Whiteburn's Wanderings

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

Windy ‘gorms

With cabin fever rising thought it was time to get out for a bit of a yomp.  The forecast across the tops wasn’t promising, “SW veering W, 35mph increasing 50mph by pm, locally 60mph. Risk of gusts increasing 70mph…….snow showers…”, so I thought I’d keep it fairly low level to avoid the worst of it.

I dropped the motor at Dinnet & jumped on the 10:16 bus west only to find it terminated just down the road at Ballater.  I’d an hour to kill waiting for the onward ride towards Braemar (my incompetence at reading the timetable), time enough for a pot of tea.  I finally arrived at Inver at 11:45, not the earliest of kickoff’s but I wasn’t in a major hurry I’d packed 2 nights of supplies for a planned ~50km excursion.

Day 1– 20km, 530m ascent Map 1 No route finding issues with the first bit 100 & quite a pleasant start wandering up through birch forest to Balmore. 101 I diverted off the signposted drove road to stop in at the ruined township of Auchtavan. 107

As well as the building ruins & lots of dykes there’s a few standing buildings, a farmstead inhabited until the mid 19th century.


Including a semi-restored horse mill which is open & proved an excellent place to get out of the wind & have a brew before heading over the bealach into Glen Gairn.


The bealach proved to be quite wild, 40 – 50mph wind & it had started snowing, not a place to hang around.

121 By the time I approached Loch Builg the weather had definitely turned a tadge nasty, wet snow & a wind that couldn’t make up its mind in which direct to blow. 123

Thoughts of pitching up next to Lochbuilg Lodge were quickly dismissed in favour of finding a more sheltered spot further down the glen.  I finally pulled up at Corndavon (it would have been nice to have a cosy bothy) & pitched up in the lea of a wall.


I was in the bed by 6pm tucked up cosy listening to the wind doing its best to send the Duomid flying down the glen but with 4 MSR blizzards & 8 Eastons nailing it down I felt fairly reassured; the ‘new’ A frame setup certainly got a good workout.  The constant buffeting did have an effect though & at around 9pm I had to don the boots & make a lap of honour to re-tension the linelocs & tie off the tails.  Also had the peculiar phenomenon of ‘snowing’ inside the Duomid as the wind freed ice crystals from the inside skin, the DWR on the bivi bag worked fine though.

Day 2 – 31km, 480m ascent Map 2 Thanks to the wind I’d had fairly restless night but the morning looked a lot better & a strong cup of coffee in a cosy bed always seems to make the world feel a cheerier place. 126 I’d a fairly lackadaisical start not getting on the road until just after 9am, there was still a fairly stiff wind blowing down the glen but at least it was from behind & the sunshine made for pleasant walking. 133

Once at the road by Gairnshiel Lodge (A939) I headed up the blacktop for 3km before taking the track East to the derelict farmstead of Glenfenzie with the outbuilding providing a nice sheltered spot for a brew up.

144 The LRT across to Morven Lodge (hidden in the trees) was a straightforward amble . 146

The ‘new’ Morven Lodge (shooting lodge) is apparently the old laundry for the much grander Lodge that was disassembled in the late 19th century & re-erected in Ballater, it became the Craigendarroch Hotel.

Onward a good LRT led across the grouse moors covering the southern flank of Morven giving nice views  across the Dee valley to Mount Keen


The track leading down to Redburn proved a little less scenic having been ‘improved’ leaving a bit of a scar across the moor but its short lived.


A 1.5km stroll down the minor road was needed to get onto the track across to Loch Kinord & Dinnet; a very pleasant stroll through birch woods to within 50m of where I’d parked, a nice finish.



4 comments on “Windy ‘gorms

  1. Martin Rye
    March 5, 2015

    Nice wee trip that. A-frame on the DuoMid pays off in bad weather. Why I like my SoloMid as easy to invert the trekking Poles to make a A-frame.

    • Paul Atkinson
      March 5, 2015

      Definitely felt that the A frame made a difference, the tarp was pretty stable despite the battering.

  2. Kirsten Paterson
    March 6, 2015

    Nice trip, Paul, Glenfenzie is one of my favourites too. Thanks for the lovely photos.

    • Paul Atkinson
      March 6, 2015

      Glenfenzie sure is a nice spot, I haven’t ever stopped there but I’ve a couple of pitches in the memory bank for future use.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on March 5, 2015 by in Trip Reports and tagged , .

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

The Mountain's Silhouette

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

Nielsen Brown Outdoors

experiencing the outdoors wherever we are

Must Be This Way

Chat about backpacking, trekking and hiking

Daunerin' Aboot

Ian Sommerville's writing and photography


One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

alan sloman's big walk

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression


One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

Land Matters

........ the blog and website of Andy Wightman


another backpacking blog

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression


Wandering in the Cairngorms and other lesser ranges, by Neil Reid


Hillwalking and Backpacking Trips in the Scottish Highlands

Section Hikers Backpacking Blog

Hiking and Backpacking for Beginners and Experts

%d bloggers like this: