The Boss & I - 2 Days In The Cairngorms

Munros: Ben Macdui

Date walked: 24/07/2011

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 36.1km

Ascent: 1522m

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Let me introduce myself. My name is Boycie and I'm an 8 year old liver & tan Dobermann. My master (he likes to call himself that... and I like to humour him) and I live in the rather bleak, flat landscape of the Cambridgeshire fens. I've done a fair bit of walking in the past, with trips to Scotland (He who walks on 2 legs is of Scottish blood) and Yorkshire but never anything particularly challenging. Well, after hearing all about my master's adventures in the Cairngorms in February I managed to persuade him to take me away for a couple of days. I just hoped it wouldn't be as cold as it looks in some of his photos from that trip...

Carn a' Mhaim & The Devil's Point

Lairig Ghru

It was 4am when we left home for the 8 hour drive up to Linn of Dee. 12:15 and we were soon loaded up and heading off the on the good path from the carpark to Derry Lodge. I didn't have any trouble with this nice flat walk but the guvnor seemed to be taking a while getting used to his heavy bag. Maybe something to do with the 3kg of my food and my sleeping bag that I made him carry... :lol:

Is that Derry Cairngorm in the distance?

I was beginning to think maybe the boss had taken a wrong turning somewhere as the weather was stunning, certainly not what I had expected.

50 minutes later and were at Derry Lodge where we had a brief stop and I tried a little fishing but those pesky wee brown trout where too quick for me. There was only 3 or 4 tents at Derry Lodge and we wouldn't see another human until Loch Etchachan.

Derry Lodge... not home for the night apparently

Pine Forest at Derry Lodge

We turned right once over the bridge and headed up Glen Derry with the sun still shining brightly on us.

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Glen Derry

Surveying the route ahead, with Stob Coire Etchachan & Beinn Mheadhoin in the distance

The Hutchison Memorial Hut comes into view as we round the corner. I think the boss fancied a night in here (something to do with the 2 bottles of weird 'brown water' in there that he swigged from) but feeling refreshed we cracked on...

The Hutchison Memorial Hut sitting invitingly below the formidable Creagan a' Choire Etchachan

The well stocked bothy with a wee dram waiting

Faecal Facts

A brief climb soon found us up at Loch Etchachan and in the wind. Until now we had been well sheltered in the Glen. A couple of small patches of snow still remained.

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Loch Etchachan

Dropping out of the wind, the sight of Loch Avon was a welcoming one as it was to be our home for the night.

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Carn Etchachan

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Home for the night

It was quite a misty morning when we woke however it soon cleared presenting beautiful views of Loch Avon and our pitch...

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Loch Avon

After a good breakfast the tent was soon packed up and we were on our way again. Heading back up to Loch Etchachan and picking up the Beinn Macduibh path, climbing steadily.

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Loch Etchachan & Beinn Mheadhoin

The views from the top of Coire Sputan Dearg were simply breathtaking. I had heard that, in Scottish folklore, Beinn Macduibh is believed to be a portal to another dimension and these weird cloud formations were beginning to spook me!

Lochan Uaine

Derry Cairngorm from Coire Sputan Dearg

Continuing to head upwards the path becomes a little less obvious but we were guided to the sumit via a ruined shelter but greeted at the top by more strange cloud formations...definitely a portal this one! I just hoped it wouldn't suck us off the face of the planet!

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Ruined shelter on Beinn Macduibh

A portal to another dimension?

The views across the Lairig Ghru were staggering and I could see where the boss had been forced back from reaching the summit of Braeriach back in February by the weather, although I reckon I could have easily made. It really doesn't look too steep....from here!

P1020712 - Braeriach Panorama.jpg

From the summit, our plan was to descend to Ceann Crionn Carn a' Mhaim, however the route was just too rocky for my paws and I refused to go any further. Of course, I waited until we were half way down before putting the brakes on and had a wee sniggle to myself as I watched the boss struggle back up the steep ascent :lol: Oh he was not happy!

Still, he eventually dragged himself up on to Sron Riach where a much more simple descent would take us down Luibeg Burn and onto Glen Luibeg.

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Carn a' Mhaim and The Devil's Point from our failed descent

Sron Riach

Finally down from Sron Riach

From here we were only an hour and a half's swift march back to the car. The plan had been to descend Carn a' Mhaim and find a nice spot for the tent, leaving us with a very short walk back the Linn of Dee the next morning but, I have to be honest, my paws were beginning to hurt me a bit now and we agreed that we should get back to the car today and cut our trip short. I think the boss was a little dissapointed but the mountains will still be here next time and I'm sure we'll be back... Although next time I don't think he'll let me bring as many treats with me!

Derry Lodge was completely devoid of tents and was such a peaceful place. I really can see why it's such a popular spot.

Derry Lodge bridge

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Comments: 6


User avatar
Location: Cambridgeshire Fens
Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Ben More
Place: Cairngorms
Gear: Osprey Atmos 50 Rucksack
Member: None

Munros: 3

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Trips: 1
Distance: 36.1 km
Ascent: 1522m
Munros: 1

Joined: Jan 18, 2011
Last visited: Aug 06, 2012
Total posts: 2 | Search posts