CAIRNGORMS – Part 2

It was fairly easy going down to Loch nan Stuirteag and we managed to find great views, although they were only temporary. There didn’t appear to be any obvious path up Monadh Mor and it wasn’t too steep. I’d stupidly mentioned to Karen that the wind had died down. As soon as we got to about 1000mts it picked up and I mean it really, really picked up and each time I lifted my foot I was knocked sideways to my left. We finally reached the Monadh Mor summit and sat for 5 minutes as the rain/drizzle had temporarily stopped.

The visibility was down to only a few metres so I used Karen’s map and compass to take a bearing to the 975m bealach towards Beinn Bhrotain. Having looked at the map I had an idea of what the next 15 minutes should look like. After a few minutes of walking I started to worry as what I was expecting wasn’t what I was now experiencing. I kept checking the compass and for some reason it was trying to take me down the Southern shoulder towards Cnapan Mor.  Ignoring the compass, I started to traverse to the left and after a few minutes I saw the bealach and the obvious path up the side of Beinn Bhrotain. Poor Karen, she’d suffered most of the day and as we struggled up the mountain in the wind and rain she kept stopping every few minutes. She stopped not far short of the summit and indicated that she needed to use the facilities. I carried on and left her to it, the wind was too strong to stand up so I lay down on the stones and waited for her to catch up. We then had a bit of a giggle when Karen stated that it would have been easier if she’d just wet herself, I can only imagine.

Having reached the summit of Beinn Bhrotain we didn’t stop and headed off in a South Easterly direction towards Carn Cloich mhuilinn. The views were back again and I could see 2 other walkers heading up CCM. We kept to the right hand side and continued to go down. Unfortunately this is where things went a little pear shaped. We headed too far South towards a place called the Dukes Chair. We persevered too long in this direction and reckon that error cost us about 3 extra kms and easily half an hour. We then headed East and picked up the path running along the Geldie Burn, 5kms and 1 1/2 hours later we had reached White Bridge. By now both myself and Karen were exhausted and running on fumes. Karen still wasn’t feeling well and had too stop every 10 minutes too sip her water. That final 5 kms to the Linn of Dee car park was the worse hour that I’ve probably had out walking. Although my feet weren’t hurting my left ankle (the one with the metal pins in) was agony.

In summary, we walked more then 48kms (28+ miles) in 17 hours. I said goodnight to Karen and she said she was going to get a couple of hours of sleep before then driving home. I had something to eat then fell asleep, quickly. What a day!

 

VERY LONG DAY IN THE CAIRNGORMS – Part 1.

Date:    Saturday 16th July 2016.        Route:  Linn of Dee circular.

The original plan was too cycle from the Linn of Dee to White Bridge then walk into Corrour Bothy. We would then tackle The Devils Point, Cairn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angels Peak) and possibly Braeriach before a wild camp. The following day we would then tackle Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain before then heading back to Linn of Dee. Like I said that was the plan and plans never go to plan.

    Started walking from Linn of Dee, Karen had fallen off the bike the previous day and didn’t fancy cycling to White Bridge with a heavy backpack. Set off at 6.00am.      

    Made good time to the bridge and turned off on the right towards Corrour Bothy. The next 11kms rolled by in pretty good time and it was now that Karen first mentioned that she was feeling a bit sickly. We reached the Bothy and met another walker who had camped behind the Bothy. After using the facilities at the Bothy (not a pleasant smell) we made off uphill towards The Devils Point on a good path. On reaching the summit we got some good views and as yet the expected high winds hadn’t appeared. 

     We recovered our packs from the Bealach and started uphill towards Cairn Toul. Karen is usually more then capable of keeping a good pace when walking but I could tell she was struggling. We stopped several times and Karen had even thrown up. We got to Cairn Toul, the last few hundred metres was on rocky terrain. The first rain now appeared and we donned our waterproofs. As if Karen wasn’t having a hard enough time, she’d forgotten her waterproof trousers, noooooo.

