Mayar

Absolutely fresh terrain as far as our hillwalking experience in Scotland is concerned awaited us this day. This in more than one sense. First the drive from Braemar to Glen Clova/Glen Doll was uncharted terrain for us as soon as we left the A93 to drive to Kirriemuir (Munro!). Then we had never been in the Angus Glens. And last of course we had never set an eye on these Munros or at least we had never identified them from afar let’s say form Broad Cairn or Lochnagar or Tom Buidhe (only about six or seven kilometres away from Mayar as the cow flies).

We left the car at the end of the public road where there is big parking lot by the river and a visitor centre. Via forest roads we made good progress towards Corrie Fee. Where the road ends the last stretch of the hike in the forest was on a broad path. When the trees end a number of big boulders are reached which make for great place to stop and take in the beauty of this absolute highlight of the tour: The cliffs, waterfalls and ice-age-formed floor of Corrie Fee. With us was family of Indian or Pakistani origin who like us took photos and soaked in the views.

We carried on into the corrie and soon reached the place where the flat section ends and the climb up the corrie headwall starts. The path crossed some quite precipitous terrain and weaved its way up and up. The waterfall of the Fee burn is great in the splendid Highland setting. Then the cliffs were behind us and a disappearing and reappearing path on the uniform slope led us over mostly wet grass and a few remaining snow fields to the flat summit of Mayar. Again, this Munro is a great view point of terrain never seen before. Glen Prosen the Kilbo path and of course the summit of Driesh not too far away.

After a lunch break on Mayar this is where we directed our feet. The distance … [Read More]

2018-09-06T08:43:13+02:00May 19th, 2013|2013, 2019 - 2010, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Driesh

Absolutely fresh terrain as far as our hillwalking experience in Scotland is concerned awaited us this day. This in more than one sense. First the drive from Braemar to Glen Clova/Glen Doll was uncharted terrain for us as soon as we left the A93 to drive to Kirriemuir (Munro!). Then we had never been in the Angus Glens. And last of course we had never set an eye on these Munros or at least we had never identified them from afar let’s say form Broad Cairn or Lochnagar or Tom Buidhe (only about six or seven kilometres away from Mayar as the cow flies).

We left the car at the end of the public road where there is big parking lot by the river and a visitor centre. Via forest roads we made good progress towards Corrie Fee. Where the road ends the last stretch of the hike in the forest was on a broad path. When the trees end a number of big boulders are reached which make for great place to stop and take in the beauty of this absolute highlight of the tour: The cliffs, waterfalls and ice-age-formed floor of Corrie Fee. With us was family of Indian or Pakistani origin who like us took photos and soaked in the views.

We carried on into the corrie and soon reached the place where the flat section ends and the climb up the corrie headwall starts. The path crossed some quite precipitous terrain and weaved its way up and up. The waterfall of the Fee burn is great in the splendid Highland setting. Then the cliffs were behind us and a disappearing and reappearing path on the uniform slope led us over mostly wet grass and a few remaining snow fields to the flat summit of Mayar. Again, this Munro is a great view point of terrain never seen before. Glen Prosen the Kilbo path and of course the summit of Driesh not too far away.

After a lunch break on Mayar this is where we directed our feet. The distance … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:04+02:00May 19th, 2013|2013, 2019 - 2010, Glen Shee to Mount Keen|

Bynack More

We had started the 2013 hiking season in Scotland on a dry and sunny afternoon with one short four hour hike in the Drumochter hills (Meall Chuaich) during a break in the trip from Edinburgh to Aviemore. That had been almost as pleasant as the excellent evening in the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore and the good restful night in the B&B close by.

Today the weather was definitely on the very murky side of things. So after breakfast and a short drive to Glenmore Lodge Frank and I set off from the end of the road towards Lochain Uaine in drizzle and intermittent rain. The going was extremely easy only the Scottish Breakfast and yesterday’s pints giving me some heartburn initially. Oh well, those inevitable ingredients of a good hiker’s daily fare are not always good for you. Never mind.

At Lochain Uaine we were quite amazed at the green colour of the Lochan’s water which as the books tell us people thought stemmed from the fairies washing their clothes there. A few hundred metres past the Lochan we turned right up the hillside heading for Bynack Stable. Since drizzle and mist enshrouded us no great views could be had so we focussed on making progress. This was rewarded with a speedy arrival at the footbridge over the nascent River Nethy which carried quite a bit of water. Over the bridge and up the excellently engineered path on Bynack More’s north ridge we went. This was a steady plod characterized by gaining metres and ticking off contour lines very nicely.

Then the path levelled off around the 800m contour and we took a branch leading away from the main path to the right. Soon the terrain became a little steeper and the path entered a more rocky terrain where lingering snowfields hid the path for stretches of 50 or 100 metres. But route finding was no difficulty even in the mist since tracks had been laid in the snow by other hikers. When the steepest section of the climb was over we … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:04+02:00May 18th, 2013|2013, 2019 - 2010, The Cairngorms|

Meall Chuaich

The first day of the 2013 hillwalking season saw us driving from Edinburgh to Aviemore. We had decided to bag Meall Chuaich en route. So a few hours after having disembarked the plane in Edinburgh we parked our car at the roadside on the A9 close to Cuaich Farm.

Frank and I unpacked our suitcases and packed our rucksacks for an easy afternoon hike. From the parking we walked a Landrover track towards the aqueduct. Once on the track beside the concrete trough of the aqueduct we turned due east towards the hill of the day. Two kilometres onwards we reached the small dam at the hydroelectricity building. We continued along the Landrover track beside the Allt Cuaich. A few hundred metres before getting to Loch Cuaich we veered right into the glen of the Allt Coire Chuaich. Soon the west ridge of Meall Chuaich was reached and we climbed the well-defined path up this whaleback ridge of the hill. Some slightly boggy sections at the foot of the ridge were soon left behind. The climb was quite regular and the slope was more or less uniform, grass giving way to more rocky sections. Then the slope levelled off and we reached the summit plateau of Meall Chuaich.

A few minutes on we touched the cairn of the Munro. The weather being fine the views in all directions were very good. We basked in the sunshine and had a few sips of water. Soon, however, we had to retrace our steps towards the A9 since the afternoon was drawing to a close. After barely three and a half hours we were back at our car and drove towards Aviemore our resting place for the night.

Meall Chuaich proved to be the gentle hill expected. This afternoon bathed in bright sunshine was a very good start to the 2013 campaign. This was the last Drumochter Munro still missing in my list and it was Frank’s penultimate one. A very easy start and an extraordinarily accessible hill gained on a pleasant spring afternoon. Good stuff!

[Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:04+02:00May 17th, 2013|2013, 2019 - 2010, Loch Rannoch to Drumochter|