1004 m. |
Translation: Penis of the demon
Pronuncation: devil's point
There is something special about the first ten or fifteen kilometres of the valley of the River Dee. First of all it’s the magnificent setting of the Cairngorm Mountains with its great summits of Carn á Mhaim, Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Cairn Toul and The Devilís Point enclosing the nascent river with their bulky shapes. But then it’s also the river itself as it makes its way towards Braemar and beyond over waterslides and down waterfalls that add to the remote and beautiful feeling of the place.
Today, fortunately, we could see all this. The day before when we had walked the path on the left bank of the river in our vain attempt to get to the mountains we had done so in driving snow and with hardly any visibility at all. We had hiked up the glen for about two hours, had reconsidered and then retreated to the Linn of Dee and our car. Now, with the sun shining on us, we again left our bicycles at White Bridge and hiked the path on the left bank of the River Dee towards Corrour Bothy. Progress was easy at first, Frank taking a wee bit of time for photographs. About opposite of Glen Geusachan the going got bad. The snow was very wet and with the terrain becoming flatter and the path a little less defined we had to wade through slush and spongy terrain. Progress got slower but with curses hissed from between our teeth from time to time we finally made it to the footbridge over the Dee and to the hut. This had taken us almost three hours. We rested on the dry grass in front of the hut and soaked in the views as well as the brilliant sunshine!
From there it was an exhausting but very beautiful slog up into Core Odhar which was filled with snow. The white stuff was one to two feet deep and trackless terrain was the order of the next half hour or so. Then we picked up the path zigzagging up the headwall of the corrie which finally deposited us on the plateau. From there it was only 15 minutes to the summit of the Devil’s Point where we took a long break. Man, this was great. The glens and hills covered in snow, the sun shining and blue skies above. You don’t get better days in Scotland! It was a great privilege to experience such a beautiful day. In August 1999 Alex and I had summited the same peak during a total solar eclipse barely visible under an overcast sky. The atmosphere had been gloomy and eerie then. Today it was cheerful and energizing!
One could have stayed for hours but we did not linger longer than 20 minutes since two more Munroe were on our menu of the day. So, having shouldered our rucksacks we continued high above Glen Geusachan crossing the Buidheanach of Cairntoul towards Loch nan Stuirteag. The going was good with only the occasional old snow field interrupting the hike on the pleasant grass of the plateau. South of Sgor an Lochain Uaine the going got worse since we had to traverse steep slopes covered partly in old and partly in fresh slushy snow. But we made it to the loch alright. There followed a squishy wading experience around the north shore of this high-altitude loch and an immediate ascent of steep snow fields leading to the more level terrain higher up. The very broad ridge delivered us at the summit of Monadh Mor. Close to the summit we rested a bit on a very conveniently placed rock and then touched the cairn of this Munro No. 2 in passing.
Across the very flat plateau we headed in a southeasterly direction towards the last summit, Beinn Bhrotain two miles further along the ridge. However, a steepish descent (by Cairngorm standard) to the 975m beallach between the two hills and a stiff stony re-ascent to Beinn Bhrotain’s summit had to be completed before Munro No. 3 was in our bag. We did this in more or less good form – Frank like a mountain goat, I more at the speed of highland cattle! Anyway we made it. From this spacious summit covered in if I remember correctly red stone equally spacious views of the Forrest of Mar opened up.
Again, the day being late already, we did not stay too long but continued down the broad southeast ridge of the Beinn past Aghaidh Gharbh, over Carn Cloich-mhuilinn, Carn Fiaclach and past Carn Fiaclach Beag to the path on the right bank of the River Dee. Yes the way down the hill was easy on snow, grass and heather but as you can see from the enumeration of intermediate knolls it took us quite some time to reach the river. Then it was another three kilometres to our bikes at White Bridge and another fifteen minutes to the Linn of Dee where we reached our car about twelve hours after having set out in the morning.
This was easily the most challenging and most rewarding hike of our May 2013 “campaign”. A tour to cherish in your memory and to dream of on a cold winter’s evening with a glass of whisky in your hand. Thanks Alba!
Max elevation: 1136 m
Min elevation: 289 m
Total climbing: 1529 m
Total descent: -1472 m
Total time: 11:22:01
1999 We walked the hill on a two-day outing of 70 kms. It took us two beautiful summer days to walk from Blair Atholl right into the heart of the Cairngorms and then to walk out again to Aviemore. We started from Blair Atholl and hiked through Glen Tilt past Marble Lodge and Beinn a’ Ghlo – a hill to be climbed on another day. Across the bridge at the waterfall of Tarf Water and then onto the boggy plain leading down to the Linn of Dee, where we camped on the far side of the River Dee on a low ridge (32 km). Millions of midges. Two hours of light breeze gave respite from their attention. Up early in the morning and off to the Devil’s Point higher up the Dee Valley where near the Corrour bothy we rested before the climb up Coire Odhar. Watched the eclipse of the sun on the summit of the hill. A sight to remember but much outpassed in beauty by the hills. Over the point 1213m we reached Cairn Toul and rested for a while. Then we bypassed Sgorr an Lochan Uaine (oblivious of the fact that it was promoted to Munro-status in 1997). Over Einich Cairn and onward across the water streaming from the Wells of Dee we reached the summit of Braeriach were again we rested and enjoyed the view across the Lairig Ghru to Ben Macdui, Carn a’ Mhaim and back to Cairn Toul, Sgorr an Lochan Uaine and Lochan Uaine. Marvellous. Then a quick descent over Sron na Lairige to the Lairig Ghru path. We followed the path through beautiful Rothiemurchus forrest – although we did not really have enough energy left to saviour much if the beauty – to reach the road at Coylumbridge (38 km) at about 9 pm. Found a B&B in Inverdruie and had two pints in Aviemore. Exiting, exhilarating, exhausting and extremely satisfying expedition. On the next day Scotrail brought us back to Blair Atholl and to our car which took us to Glen Affric next.
Description The west side of the Lairig Ghru in its southern half is dominated by Cairn Toul and its two satellites, Sgor an Lochain Uaine and The Devil's Point. This is probably the finest group of mountains in the Cairngorms, and unlike nearly all the others which tend to be plateau-topped, these three all have well-defined pointed summits. Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine share with Braeriach the grandeur of An Garbh Choire, and the narrow ridge of the Sgor which rises steeply from the little green loch to its summit is one of the finest features of the corrie. 4 kilometres to their south-east, The Devil's Point may be a much lower peak, but the continuous bastion of slabs round its south and east sides gives it the appearance of impregnability. Any route to these mountains is very long, whether it is from the south via Glen Lui or the River Dee, from the north via Gleann Einich (with the help of a bicycle) or from the west over the Moine Mhor from Glen Feshie. Of these possibilities, the traditional route is from the south, starting at the foot of Glen Lui and following the right of way via Derry Lodge and Glen Luibeg to reach the southern entrance to the Lairig Ghru opposite Corrour Bothy. Cross the River Dee and climb up Coire Odhar to the col at its head, from where it is a short climb to The Devil's Point. Then go north-west up a long smooth slope and along the edge of Coire an t-Saighdeir to reach Cairn Toul. Descend west and go along the edge of the corrie of the green lochan to reach Sgor an Lochain Uaine.