Carn a’Mhaim

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 atmopshere. 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 … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 7th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, The Cairngorms|

Carn Bhac

The longest self-propelled tour of the perfect week we spent in Braemar in spring 2008 led us to the Glen Ey Munros of An Socach, Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac. From the shop where we had rented the bikes Alex, Frank and me followed the road Linn of Dee road up to Inverey. There we left the tarmac road and cycled the track leading up Glen Ey. The track climbs beside the Ey Burn and debouches in the upper glen where two successive grassy flats make for easy progress. It finally ends at the ruins of Altnour Lodge which is set in a very scenic location among the Munros of upper Glen Ey. We left the bikes, crossed the Ey Burn and climbed the north ridge of An Socach.

Quite exhausted we reached the end of that very steep climb and proceeded on the fairly level ground to the summit of An Socach where we had a break by the cairn (shelter) in the sunshine. From An Socach we turned south and descended steeply to a wide col before climbing quite moderate slopes to the flat summit of Carn a’ Chlarsaich. The cool waters of Loch nan Eun beckoned and so we continued over the grassy terrain to the shores of this remote loch. Again we took a longish, refreshing time-out before climbing semi-steep slopes to the col between Beinn Iutharn Bheag and Mam nan Carn. At the col we turned west and soon stopped to refill our water bottles with melt water flowing from one of the snow fields of the last winter still lingering on the hillside. Then it was another steep pull up the stone studded grassy south ridge of Beinn Iutharn Mhor to the summit perched above tiny Lochan Uaine in the corrie formed by the very steep scree slopes and outcrops of rock on the north side of the hill.

The path continued for a few hundred metres along the corrie rim and then it dropped down … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 5th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Garry to Braemar|

Beinn Iutharn Mhor

The longest self-propelled tour of the perfect week we spent in Braemar in spring 2008 led us to the Glen Ey Munros of An Socach, Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac. From the shop where we had rented the bikes Alex, Frank and me followed the road Linn of Dee road up to Inverey. There we left the tarmac road and cycled the track leading up Glen Ey. The track climbs beside the Ey Burn and debouches in the upper glen where two successive grassy flats make for easy progress. It finally ends at the ruins of Altnour Lodge which is set in a very scenic location among the Munros of upper Glen Ey. We left the bikes, crossed the Ey Burn and climbed the north ridge of An Socach.

Quite exhausted we reached the end of that very steep climb and proceeded on the fairly level ground to the summit of An Socach where we had a break by the cairn (shelter) in the sunshine. From An Socach we turned south and descended steeply to a wide col before climbing quite moderate slopes to the flat summit of Carn a’ Chlarsaich. The cool waters of Loch nan Eun beckoned and so we continued over the grassy terrain to the shores of this remote loch. Again we took a longish, refreshing time-out before climbing semi-steep slopes to the col between Beinn Iutharn Bheag and Mam nan Carn. At the col we turned west and soon stopped to refill our water bottles with melt water flowing from one of the snow fields of the last winter still lingering on the hillside. Then it was another steep pull up the stone studded grassy south ridge of Beinn Iutharn Mhor to the summit perched above tiny Lochan Uaine in the corrie formed by the very steep scree slopes and outcrops of rock on the north side of the hill. The path continued for a few hundred metres along the corrie rim and then it dropped down … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 5th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Garry to Braemar|

An Socach – West Summit

The longest self-propelled tour of the perfect week we spent in Braemar in spring 2008 led us to the Glen Ey Munros of An Socach, Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac. From the shop where we had rented the bikes Alex, Frank and me followed the road Linn of Dee road up to Inverey. There we left the tarmac road and cycled the track leading up Glen Ey. The track climbs beside the Ey Burn and debouches in the upper glen where two successive grassy flats make for easy progress. It finally ends at the ruins of Altnour Lodge which is set in a very scenic location among the Munros of upper Glen Ey. We left the bikes, crossed the Ey Burn and climbed the north ridge of An Socach.

Quite exhausted we reached the end of that very steep climb and proceeded on the fairly level ground to the summit of An Socach where we had a break by the cairn (shelter) in the sunshine. From An Socach we turned south and descended steeply to a wide col before climbing quite moderate slopes to the flat summit of Carn a’ Chlarsaich. The cool waters of Loch nan Eun beckoned and so we continued over the grassy terrain to the shores of this remote loch. Again we took a longish, refreshing time-out before climbing semi-steep slopes to the col between Beinn Iutharn Bheag and Mam nan Carn. At the col we turned west and soon stopped to refill our water bottles with melt water flowing from one of the snow fields of the last winter still lingering on the hillside. Then it was another steep pull up the stone studded grassy south ridge of Beinn Iutharn Mhor to the summit perched above tiny Lochan Uaine in the corrie formed by the very steep scree slopes and outcrops of rock on the north side of the hill. The path continued for a few hundred metres along the corrie rim and then it dropped down … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 5th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Garry to Braemar|

Mount Keen

One of those hills that do not conjure up the idea of adventure when climbing it. But special it is, nonetheless, due to the fact that it is the most easterly Munro of all. The approach Alex, Frank and I took was via Glen Tanar, starting the walk at Glen Tanar House.

