5 Munros from the Lairig Ghru

Route: Cairn Toul - Braeriach traverse

Munros: Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Càrn a' Mhàim, Sgòr an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point

Date walked: 25/07/2023

Time taken: 18 hours

Distance: 56.24km

Ascent: 2595m

I'd been looking forward to this walk for a while. I'd only previously spent just over a week in total in the Cairngorms and to be honest, my feeling of the area wasn't particularly fond. I'd enjoyed the time I'd spent there, but my impression of it was that it was pretty bleak and featureless. Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm were the only Munros I'd walked in the area, but I spent a week there earlier this year during my Mountain Leader training and the feeling of barrenness was only amplified. Don't get me wrong, I still thought it was a beautiful area, in its own way, and I'd still rather be cutting about there than in a city any day of the week, but compared to the west coast scenery.. Yea, it just didn't quite compete. That was until I did this two day trip, walking through the Lairig Ghru and clambering up the Munros on the ridge that guards this high pass from the left side. The views were stunning, as you can see from the pictures later on in this report..

I parked the car at the lay-by just beyond the Rothiemurchus centre. The rain hadn't started yet and I was feeling hopeful that it would stay in the clouds for a decent wee while.. At least I was being optimistic! After 40 minutes the rain started and that was pretty much it for the rest of the day. I was afforded some dramatic views of the cliffs that guard either side of the Lairig Ghru. I'd heard a lot about this high pass through the mountains and was actually happy to see the rain - the atmosphere was amazing, ghostly even, as I watched the clouds roll through the gulleys on the cliffs.

Clouds rolling over the ridge into the Lairig Ghru

Eventually I reached the famous Corrour bothy. It was only 4pm, so I decided to continue walking the Lairig Ghru to then reach the path up to Carn a'Mhaim. I bagged a space in the bothy, emptied my pack to lighten the load and reached the summit in decent time. The path up to this munro was steep but I made it in good time, with little time spent at the summit on account of the lack of a view! I was back in the bothy just after 7pm. There were 3 other people there at this point, who I tried to chat to but they were getting ready for bed and not in a very conversational mood, it seemed.. Oh well, I thought, each to their own. But then they actually got into their beds at about half 7! I wasn't sure if they'd maybe had a rough and wet day or something, but it meant that I couldn't heat up my dinner or sit reading my book in the bothy as I didn't want to be making a racket while they were trying to sleep. This was fine and I sat on a chair in the doorway of the bothy eating my cold dinner, but I just thought that this was a little strange and perhaps not very much in the spirit of staying in a bothy.. But what can ye do?

Corrour bothy in the moody rain

The next morning I was back out on the hill for 3:55am, so that I could be at the first summit of the day for sunrise. I reached The Devil's Point in plenty of time, so I got out the stove, made some coffee and patiently waited for the sun to warm me up while I soaked up the ever changing views of the surrounding hills. I also had time to read a bit about the Munro I was standing on and was quite amused with the translation of the proper Gaelic name for this hill.. Go and have a look for yourself.

The River Dee, just before dawn.

Sunlight breaking on Stob Coire an t-Saighdeir, with Cairn Toul behind it

The sunrise was worth the early start!

After watching the sun come up, I continued along the ridge to bag the remaining three Munros. This was a brilliant walk, all the better for the rain on the first day and apart from my awkward bothy situation, I really really enjoyed this and it definitely changed my opinion of the Cairngorms. I'm looking forward to going back to explore more of the area!

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Comments: 5

Corrour to Dalwhinnie

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Bheoil, Càrn Dearg (Corrour), Sgòr Gaibhre
Date walked: 10/07/2023
Distance: 61.07km
Ascent: 8490m
Views: 469

The Ring of Steall/Ben Nevis

Attachment(s) Munros: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Ben Nevis, Sgùrr a' Mhàim, Stob Coire a' Chàirn
Date walked: 21/07/2020
Distance: 33km
Ascent: 1676m
Comments: 1
Views: 1369


Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Musician
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: The Park Bar, Glasgow
Mountain: Beinn Narnain
Place: Castle Sween
Member: None

Munros: 108
Corbetts: 6
Fionas: 1
Wainwrights: 30
Hewitts: 23

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Trips: 2
Distance: 117.31 km
Ascent: 11085m
Munros: 8


Trips: 1
Distance: 33 km
Ascent: 1676m
Munros: 5

Joined: Jul 22, 2020
Last visited: Jun 12, 2024
Total posts: 5 | Search posts