The last day of our 2013 Munro bagging campaign in the Cairngorms saw us cycling from the parking at the Linn of Dee to Derry Lodge. There we crossed the Derry Burn and continued along the path on the right bank of the tumbling waters for a further few hundred metres. When the going got too tiresome (for me at least) we left our bikes at a large tree trunk and carried on on foot.
Snow had fallen two days before and the upper slopes of the hills and basically all terrain higher than 600 metres was covered in slushy snow that melted readily under the rays of a lively sun in May. But first the well-known path up towards the Lairig an Laoigh was nice, well-maintained and progress was very easy. In no time we crossed the footbridge at the south end of the grassy flats that commence when the forest is left behind. Again, this being the Cairngorm National Park, the path was excellent. We made good headway and crossed the tumbling little burn called Glas Allt Mhor – a place we would come back to later in the day:-).
A few hundred metres past the burn the path splits and we took the left fork leading in a rising traverse towards the Hutchinson Memorial Hut in the upper corrie which is dominated by Stob Coire Etchachan and Creagan Choire Etchachan. Care was needed on this part of the hike since the high standard of maintenance means that many small draining trenches lined with stones cross the path creating deep traps well-hidden by deep snow. Then we reached the hut and continued on the steep but easy path towards Loch Etchachan which found in pristine condition: In beautiful sunshine, its surface frozen over, guarded by hills covered in white. Great, great, bloody great! This is one of the most enchanting and beautiful spots in Scotland and Frank and I both felt privileged by the fact that on our second time visiting Loch Etchachan we had our second completely sunny day. … [Read More]