From the house we followed the landrover track through beautiful forrest. Soon the track joined the Water of Tanar which was to be our faithful companion for much of the way. On the tarmac we made very good progress and soon reached the Half Way Hut. A few minutes later the track leaves the forrest and the hills and their mostly grassy slopes came into view. Close to Etnach we crossed the river by a bridge and continued our tramp on the right-hand side of the Water of Tanar. At the next bridge where the track changes back to the other side of the Water we paused for a while. The weather, which had been quite nice until then, seemed to have some surprises in store for us when looking up the glen. Nonetheless we continued our little expedition and finally reached the spot where the drove road starts climbing up Mount Keen. We plodded on and gained height quite quickly. With a few short stops to catch our breath strewn in we steadily climbed until we reached the shoulder of the hill at 700 m. On the left hand side the outcops of the Corrach in the corrie below us attracted our attention. Then things became foggy, wet and cold. We continued uphill on a well-worn path which levels off soon before the summit cairn and trig point is reached. Our stop in the summit shelter was long enough to eat a few cookies and drink some very welcome cups of hot tea. But with rain, clouds and strong wind this was no place to stay for long and we embarked on the home leg of the hike. Back … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 4th, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Tolmount

From our cottage in Braemar we drove up the road in Glen Clunie to a spot by the Clunie Water where there were already a number of cars parked when we arrived. From the parking we took the path, crossed the Water and headed due east beside a burn which tumbles down the valley. We looked at the waterfalls which we reached after 20 or 30 minutes of walking.

When the terrain steepened we headed directly for the north-east face of Carn an Tuirc and climbed that steep-sided hill using traces of a track. Gras, stones and some scree were the order of the day. Further up some boulder fields announced the arrival at summit altitude. We walked the few metres to the cairn and rested in the sunshine. However, it was not warm since the wind was blowing quite heavily and soon we needed to protect our bodies against the cold. Form the summit of Carn an Tuirc we followed the scar aka track on the plateau which leads in a long arc towards the second Munro of the day: Carn of Claise. We got to this summit by following the track until it met a stone wall which we followed for a hundred metres to the summit cairn. Again the wind was strong and we paused in the lee of the wall which offered us some respite. Then, refreshened by tea and sweets we headed due east into the wide and shallow corrie below. We crossed this somewhat boggy terrain and headed for drier ground up to the ridge which soon leads to the summit of Tolmount. There we sat and took in the views of the White Mounth. Tolmount is a great view point perched high above Glen Callater.

After some time we let go and retraced our steps down the ridge which then led down to the col between this Munro and Tom Buidhe, our last hill of the day. Soon we climbed up onto the ridge which after a final … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:49+02:00May 3rd, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Tom Buidhe

From our cottage in Braemar we drove up the road in Glen Clunie to a spot by the Clunie Water where there were already a number of cars parked when we arrived. From the parking we took the path, crossed the Water and headed due east beside a burn which tumbles down the valley. We looked at the waterfalls which we reached after 20 or 30 minutes of walking.

When the terrain steepened we headed directly for the north-east face of Carn an Tuirc and climbed that steep-sided hill using traces of a track. Gras, stones and some scree were the order of the day. Further up some boulder fields announced the arrival at summit altitude. We walked the few metres to the cairn and rested in the sunshine. However, it was not warm since the wind was blowing quite heavily and soon we needed to protect our bodies against the cold. Form the summit of Carn an Tuirc we followed the scar aka track on the plateau which leads in a long arc towards the second Munro of the day: Carn of Claise. We got to this summit by following the track until it met a stone wall which we followed for a hundred metres to the summit cairn. Again the wind was strong and we paused in the lee of the wall which offered us some respite. Then, refreshened by tea and sweets we headed due east into the wide and shallow corrie below. We crossed this somewhat boggy terrain and headed for drier ground up to the ridge which soon leads to the summit of Tolmount. There we sat and took in the views of the White Mounth. Tolmount is a great view point perched high above Glen Callater.

