Section 8 Index
|Meall an Lundain|
Section 8 Trip Reports
12 December 2015
|Map - OS Landranger 36.||Time taken 8 hours.||Distance - 21.5 kilometres.||Ascent - 765 metres.|
There was a reasonable weather forecast for the Cairngorms so my brother and I headed for Coylumbridge, on the road linking Aviemore to Glen More, parking in the lay-by beside the caravan and camping park there. Once geared up we set off along the marked track for the Lairig Ghru. This took us through the Caledonian Pine Forest and numerous gates, over the Cairngorm Club Footbridge and after around ninety minutes onto the open hillside. The path, which was now covered in snow, was in a poor state with lots of lying water and bog. We passed a couple of chaps who were planning to camp at Corrour Bothy. Earlier we met another couple who were headed for an overnight stay at the bothy before retuning over the higher tops.
The plan had been to continue up the Lairig Path then gain some more height using the path to Sron na Lairige before dropping to Lochan Odhar and climbing Carn Odhar. However opposite the Allt an Lochain Odhair we decided to leave the Lairig Path and make a more direct ascent of this Graham Top. This involved a slight descent through heather and bog then finding a suitable point to cross the Allt Druidh which was running a bit high.
Once on its west side we climbed through snow covered heather later crossing the Allt an Lochain Odhair and onto Carn Odhar, the summit marked by a cairn. From here we descended west, crossed some more boggy ground and the headwaters of the Fieth an Eireannaidh, before gaining Carn Eilrig’s south ridge where we spotted a lone reindeer. It was then an easy stroll to the cairn marking the summit of this Hump and Graham Top.
After a break at the summit we returned along the south ridge before descending through snow covered heather aiming for the bridge over the Am Beanaidh. Lower down a few boulder fields filled with soft snow made things a bit difficult before crossing some bog to reach the bridge. Once across the Am Beanaidh we followed the vehicle track north then north-west down Glen Einich. It was dark by the time we rejoined the Lairig Ghru track for the final 700 metres back to the car.
|Carn Eilrig||first ascent||742 metres|
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2 May 2015
|Map - OS Landranger 36.||Time taken - 5 hours.
(includes cycle - 1 hour)
|Distance - 21.5 kilometres.
(includes cycle - 10 kilometres)
|Ascent - 600 metres.
(includes cycle - 200 metres)
Checking the weather forecast for the weekend, Saturday appeared to be the better day for a trip into the hills. On looking at my various hill lists I decided to head for Strath Avon and climb a few of the tops on its east side. To lessen the distance walked on a tarred road I decided to take my bike.
The car park just off the Tomintoul to Delnabo road was empty when I arrived and once geared up I set off on my bike up Strath Avon using the tarred road which crossed the River Avon and passed Delnabo before re-crossing the river at Delavorar. Here it joined the vehicle track that led from the car park along east side of the Avon. I thought the tarred road would be easier but having used the vehicle track on my return I’m not so sure.
On continuing my cycle I came to Birchfield where large iron gates blocked vehicle progress but a side gate allowed pedestrians and cyclists to continue on their journey. It was around here that I was aware of the crescendo of noise from the birds nesting near the river. I then passed another bridge over the river which is sometimes used by those climbing the Graham, Cnap Chaochan Aitinn. A cattle grid was reached and immediately beyond it the vehicle track I planned to use to access the Hump, Liath Bheinn.
Once I secured my bike and in the sun walked up this track which was in reasonable condition with views back down Strath Avon to Tomintoul and Ben Rinnes. I came to an unlocked gate in a deer fence although there was a stile to the right. Height was gradually gained and higher up the track was filled with snow which from tyre marks had obviously prevented an estate vehicle from making further progress. Beyond this area and almost near the track’s high point I left it and crossed mainly windswept heather to reach Liath Bheinn’s summit cairn. The sunny conditions had been replaced by cloud with light snow showers which were quite frequent during the remainder of the walk. I took a break here looking across to Ben Avon and Beinn a’Bhuird which were well coated in snow.
I descended Liath Bheinn’s south-east ridge to briefly re-join the vehicle track before it came to an end just before the wet col with Craig Veann. I commenced the ascent of this Graham Top through very mixed underfoot conditions following a line of shooting butts. Mountain hares were prevalent with some still having remnants of their winter coat. Higher up peat hags were crossed then on approaching the summit of Craig Veann I was confronted by twin fences. The top wire on one and the three strands on the other were electrified although a crossing point had been constructed to enable me to reach the trig point.
I didn’t linger here and with the electric fences running along my planned route I had to decide which side to follow. I opted to re-cross the fences then descended south-west later crossing some wet and boggy ground. There were a few signs attached to posts indicating crossing points at 500 metres in both directions but I passed a few of these crossings and some weren’t that far apart. At the col with Carn Bad a’Ghuail there was an interesting gully named ‘The Eag’ at the head of the stream called Burn of Little Fergie. It was then a short climb onto the rather flat summit of Carn Bad a’Ghuail where I found it impossible to work out the highest point of this Graham Top which may have been a fence post.
A short descent west took me to the col with Foal’s Crag where there was a drove of hares gathered together. I counted at least seven as they ran off in different directions. An easy climb took me onto Foal’s Crag, a sub-Graham Top, where once again there was nothing indicating the highest point although I thought it may have been a clump of grass beside a lochan.
