Cairngorms:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 062.JPG

The summit area has two cairns, the smaller one, according to Kevin's GPS, is marginally higher. The bigger one makes for a good shelter (not that there was much wind to shelter from!)
2016-06-05 inverey munros 063.JPG

Lochnagar group to the east:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 064.JPG

Zoom to Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 066.JPG

Beinn a'Ghlo to the south:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 073.JPG

We sat by the bigger cairn and helped ourselves to sandwiches and water (too hot for tea, obviously!!!). Another walker came and greeted us, but he was young and fit and decided to go on to BIM immediately, leaving us to our lunch... or maybe he just didn't fancy the midges on the summit! :lol: :lol:
Yes, the wee %^&*$s really annoyed us. It was better to be on the move, even at slow pace. My knees felt fine so far. The only problem was how to pose for pictures without the scar showing too much :lol: :lol:
The traverse from Bhac to Iutharn goes over some nasty-looking peathags, basically a sea of them! We were lucky to pick a dry period of weather. The hags were all bone dry, so we simply walked through them. In wet conditions this part of the route could give you a real headache though.
2016-06-05 inverey munros 082.JPG

The final slope leading to Beinn Iutharn Mhor didn't seem friendly at all! Steep, steep, with some awfully-looking scree:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 086.JPG

Thankfully, most of the scree can be avoided and we climbed on the grass, hard work in that heat... I stopped half way up to admire violets at my feet...
2016-06-05 inverey munros 095.JPG

Once on the summit ridge, reaching the summit is a formality. Cloud was now quite thick and I was seriously worried about storms...
2016-06-05 inverey munros 097.JPG

On the summit of Beinn Iutharn Mhor - Munro no. 187!
2016-06-05 inverey munros 105.JPG

The Cairngorms from BIM:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 101.JPG

Zoom to Devil's Point:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 133.JPG

To the south, weather still held. Carn an Righ (foreground) and Beinn a'Ghlo basked in sunshine:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 108.JPG

Kevin only 2 away from 200 now!!!
2016-06-05 inverey munros 173.JPG

Lucy's selfie :wink: :lol: :lol:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 177.JPG

Panoramic shots from the summit:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 182.JPG

2016-06-05 inverey munros 183.JPG

2016-06-05 inverey munros 184.JPG

As we began the long walk back to Inverey, the sun came out again and temperature jumped up immediately. I was glad to have avoided storms this time, even if we got all sticky with sunscreen.
Nice day:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 128.JPG

There is a cairn at the opposite end of the ridge, from here steeper descent begins. I was glad we picked a dry day to visit this area, at least we didn't have to worry about slippery grass on steep slopes. The Cairngorms behind me:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 134.JPG

It's a long, long way back to Inverey... Deja vu? I was humming the same song returning from Beinn Bhrotain :lol:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 146.JPG

From above, Glen Ey looks as from the plane:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 149.JPG

We located a zig-zagging path which gives easy descent on steeper sections. Once down on flatter ground, the path became indistinct and we entered another peat-haggy area, but with peat hags dry it was an easy job. We followed the NE shoulder all the way to the start of a track (it leads to grouse butts scattered all over this shoulder). The track descends to a small bridge:
2016-06-05 inverey munros 150.JPG

Now, all we had left was the painful walk back to the starting point. Painful, because by now, both of us suffered from blisters, Kevin more than me as he was wearing thick socks and simply overcooked his feet. At that moment I wished we had bikes...
By the time we returned to the car, we were too tired to even think about driving back home, so we decided to stay and camp for another night.
I had a cunning plan of climbing some Corbetts the day after, but as we woke in the morning, Kevin's feet were still too swollen and blistered to force him uphill :( We packed up and went back home (I missed my bathtub too much :lol: ). Luckily, after day's rest, my husband's condition improved and on Tuesday we tackled a substantial bike-hike trek to a certain boggy mountain. We encountered little bog, but had a close encounter with a thunderstorm. TR coming soon :D
Last edited by BlackPanther on Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Postby mamoset » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:44 pm

Good report BP, seems blisters were the name of the game down there last week :lol: 8) :shock:
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Re: Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:52 am

mamoset wrote:Good report BP, seems blisters were the name of the game down there last week :lol: 8) :shock:

Thanks, did my best, but I think you had a better day for nicer photos (how blue sky makes the difference!). Blisters have healed since and, funny, Kevin used them as an excuse to get a new pair of boots :lol:

Now to the next story, a bit more hairy...
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Re: Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Postby steverabone » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:25 pm

Excellent report. I climbed Carn Bhac a few days after you did. I'm particularly pleased to see the track of your route off Beinn lutharn Mhor down to Altanour Lodge ruin - it will be useful when I have a go at BLM myself.
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Re: Two from Inverey: sauna and blisters

Postby ancancha » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:12 pm

I thought Glen very beautiful, you got a good photo descending BLM :clap:
Its a very very very long hike on the flat to get to these :!:
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