Saturday, 31 May 2014


Karen heading toward the bealach between Monadh Mor & Beinn Bhrotain
Beinn Bhrotain from near the summit of Monadh Mor
A different perspective of Braeriach-Sgurr an Lochain Uaine & Cairn Toul
The spectacular Glen Geusachan and Bod an Deamhain ( Devil's Point)
Another glorious sunny and very warm day in The Highlands. Karen and I off for another long route to add to Karen's Munro tally. Most folk climb Beinn Bhrotain & Monadh Mor from The Linn of Dee side of The Cairngorms but as always we like to head out on longer and interesting routes. In fact there isn't much difference in mileage starting from Achlean in Glen Feshie which was our start point today. The excellent path up toward Carn Ban Mor soon gets you onto the huge plateau of the Moine Mhor ( The Great Moss).  One look on the map and with the name of 'moss' may well have you thinking you're in for a right old bog trot but the reality is it's superb walking over lovely grassy ground and most of the route to the Munros is on good tracks, some of which aren't marked on maps. I've only ever done these two hills in winter so it was a nice change.

Friday, 30 May 2014


Sgurr Gaoithe & Loch Einich from the start of the scramble on Creag an Loch
Creag an Loch
Sensational views and warm  rock!
The Corrie at the head of Glen Einaich
Looking up to Creag an Loch from the Corrie Dhondail path
Beautiful pools and burns along the route into Coire Dhondail
Even the bike in has reasonable views!
Braeriach is one of the finest hills in The Cairngorms, with many huge corries, remoteness, and vast tracts of high plateau. I never tire of finding alternative routes onto the third highest mountain in Britain. It takes me just over two hours by bike/walk from the house to reach the foot of the wonderful Creag an Loch, a rocky spur which bounds the beautiful and high Corrie Dhondail. The scrambling is quite bouldery at the start but gets better and more solid rock higher up. It's the fine situation rather than the quality of any scrambling here with Loch Einich stretched out behind and the backdrop of Sgurr Gaoithe beyond. The spur reaches the plateau but is still some distance to the actual summit of Braeriach. A route for the connoisseur who isn't interested on bagging the Munro as quickly and efficiently as possible! It's worth noting that if you intend to get onto the plateau by keeping on the fine stalkers path up the corrie then it would definitely be sensible to carry an ice axe just now. There is a huge stretch of steep snow and a big pile of boulders at the corrie floor if you were to take a slide. There is also a massive bergshrund where the snow reaches the wee waterfall just before the plateau. Today was wall to wall sunshine and clear blue skies, hot sun and no wind! Marvellous!

Thursday, 29 May 2014


The best of the views today, on the way down
Reindeer and their young still enjoying the snow
Marsh Marigold
Aladdin's Couloir still with snow
Snow holes still available

Into the cloud and cold on the tops this morning with most of the higher Cairngorm summits in the clag. Still much to see at this time of year even if you can't get a decent mountain vista. Snow Bunting, Ptarmigan and Dotteral all spotted today but due to the murk and fast flying birds I didn't get much chance of photos. Nivce to see a pair of Reindeer with their young trotting around too, again all a bit in the murk. Of course the sun came out and the skies cleared mid afternoon. A nice weekend with sunshine coming up, especially in the NW.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


The team starting up Sgurr a Ghreadaidh
The start of the scrambling on Sgurr a Mhadaidh
The steep scree up to the narrow notch of An Dorus
Rose root, this flower grows high up amongst the rough rocks  on The Cuillin
Pete leading the way
On Skye the weather has it's own micro climates and weather can be widely different or a good number of hours behind what the forecasts say. Today was no exception, with a good forecast of bright skies later in the morning we thought it may be similar to yesterdays wonderful conditions. But as the team headed up for the two Munros of Sgurr a Mhadaidh & Sgurr a Ghreadaidh the light drizzle was on and off and the cloud started to drop below the summits. With high spirits the smaller team of  5 from Blackrock Mountainering Club were still keen on grabbing a couple more Munros. Today's choice lies in the central part of the main ridge and gives grade 2/3 scrambling. The slog up the screes to the narrow notch of An Dorus took us most of the morning. Pete leading the way and getting the guys up and down safely. We were heading down after lunch and as we neared the car park at Glen Brittle the sun finally popped out and the cloud started lifting, as it can! Other members of The Blackrock Mountaineering team had their own adventures in various bits of The Cuillin, some on The Inn Pinn and other wonderful jagged black rocks. Well done to all the team, such enthusiasm and great banter all day long!