   I asked Karen if she wanted to head back to Linn of Dee but she decided she didn’t fancy the long walk back and she wanted to carry on. I was looking at the map now for any possible escape routes but there were no easy options this far out. We climbed down to the Bealach and quickly reached Sgor an Lochain Uaine. No views unfortunately and more persistent rain now. It was decided that camping wasn’t an option any more and neither was Braeriach as we really needed to get Karen back to her car. We headed down the Western shoulder towards Loch nan Sturteag. I checked the time and was about 2.30pm.

June 2016 Adventures: Day 3.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Date:  19th June 2016                                Route: Glenfinnan Two with Karen.

 

Yesterday was a great walk with great weather but today as the title suggests was different. Karen picked me up from the car park and we drove to the car park at Glenfinnan. Began walk along a tarmac road which after only 5 minutes goes under the Glenfinnan Viaduct made famous by the Harry Potter movies. As I walked under the viaduct gave both me and Keren a shock by the echo coming from the stone arches. Continued along the tarmac which turns to a rougher track leading towards the Corryhully bothy and Glenfinnan Lodge which can be seen from some distance away on the hillside. As we passed the bothy saw several people camping nearby and said our usual Hello’s.

Karen 200 Munro's, Well Done.

Karen 200 Munro’s, Well Done.

Not long after passing the bothy we reached the bridge over the Allt a’ Choire Charnaig and stopped to take in some liquid and food and discuss the day ahead. The cloud looked to be covering the hills from about 600mts and although it was dry, we both knew that it probably wouldn’t stay like this all day. We found the access path up to Druim Coire a’ Bheithe thanks to the wooden sign pointing uphill. The ground was fairly dry and although the ascent was steep we made good time. After reaching the 600mts point as expected the cloud stole the views and we never saw them again until we descended later in the day. The route leveled out a little and we saw the expected fence posts which guided us some of the way towards Sgurr Thuilm, our first target summit for today. I also saw the small pile of stone which indicted the path towards Sgurr nan Coireachan. We reached Sgurr Thuilm (963m) 10 minutes later and despite the cloud cover I commented to Karen that I was still enjoying the day (not raining yet). Photo taken we were off again,approx 12.45 pm at this point. We backtracked a few hundred metres or so and found the pile of stone which took us in a Westerly direction. We ‘d already discussed the number of significant tops we would have to climb in order to make it to Sgurr nan Coireachan and reckoned between 4-5. As we headed West we saw the only two other walkers we would meet all day. They were walking the same route but in the opposite direction. We continued over the tops, counting them off one by one and the drizzly rain started to come down.

Sgurr nan Coireachan summit.

Sgurr nan Coireachan summit.

 

The drizzle would continue for the rest of the day as we passed by several small lochans. We reached Sgurr nan Coireachan (956m) and due to the rain falling even heavier then before we moved on quickly. The path had been good and easy to follow all the way around until we came off Coireachan and had to take more care in the wet steep descent. There weresome fairly nasty looking cliffs and gullies around her and in poor conditions could easily cause problems. Took our time and with luck we managed to keep finding the path until we finally after several hours came out of the cloud.

The views were still good and we now made good progress as we descended down Sgurr a’Choire Riabhaich and then onto a good path on the side of a heather filled hill. We continued to Corryhully Bothy and decided to have a look inside and out of the rain for a few minutes. Nice bothy with plenty of bits and pieces having been left by the previous occupants. Left the bothy with only the 5kms trek back to the Glenfinnan car park still  to do.

 

Corryhully Bothy

Corryhully Bothy

Despite the rain and low cloud I still had a good day and myself and Karen managed to have a few laughs along the way. Like Friday I’m going to visit these mountains again on a better day. I’ll bet the views along the ridge are awesome. Rest day tomorrow before meeting up with Simon, Evie, Martin and Andy and heading over to Knoydart from Mallaig.

 

Distance walked today: 26.8 kms.