M17 | 1171 m. | 3842 ft.
Translation: Bed of the yellow stag
Pronuncation: byn avon (lyepay an dyv vooee)

2008 in Braemar was a very entertaining hiking holiday. We enjoyed a lot of sunshine, rode our bicycles and ticked quite few of the great Cainrgom hills. Among them these two remote and very handsome, big hills. Form Invercauld Estate where we had parked our car we rode our bicycles up Gleann an t-Slugain almost to the ruins of Slugain Lodge. This ride was quite exhausting. The ruins are set in a curious hollow between two slopes which also contains a little lochain.

Once in Glen Quoich we followed a very well-engineered path high above the Quoich water, passed the western slopes of Carn Eag Dhubh and Carn Eas and after the path got steeper passed the boulder called Clach a’Cléirich. In the upper reaches of the corrie there were still many snow fields which also covered the track so that we had the unexpected joy of tip-toeing over snow bridges and crossing large mushy stretches of snow. Then the col between the two Munros was reached and we turned east (right) to climb Ben Avon first. After another one hundred metres of climbing the plateau of this giant hill opened up before us. Vast is a good word to describe the views. After fifteen minutes of walking we climbed the granite tor of Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe from its north side. This was fun and a pleasant change in the days menu of endless steps on grassy plateau. We paused close to the summit of the tor in the broad sunshine. Frank and I had some tea and chatted a bit. Then it became a little cold in the wind so we packed up and headed back to the col between the two hills.

Then on the final fifty metres before reaching the next plateau we had to negotiate a tricky small snowfield requiring maybe a hundred steps on untrustworthy steepish slush lying on grass. But fortunately nothing happened. Then it was another nice plateau walk to the un-inspiring summit of Beinn a’ Bhuird. However, the eastern corries of this hill are great. Really breathtaking cornices still persisted in some parts of the corries’ rims. From near A’ Chioch we took a good look at Dubh Lochan and Coire na Ciche. Then it was down-hill again to Carn Fiaclach over bouldery terrain. There we piked up the path that leads around the shoulder of this satellite of Beinn a’Bhuird to the flat moors by the Quoich Water. When we reached the banks of the burn it soon became clear that we would have to wade the cold Water. But this was rather refreshing in the end, even though I got a little wetter than I had asked for :-).

From the east bank of Quoich Water we climbed th last 50 metres to the path we had used on the way in. Soon the ruined lodge came into view. Our bicycles were still where we had left them. We took another short break and then thoroughly enjoyed the crazy ride back to Invercauld Estate on the gravelly track which once made sure I had to let go of the bike in a very in-elegant way while crossing a little stream. No harm done though. Another fine day in the Cairngorm Mountains with hardly another living soul in sight. Perfect.

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Total distance: 39662 m
Max elevation: 1180 m
Min elevation: 321 m
Total climbing: 1509 m
Total descent: -1555 m
Total time: 09:39:33

Description Ben Avon is the most easterly mountain of the main Cairngorm range. It occupies a vast area to the north-east of Glen Quoich stretching towards Inchrory and the River Gairn, and it is recognisable from many viewpoints by the granite tors on the skyline of its long flat plateau. Ben Avon is also a rather remote mountain and it is a long way to the summit from the three possible points of access, Inchrory in Glen Avon to the north, Glen Gairn to the east and Invercauld near Braemar to the south.The approach from Invercauld Bridge is probably the most commonly used route. Go up the public road to Keiloch and continue along the private road up Gleann an t-Slugain past the ruins of Slugain Lodge and by the path in upper Glen Quoich to reach the col at the head of this glen, called The Sneck. From there climb east up gravelly slopes to reach the plateau of Ben Avon and continue north-east for 1½ kilometres to reach the large summit tor, whose top is reached by an easy scramble. The return route may be varied by going southwards across the plateau to Carn Eas, before dropping down to Glen Quoich. The northern approach involves first a long walk or cycle ride up Glen Avon past Inchrory to Linn of Avon. From there climb up to Meall Gaineimh, the north-easternmost top of Ben Avon, and continue along an undulating ridge and across the plateau to the summit.