Whiteburn's Wanderings

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

A Quick Wander

After seeing the forecast for the end of the week (heavy rain & thunderstorms) I quickly decided on a short trip to the Cairngorms (again), I soon packed a couple of night’s food & jumped in the car to the Linn of Dee. I’d no plan other than make for Bob Scott’s, I’d figure something out before the morning.
Day 1
The ‘plan’ that came to mind was head for Braeriach & pitch up near the Wells of Dee, a familiar route, it didn’t take long to walk over the bealach, enter Glen Dee with the familiar sight of Corrour bothy; the Cairn Toul/ Braeriach ridge didn’t look as though it would provide any spectacular views today.
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I arrived at the bothy around 10:30am, time for a short stop to chat with the residents who were still engaged in final packing & giving the place a brush out.
It was soon time to hit the road again, make the climb up Coire Odhar before detouring up to Devil’s Point. The summit did provide a reasonable view up the glen but judging by the cloud base it was probably going to be to best view of the day.
IMG_3301A (2) (Large)
The summit of Cairn Toul predictably was a cairn in the mist.
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And so was Angels Peak.
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A bit of relief came in the form of a male Snow Bunting who came for a visit (& cereal bar crumbs).
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Then it was a misty trek over to Braeriach via the Wells of Dee for a fill up….another cairn in the mist.
IMG_3306 (2) (Large)
It was only 4pm & the wind had been increasing steadily all afternoon, the thought of a damp, blustery camp gave way to plan B; descend into Garbh Choire. I back-tracked a couple of 100m then turned south following the rim of Coire Bhrochain & soon located the steep grassy descent line through the huge boulder fields that generally cover the slopes. It took about an hour to make the nearly 600m descent & finally reach the coire floor, about 200m upstream of the refuge.
The revised plan had been to pitch further down the valley but the weird weather, varying from a flat calm with lots of midge to 40+gusty winds, intervened & I opted for the relative luxury of the refuge.
Day 2
A leisurely 8:30 start, cloud continued to cloak the tops.
IMG_3307 (2) (Large)
The ‘plan’ was to head over Ben Macdui so made my way north-east to join the Lairig Ghru, during the cross-country trek my  chosen line of ascent up the steep west flank revealed itself, more or less straight up the Alt a’Choire Mhoir
IMG_3310 (2) (Large)
The 500m climb proved as steep as it looked but not difficult & I was soon on the path to the summit; the wind had increased to 30+mph but at least the cloud had lifted.
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I enjoyed the views for a while then made my way down to the Sapper’s bothy for a bite to eat out of the wind & to ponder the afternoon’s return route options; via Sron Riach, via the Hutchie or over Derry Cairngorm.
I decided on going back via the Hutchie, made my way down to Loch Etchachan, topped up the water bottle then sat back for a while out of the wind. Another change of plan, stay high & go over Derry Cairngorm; no arguments when solo walking.
I climbed south directly up Creagan a’ Etchachan which provided an unusually clear panorama of the Macdui/ Cairngorm plateau.
IMG_3318 - 3323 (2) (Large)
I was soon on Derry Cairngorm’s summit.
IMG_3324 (2) (Large)
The boulder strewn ridge meant for or slower progress than I would have wished for given the incessant wind & blustery showers but it was soon over & down into the relative calm of the pine trees in Glen Lui….. pesky midges…… & the short stroll back to the car.

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2 comments on “A Quick Wander

  1. Kirsten
    July 28, 2018

    Slove the snow bunting! Great shot.

    • Paul Atkinson
      July 28, 2018

      Saw a female snow bunting on Ben Macdui but it was too timid to get a shot…..even with cereal bar crumbs.

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2018 by in Trip Reports and tagged , , .

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