After some time we let go and retraced our steps down the ridge which then led down to the col between this Munro and Tom Buidhe, our last hill of the day. Soon we climbed up onto the ridge which after a final … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:49+02:00May 3rd, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Cairn of Claise

From our cottage in Braemar we drove up the road in Glen Clunie to a spot by the Clunie Water where there were already a number of cars parked when we arrived. From the parking we took the path, crossed the Water and headed due east beside a burn which tumbles down the valley. We looked at the waterfalls which we reached after 20 or 30 minutes of walking.

When the terrain steepened we headed directly for the north-east face of Carn an Tuirc and climbed that steep-sided hill using traces of a track. Gras, stones and some scree were the order of the day. Further up some boulder fields announced the arrival at summit altitude. We walked the few metres to the cairn and rested in the sunshine. However, it was not warm since the wind was blowing quite heavily and soon we needed to protect our bodies against the cold. Form the summit of Carn an Tuirc we followed the scar aka track on the plateau which leads in a long arc towards the second Munro of the day: Carn of Claise. We got to this summit by following the track until it met a stone wall which we followed for a hundred metres to the summit cairn. Again the wind was strong and we paused in the lee of the wall which offered us some respite. Then, refreshened by tea and sweets we headed due east into the wide and shallow corrie below. We crossed this somewhat boggy terrain and headed for drier ground up to the ridge which soon leads to the summit of Tolmount. There we sat and took in the views of the White Mounth. Tolmount is a great view point perched high above Glen Callater. After some time we let go and retraced our steps down the ridge which then led down to the col between this Munro and Tom Buidhe, our last hill of the day. Soon we climbed up onto the ridge which after … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:48+02:00May 3rd, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Carn an Tuirc

From our cottage in Braemar we drove up the road in Glen Clunie to a spot by the Clunie Water where there were already a number of cars parked when we arrived. From the parking we took the path, crossed the Water and headed due east beside a burn which tumbles down the valley. We looked at the waterfalls which we reached after 20 or 30 minutes of walking.

When the terrain steepened we headed directly for the north-east face of Carn an Tuirc and climbed that steep-sided hill using traces of a track. Gras, stones and some scree were the order of the day. Further up some boulder fields announced the arrival at summit altitude. We walked the few metres to the cairn and rested in the sunshine. However, it was not warm since the wind was blowing quite heavily and soon we needed to protect our bodies against the cold.

From the summit of Carn an Tuirc we followed the scar aka track on the plateau which leads in a long arc towards the second Munro of the day: Carn of Claise. We got to this summit by following the track until it met a stone wall which we followed for a hundred metres to the summit cairn. Again the wind was strong and we paused in the lee of the wall which offered us some respite. Then, refreshened by tea and sweets we headed due east into the wide and shallow corrie below. We crossed this somewhat boggy terrain and headed for drier ground up to the ridge which soon leads to the summit of Tolmount. There we sat and took in the views of the White Mounth. Tolmount is a great view point perched high above Glen Callater. After some time we let go and retraced our steps down the ridge which then led down to the col between this Munro and Tom Buidhe, our last hill of the day.

Soon we climbed up onto the ridge which after … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:49+02:00May 3rd, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Glas Maol

One day after the fine tour of Beinn a’Ghlo Frank and me had set our sights on something shorter. Glas Maol and Creag Leacach are easy Munros as both can be climbed from the Cairnwell pass. We had driven up to the pass by Glen Shee and reached the parking opposite the Cairnwell at eleven o’clock in the morning. The weather was acceptable: Wind, a little rain and sleet on the higher ground.

We used the landrover track that gives access to the café and ski tows on Meall Odhar’sslopes. Soon we reached the flat summit of this hill. The route ahead was obvious and we saw other hikers ahead of us who climbed the steep flank of Glas Maol. Via the flat stretch of the connecting ridge we soon reached the foot of this steep section and then climbed up the path to the level summit plateau of Glas Mol. A heavy snow shower and gusty wind greeted us at the summit cairn of this first Munro of the day. Frank put on his waterproof trousers and I wanted to follow his example only to realize that mine were in the car. Ok, nevermind. Wet trousers in driving wind are not too bad as long as you keep moving! So very soon we turned south west and trodded towards the ridge that connects the two hills and which forms a nice sweeping arc.

After half an hour of strolling along the broad ridge the terrain became more defined until finally leading to the nice sharpish summit of Creag Leacach. There we sat in the sunshine, ate our provisions, drank some tea and I felt my trousers slowly drying in the wind. With the showers having subsided and the sun creating illuminative effects on the hillsides the day became more and more pleasant. We then left the summit and headed back to Meall Odhar. Instead of getting there via the summit of Glas Maol we decided to use the path that skirts the … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:49+02:00May 2nd, 2008|2008, 2009 - 2000, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|