The Cairnwell Munros, take 3.

Route: The Cairnwell Munros

Munros: Càrn a' Ghèoidh, Càrn Aosda, The Cairnwell

Date walked: 19/02/2012

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 11.5km

Ascent: 975m

This was my third attempt up at this group of munros - 1st time was in October, managed Carn Aosda and The Cairnwell but got lost on route to Carn a'Gheoidh (Pea Soup!) and was saved by some kind gentlemen who had also got lost. 2nd time was earlier in January, but we were battered by hail on Carn Aosda before one of the group went over on his ankle and we had to make a quick decent. And so, I was raring to go on 19 February - I as did not want to make fourth journey to these 'easy bags'! Was meant to be a great of 9 of us going, but whittled down to 2 at a phenomenal rate on the Saturday, never mind though, theirr loss - wasn't going to stop me! And boy-oh-boy did they miss out on an outstanding day! :D Left Edinburgh about 8:30, grabbed breafast on route and arrived in Braemar about 11 - later than I'd hoped, but as it happens the road was closed until just before we arrived, so timing was actually perfect! Battled through the hoards of traffic that had built up with the road closure and finally got set off around 11:30am, with the mini sledges tucked in my bag (had to be done!)
Mike on the trudge up to Carn Aosda

1st Peak, Carn Aosda - When I did this in October I thought it was a fairly easy ascent, but in thick (and lots of fresh) snow, it made for quite a hard trudge (but enjoyable mostly!). Paths were non-existant with the snow, so we just followed the ski lifts farthest to the right that obviously lead to the summit - although I wouldn't recommend doing this group in low cloud (I found it relatively hard to navigate when you can only see 10ft in front of you!) following the lifts will at least get you up this summit :) Reached the summit in good time - and what a treat! - for the first time I actually saw something other than thick grey cloud. In summer this is not going to be the most rewarding of views, but the lovely white backdrops made for beauiful Cairngorm scenery.
Views of Loch Vrotachan... frozen solid

Having already visited Carn Aosda twice, we moved on quickly to get to Carn a'Gheoidh. Again, very little in the way of paths due to the snow, but it was the the most clear day I've been out in this year so far, so it was easy to see our next target - and we just headed straight there, veering right of Carn nan Sac. As the walk highlands walk through states, once your well on route to the 2nd peak and the ski centre is well behind you, that lovely feeling of remoteness is enjoyed for at least a wee while. Bagged Carn a'Gheoidh (AT LONG LAST!) and parked up for our picnic on our way back, in between some sledging fun! :)
Bagged Carn a'Gheoidh (AT LONG LAST!)

Mike & I



Swung by Carn nan Sac on our way back, and got on route to the Cairnwell. Once back at the fence at the slopes, The Cairnwell is easy to get to (well, relatively, the snow and ice did make it harder that expected). This munro is never going to look pretty, but the snow helped, and having a view this time was a reward in itself. Decided just to sit on the sledges and slide down from The Cairnwell heading straight towards the car park rather than via the restaurant - WHAT FUN!! albeit terribly painful when we hit stones and came flying off... I suffered for days after, but it was worth it. And there you have it, 5 and a half hours later we were back at the car, and I can safely say that this will have been my final trip up these munros... good to have ticked off, but not the most exciting of munros. However, if you get the same conditions as us on this fine winters day, you'd be in for a treat! :D

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Comments: 1


Activity: Mountaineer

Munros: 68
Corbetts: 2
Fionas: 2
Sub 2000: 6

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Trips: 1
Distance: 11.5 km
Ascent: 975m
Munros: 3

Joined: Mar 28, 2011
Last visited: Oct 26, 2019
Total posts: 1 | Search posts