Whiteburn's Wanderings

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

A stroll

I’d given the knee a couple of weeks rest & while still awaiting an appointment with the Physio I was getting bored & impatient watching the good weather float past.  An easy overnighter seemed to be good medicine; I decided to revisit one of my favourite mountains, Beinn a’Bhuird.

10am & -2C (Braemar was -5.8C overnight) setting out from the Linn of Quioch in the autumn sunshine things were already looking up as I strolled up the glen.


Lots of cycle traffic passed by, ‘day raiders’ heading out to tick a Munroe. I don’t want to be too disparaging about a lot of Monroe-ists but I don’t believe rushing headlong to & from a hill to gain a tick really lends itself to enjoying the mountains to their fullest extent.  I believe ‘living’ in the hills for a few days & travelling off the beaten path, in all seasons & all weathers leads to a deeper more fulfilling experience & a greater appreciation.

I took the tourist route up the An Diollard which provided a fine view across the Moine Bhealaidh to the Cairngorm/ Ben Macdui massif.


The weather looked to be changing; cloud cover was rolling in & a stiff breeze had picked up, enough to warrant a fleece, windshirt & gloves.  I wandered over to South Top taking a peek into the Coire an Dubh Lochain along the way.


The crowds had disappeared back downhill as I wandered over to North Top & then turned west descending towards the Moine Bhealaidh.


The knee was beginning to stiffen so I called it a day & pitched up close to the Allt Cumh na Coinnich (~NJ 063004), a nice level & dry pitch.


5:00pm all settled in; I knew I’d have time on my hands due to giving the knee a bit of an easy time so I packing a good selection of food for the trip.

First bit of luxury was Tiffin; a pot of Lady Grey & Danish pastries


6:30 time for dinner; soup followed by rabbit casserole.


It took a little while for the first courses to settle so it was dark by the time a tackled desert; apple slice with custard.


Then of course there was the after dinner coffee & a dram (purely medicinal), sometimes it’s pure hell backpacking in Scotland.


The only downside of the evening was the almost 100% cloud cover, it would have been nice to lay back & stare up at the stars……….time for bed…..the only disturbance was a couple of stags in the distance roaring at each other.


It was a tardy start to the day, almost 9:00am before I headed off up Beinn a’Chaorainn Bheag.  A dull day with continuous cloud cover but at least it was well above the summits allowing a great view from Beinn a’Chaorainn


I descended south to the Moine Bhealaidh.


Even sticking to the high ground & despite the dry-ish conditions I still had wet feet by the time I got to Beinn Bhreac, the only time I haven’t got wet feet crossing here is when it’s been frozen.  Descending south I mused route choices; swing west & down Glen Derry or turn east towards the Quoich.  The ridge did offer up a fine view down Glen Quoich & I think that swung it.


I descended down past the lochan of Poll Bhat, which in the dry conditions was looking more like a muddy swamp.


After a short section of nasty heather bashing I was on the banks of the Allt an Dubh-ghlinne & the sandy beach in one of the overflow channels looked a fine place for lunch & a brew.


No sooner than I was enjoying the tea I was being plagued by midge & spent my time walking around in circles to keep the blighters off!  I though the frosts would have seen them off but they’re obviously tough little sods.

Following the river downstream to pick up the ‘tourist’ track was a little more difficult than expected, no green highway along the river bank, numerous excursions into the deep heather were needed plus clambering over fallen trees but it was short lived & nice scenery all the way back to the car.

A pleasant little sojourn in the hills & the knee held up reasonably well.



4 comments on “A stroll

  1. Kirsten
    October 21, 2015

    Nice one, Paul! One of my favourite hills too. Hope the knee holds up well. Get cut off internet tomorrow so am enjoying the last of it tonight.

  2. Rob Mcwilliams
    October 24, 2015

    I don’t know what sort of knee trouble you are suffering, Paul, but you are either very hardy or it is not too debilitating. Mine (the doc calls it edema) would rule out a “stroll” like yours. Nice pictures, btw. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    • Paul Atkinson
      October 25, 2015

      Still awaiting a ‘good’ diagnosis/ prognosis on the knee; only advice from the Doc = rest & pills.
      Managed the ‘stroll’ with a combination of reduced pace (particularly downhills), Ibuprofen & Tylenol.

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2015 by in Trip Reports and tagged , , .

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