Bynack More (via Meall a'Bhuachaille)

Route: Bynack More from Glenmore

Munros: Bynack More
Corbetts: Meall a' Bhuachaille

Date walked: 23/06/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 23km

Ascent: 1083m

For my last day in the Caingorms, the plan was an ascent of Bynack More. On arriving at Glemore visitor centre, I took the decision to head up over Meall a'Bhuachaille rather than via the Ryvoan Pass. This would be my first Corbett, given that I'd chickened out of going through the eye on the Cobbler, and given all the cloud that was clinging to the main Cairngorm range it looked like the best chance of a cloud free summit I had that day - something I'd yet to manage in five previous attempts in Scotland.

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

It was a pleasant and easy going ascent, first through the glenmore forest then up a well built path across the heathery hillside.

01 - Ascending Meall a Bhuachaille.JPG

For most of the way it did look like I was going to get my first cloud-free Scottish hill, but just as I was approaching the summit the cloud began to close in in earnest, and despite picking up my pace in an effort to beat it, I wasn't quite quick enough.

02 - Cloud rolling in along the ridge.JPG

03 - Summit. In Cloud.JPG

The descent over the other side towards the Ryvoan bothy was just as easy and well pathed as the ascent, and while I failed to get a view at least that first Corbett was now in the bag.

04 - Glimpse of An Lochan Uaine.JPG

05 - Ryvoan Bothy.JPG

06 - Ryvoan Pass.JPG

Walking across the moorland alongside the river Nethy the cloud started to lift slightly giving occasional glimpses of blue sky, although it was still clinging fairly thickly to the gorms at this point.

07 - Brightening ahead.JPG

08 - Strath Nethy.JPG

Climbing steadily along the Lairig an Laoigh, I knew that I had to turn off towards Bynack More at some point fairly soon. However, after two days of pretty much non-stop rain, the plateau in the direction I needed to head looked about as unappetising a stretch of bog as I've seen in a long time. Just as I was beginning to think I was going to be in for some serious wet feet here, a path finally did appear, and thankfully it was a pretty good one.

As I walked, the cloud was lifting steadily all the time and suddenly opened out in front of me, giving me my first proper look at Bynack More. Particularly after the gloom, it looked quite impressive to me.

09 - First Glimpse of Bynack More.JPG

From this point the whole feel and character of the walk changed profoundly. What had been a fairly gentle uphill moorland ramble now started to feel like a proper mountain ascent, and fairly steep one initially at that. It looked fairly narrow and rugged ahead, but that proved to be a touch misleading, the path angling around to one side of the rocky ridgeline and avoiding any difficulties. About halfway up, I got caught in a fairly sharp sleet shower, and given how fast the weather seemed to passing over, took the decision to pause amid the shelter of some rocks and wait it out.

10 - Sleet shower.JPG

After the shower passed, the whole sky seemed to open out, giving some impressive views back the way I'd come from.

11 - View back.JPG

Moving onwards, the narrow path wandered back and forth between Bynack More's rocky protusions until it eventually reaching the main summit area.

12 - Last section of ascent.JPG

13 - Summit Rock Formations.JPG

14 - Summit Cairn.JPG

15 - More summit rocks.JPG

Here I took some time out to have some lunch, wander between the various summit formations and take in the view. Given how the morning started out, it felt faintly miraculous that I was up here, not stuck in the cloud with wonderful views in pretty much every direction.

16 - Little Barns of Bynack.JPG

17 - Creag Mhor.JPG

18 - Beinn Mheadhoin.JPG

19 - Shelter Stone Crag.JPG

20 - Towards Ben Avon.JPG

Overall, I think Bynack More is a really nice mountain. I can't imagine there being too many better viewpoints of the rest of the Cairngorms, and that last couple of hundred metres of ascent is a really enjoyable one -- at least to someone like me who is more than a touch wary of knife-edge aretes, steep scree slopes, tricky scrambling sections, and anything that tends to get to referred to in guide books as 'interesting'. It's a very pleasant summit to spend time on, for all the lack of dramatic coires and ridge lines.

After lunch my initial plan was to take a wander down to the Barns of Bynack, but after a look behind me at the very large and very black looking expanse of cloud rapidly closing in on my position I had a swift rethink on that idea and decided to head back the way I came instead.

I dd get caught in another sharp wintry shower, rather longer and more persistent than the one on the way up, but I managed to stay just ahead of the closing cloud on the way down.

21 - Descending as the cloud rolls back in.JPG

After retracing my outward route then heading down past Lochan Uaine and Glenmore Lodge, I ended a thoroughly enjoyable day's walk on the shore of Loch Morlich.

22 - Meall a Bhuachaille.JPG

23 - Last Glimpse of Bynack More.JPG

24 - Shores of Loch Morlich.JPG

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Comments: 3

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Activity: Mountaineer

Munros: 11
Corbetts: 5
Wainwrights: 20
Hewitts: 47

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Distance: 60.5 km
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