Saturday, 24 May 2014


The west ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean
Traversing under The Basteir Tooth
On ourway to Bruach na Frithe
John enjoying the atmospheric clouds
Briuach na Frithe summit
The rest of the Cuillin Ridge
Happy team on the summit of Bruach na Frithe
Am Basteir, Sgurr nan Gillean and Blaven to the far right
Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean and The Bhasteir Gorge
Classic views and  Cullin cooling waters
The walk out with views to Glamaig and The Red Cuillin
Over on Skye for the weekend and assisting Pete Long in  guiding big group from The Blackrock Mountaineering Club. A promising weather forecast on Saturday but when we set off there was very low cloud and a few drops of missle. We headed up into the spectacular Bhasteir Corrie which as the best views of Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean but we saw only cloud. First summit of An Basteir and the cloud started breaking giving great views of Gillean from then on the weather just got better and better with the rest of the Cuillin bathed in sun. The second Munro of Bruach na Frithe after lunch and the team we're as high as a kite. The walk out and the afternoon sun was beautiful. Great craic from the team and fun all day long! You know it's been a great day out as I've ran riot with photos on this post!

Friday, 23 May 2014


Kath & Luois's final Munro this week
A bit of wet snow above 1000m
Cladonia coccifera
Rime ice in May
No views of Loch Einich today
Last day with Kath and Louis, we've had 6 wonderful days in the hills and on the bikes. 5 New Munros for Kath whilst Louis is catching up and he bagged 7. We had glorious weather and great views on most of the days which ain't bad for a week in The Highlands. Today we had a quick hit on Sgurr Gaoithe, it was a tad wintry above 1000m with a light dusting of fresh, wet snow and even some rime ice near the summit area. We had an early start and we're back for lunch time, saw not a soul on the hill. Shame we didn't get a nice view today but lots of interesting flora to see with much Cladonia, Icelandic Moss and Trailing Azalia and Cloudberry just in flower. Well done to Kath & Louis and another step further to them completing their Munros. Off to Skye this weekend with big group, weather looking quite good in the NW :)

Thursday, 22 May 2014


Louis was out with me for another day of biking this week and as he loves the big climbs we headed up the famous Burma Road. With over 600m of steep climbing this is a fantastic route with wonderful views. Unfortunately the cloud was down low and some light rain so no Cairngorm views but this didn't deter Louis. A wee bit chilly on the summit so we quickly headed down into the beautiful Dulnain Glen. Loads of birdlife down here today and once again the wildlife out numbered humans this week. Louis still had energy left when we arrived back in Aviemore so we had a trundle to Loch an Eilean to round the day off.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Louis admiring the views down to Loch Ericht and Ben Alder
Summit views
Meall Chuach summit
The walk in and Meall Chuaich
Anyone looking at the weather forecast  some days ago for this week may well have decided to go elsewhere for a walking holiday. Most reports were along the lines of 'changeable', 'unsettled', 'heavy downpours' or the like. Well so far Kath and Louis have had 4 beautiful days with sunshine most of the time, great views and a whopping 5 minute splash of rain! We set off today heading west for a clutch of 3 Munros near Loch Laggan. It was actually raining for the first time this week here so after a scone and jam in the car we turned round and headed over to Drumochter where they still had a solitary Munro left on the their tick list, Meall Chuaich. It was dry here and the tops clear, by the time we reached the summit the sun had come out and it was a beautiful afternoon stroll back down in warm sunshine and great panoramic views of The Dumochter hills and as far as Ben Alder.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


The steep SW ridge of Airigiod Bheinn, the first summit today
Approaching the summit of Carn nn Gabhar
Lovely ridge walking in the sun
The Munro summit of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, almost as long as the ridge
Looking back from Carn Liath
Carn Liath, the shapeliest of the three Munros
Kath, Louis and I had a wonderful day out on Beinn a' Ghlo, this big complex mountain in Perthshire which boasts 3 Munros. I always head up the steep ridge of Airgiod Bheinn first as it's a bit of a slog. which leaves the descent off Carn Liath a relatively easy stroll down at the end of the day. It's been over 8 years since I was last on this hill, a regular haunt when I lived in Killin. The weather was glorious in the morning with some high level cloud later in the day. