How to find better ways to a summit or This time from south. Mike and I had climbed Ben Macdui via Cairn Gorm in September 2002 on a very hot day in late summer. The approach over the plateau by way of Corrie Cas, Ptarmigain Restaurant and Stob Coire an Lochain had been a mixed bag of not so scenic tourist installations and of beautiful landscape before we reached the summit. In 2008, the approach from Deeside proved to be much more satisfying.
Starting at the Linn of Dee we cycled up the easy landrover track by the Lui Water to Derry Lodge where we left the bycicles. We crossed the Derry Burn and walked into the old forrest in Glen Derry with its enchanting atmosphere. The path was well engineered so we slowly but steadily gained some height. Near the northern end of the forrest we saw a big capercaille in a tree. As soon as the animal spotted us it flew down the glen. Great bird and a big one at that! We recrossed the Derry Burn, continued up the wide and flat glen, took in the views of Derry Cairngom to the left and finally reached the fork in the path where we turned left and headed up Corrie Etchachan. A few minutes before reaching the Hutchinson Memorial Hut we took a break and basked in some sunshine while resting on a rock. Then the hut came into view. This bothy is very nicely situated in the corrie bowl. The corrie has a rather alpine feel about it with a lot of loose scree, rocky walls and only little vegetation. A very quiet and contemplative place and a great location to build a hut.
The next 250 metres in height were quite steep but that was just as good as very soon we reached Loch Etchachan, which was frozen over, of course, as described in many a book. It is difficult to do the beauty of the place justice using words so I won’t try. The … [Read More]