Just to the west of this summit there was vehicle track which was also in reasonable condition. I used it to descent into Strath Avon joining the tarred road beside the derelict building at Dalestie. It was then a walk of around 2.5 kilometres north to collect my bike before cycling back to the car park.
|Liath Bheinn||first ascent||664 metres|
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5 January 2015
|Map - OS Landranger 36.||Time taken - 1.25 hours.||Distance - 4 kilometres.||Ascent - 160 metres.|
I had planned to climb the Hump, Baddoch, on my return to Aberdeen from Inverness, but with windy weather predicted I wasn’t sure if it would be possible. However on the drive along the A939 from Grantown on Spey the wind didn’t appear too bad. There were a couple of spots at the side of the road where I could have left my car but I chose to leave it on the right hand bend for west bound traffic at grid reference NJ088201.
After a short walk east I crossed a stock fence and commenced the ascent of Baddoch across some ice covered vegetation. The electric pylons shown on the map had been removed a few years ago. Beyond the ice the heather was fairly long and at times in tussocks but I soon reached and crossed the stock fence on Baddoch’s north-east ridge. I then followed what were probably animal trails to gain the North-East Top.
The wind was stronger as I made a short descent to some wet and boggy ground where a drainage channel had been dug but it didn’t make the walking any easier so it was a slow bog hop to gain the height lost, plus a few extra metres, to reach a junction of fences. A stile was crossed and just beyond was the cairn marking Baddoch’s highest point. Lots of the previous day’s snow had disappeared even on the Cairngorms.
I returned by the upward route.
|Baddoch||first ascent||568 metres|
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4 January 2015
|Map - OS Landranger 36.||Time taken - 2.5 hours.||Distance - 7.25 kilometres.||Ascent - 310 metres.|
I was en-route to Inverness via the A939 with a plan to stop off and climb the Hump, Carn Meadhonach. There was a choice of starting points including from Delnabo, south of Tomintoul but I decided to commence my ascent from Bridge of Brown on the Moray/Highland boundary, west of Tomintoul.
There were a couple of parking spots beside the hairpin bends just east of Bridge of Brown so once geared up I set off along the vehicle track on the east side of the Burn of Brown, a Right of Way to Tomintoul and Delnabo. This track hadn’t been used by vehicles for some time just evidence of use by walkers and bikers as it was also part of a Glenlivet cycle route. The track was quite rutted with sections of ice and led to a stile and gate giving access to a short section of forest. The walking here was easy but it soon ended when I reached a second gate and stile. Beyond, the track returned to its rough and icy condition gradually gaining a bit of height. Another gate was reached then the ruins of the north farm at Tombreck.
Rather than continue to the ruin at South Tombreck on a now indistinct path and to save the little height I had gained I continued south across a couple of fields and a fence to reach the vehicle track running across the lower slopes of Carn Meadhonach. This track had recently been upgraded probably to extract timber from a nearby forest. I then used animal trails through heather and juniper to gain its north-west ridge. Here there was some ice and a light covering of snow which was crossed to reach the windy summit of Carn Meadhonach, the highest point apparently being ground beside an old fence post.
The low sun, which at times had obstructed my vision, now attempted to conceal my view of the snow covered Cairngorms. A herd of deer feeding just to the south took a few minutes to note my presence before disappearing. I found a wee bit of shelter to sit and take in the views across Tomintoul to the Ladder and Lecht Hills.
The descent was by my initial upward route then to the ruin at Stronachavie before crossing a couple of fields to rejoin the track at North Tombreck which was followed back to Bridge of Brown.
|Carn Meadhonach||first ascent||588 metres|
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3 November 2006
|Map - OS Landranger 36 & 43.||Time taken - 8.75 hours.||Distance - 27 kilometres.||Ascent - 900 metres.|
The starting point for this walk was the popular car park at the Linn of Dee, several miles west of Braemar. From here we followed the path through the woods which joined the vehicle track beside the Lui Water. This track was followed as far as the path leading to Clais Fhearnaig.
I have climbed the Munro, Beinn Bhreac several times from Glen Derry but have never found a satisfactory route. On this occasion I decided on a different approach so at the path leading to Clais Fhearnaig I followed it for about 500 metres before heading directly onto Meall an Lundain. This route followed the occasional animal path but was mainly through heather and vegetation, some of it fairly deep. We disturbed quite a few grouse as we headed uphill and a couple of roe deer.
Eventually we reached the Hump, Meall an Lundain, which was marked by a cairn and had some good views of the snow covered Beinn a'Bhuird. In fact it was quite a pleasant day with mainly light winds and reasonable visibility although further west there was some cloud hanging around the summits. The only downside to this route was a descent of around 80 metres but it was a gentle slope before the climb to the Munro, Beinn Bhreac.
From Beinn Bhreac we descended to the east of Craig Derry and thereafter crossed the Moine Bhealach which was pitted with peat hags and small pools. However the ground was a bit firmer than normal due to recent frosts but wouldn't hold our weight. One of my clients disturbed a vole while crossing one of the peat hags.
Once west of Moine Bhealach we left the peat hags and climbed the south ridge of Beinn a'Chaorainn where we spotted mountain hares and ptarmigan, both changing to their white winter colour. On reaching the summit we had some lunch in the sun but there was a cold breeze. However the views were good and clear.
Once we had a quick bite to eat we descended into Glen Derry and followed the path to Derry Lodge, watched by red deer on the slopes of Craig Derry. From Derry Lodge the vehicle track led us back to the car park at the Linn of Dee. We saw a couple of roe deer, well it could have been the same two we disturbed in the morning, feeding close to the track.
It was almost dark when we reached the car park and here a few hill walkers were setting off probably to stay in the bothy at Derry Lodge. They would have to join a couple of dogs who had already booked their space there.
|Meall an Lundain||first ascent||777 metres|
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