Kincraig to Aviemore - in surprise sunshine

Route: Kincraig to Aviemore

Date walked: 10/06/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 18.5km

Ascent: 120m

Date: 10/06/2017.
Distance: 18.5km.
Ascent: 120m.
Time: 6 hours.
Weather: Bouncing rain turning to hot sunshine.

I'd given my mum the guidebook for the East Highland Way a couple of years back, and it had inspired her to have a go at it. Dad is less of a fan of this sort of thing, so offered to be her baggage service, while also going up some hills along the way. He'd had a bit of a mixed bag over the week - Meall an t-Suidhe above Fort William, Creag Meagaidh and Creag Dubh in decent weather, Beinn a' Chaoruinn (with me) and Beinn a' Mhoncaig in indifferent conditions, and Binnein Shuas in a torrential downpour.

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Today he was off for a quick stroll up Creag Bheag, and I had decided to join mum for the last day of the EHW. I got the bus down to Kincraig in an absolute downpour, which was still pretty intense when I got off the bus, and I had to flatten myself into the verge to avoid being drenched by every car that passed. I had hoped to take the bus a couple of miles further, and walk along the NW shore of Loch Insh (this always looks really pleasant from the train), but in the crap weather, I just headed straight for the watersports centre, where mum had finished the previous day.

Loch Insh:

By the time we started walking together, the rain had almost finished, and we retraced steps a short way to the turning for Invereshie House. We had a look in the sculpture park, which had wood and rock carvings by Frank Bruce - not the usual carvings of squirrels and foxes and the like that you often find around Forestry Commission car parks (sample description: "This trio represents the affluent nations. In the centre is a piece called Conscience, which shows a mother holding a starving child. The child is being ignored by the larger figures, which have their eyes on the horizon and do not want to see what is going on in developing nations.").

Sculpture Park:


Then it was on to Feshiebridge, where we stopped to watch a kayaker leading a group of river tubers through the rapids under the bridge.

Kayaker and river tubers on the Feshie:



The next couple of miles were a bit nondescript, following unexciting forestry tracks, but the sun was coming out and the views to the western Cairngorm plateau were opening up. Mum likes nothing better than a well-marked long-distance trail, but apparently there isn't much waymarking on the EHW, and she had managed to get lost a few times. There was also quite a lot of dull forestry tracks, and it looked to me that the Speyside section probably had the most variety in it.

Creag Mhigeachaidh and Geal-charn:

Soon enough, we left the big track and were following a much more interesting route through more mixed woodland, ending up at Drake's bothy - one that I hadn't been aware of. It is fairly basic, and has no fireplace, but actually doesn't look too bad. Further wandering through the woods brought us to Loch Gamhna, hidden away in the trees. The section between the bothy and the loch felt pretty wild.

Loch Gamhna:


This walk swung wildly between sections of seeing no-one at all, and really busy parts. Unsurprisingly, given that we were now on the circuit of Loch an Eilean, it was now very busy again, with a wedding party photo shoot taking place at the car park. It was also now very warm as well as sunny - not what was forecast at all!

Castle in Loch an Eilean:

Wedding party at Loch an Eilean:

The minor road from Loch an Eilean was really busy with cars, and we were glad to get off it. While I had previously followed the path past Croft when trying to reach Aviemore, this time we followed the suggested EHW route past Lochan Mor. While the road was annoying with it's traffic, it was definitely the more scenic route, with Lochan Mor being a pleasant pool hidden away in the trees.

Lochan Mor:

Before long, we were at Inverdruie, where the coastguard helicopter was on display for visitors to have a look at. The last mile into Aviemore was rather sweaty, and we arrived in a rather busy Aviemore at about the same time as dad.

Coastguard helicopter at Inverdruie:

Mum was quite pleased to have completed the EHW, and I rather enjoyed a wander through the woods down here. While I usually prefer getting up a bit higher, there are numerous nice places to visit down on the floor of the valley.

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Not the east ridge of Beinn a' Chaoruinn

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Glen Spean)
Date walked: 08/06/2017
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 875m
Comments: 1
Views: 176

Lochnagar and a night at Gelder Shiel

Attachment(s) Munros: Lochnagar
Date walked: 28/05/2017
Distance: 22km
Ascent: 1000m
Comments: 1
Views: 164

A scorching crossing of the Cairngorms

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Macdui
Date walked: 27/05/2017
Distance: 39km
Ascent: 1580m
Comments: 3
Views: 216

A' Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire from Glen Affric

Attachment(s) Munros: A' Chralaig, Mullach Fraoch-choire
Date walked: 21/05/2017
Distance: 35km
Ascent: 1470m
Comments: 3
Views: 268

Cnoc Fyrish

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Date walked: 07/05/2017
Distance: 6km
Ascent: 290m
Views: 24

Inverlael to Altguish - Everything except Beinn Dearg

Attachment(s) Munros: Am Faochagach, Cona' Mheall, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean
Date walked: 06/05/2017
Distance: 31km
Ascent: 2010m
Comments: 1
Views: 182

Cycling to the Kinlochleven meet - last part

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Doire Ban
Date walked: 23/04/2017
Distance: 4.5km
Ascent: 410m
Comments: 2
Views: 201

Break from the bike: Little Buachaille at the spring meet

Attachment(s) Munros: Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)
Date walked: 22/04/2017
Distance: 7.5km
Ascent: 860m
Views: 188

Cycling to the Kinlochleven meet - part 2

Attachment(s) Grahams: Druim na Sgriodain
Date walked: 21/04/2017
Distance: 8.5km
Ascent: 830m
Comments: 2
Views: 229


User avatar
Location: Inverness
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Interests: Walking, Scrambling, Cycling, Mountain Biking
Munro rounds: 1
Corbett rounds: 1
Graham rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 219
Donalds: 50
Wainwrights: 81
Hewitts: 205
Sub 2000: 178

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Distance: 475 km
Ascent: 24465m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 4
Sub2000s: 18


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Grahams: 43
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Grahams: 36
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Sub2000s: 19
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Sub2000s: 6


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Corbetts: 19
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Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 4


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Grahams: 4
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Munros: 29
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 8


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Ascent: 47975m
Munros: 60
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 1


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Grahams: 3
Hewitts: 24


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Ascent: 59035m
Munros: 45
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 52
Wainwrights 23


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Ascent: 42190m
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Ascent: 44205m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 63
Wainwrights 6


Trips: 40
Distance: 476.5 km
Ascent: 40740m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 2
Hewitts: 75
Wainwrights 17


Trips: 2

Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Last visited: Jun 24, 2017
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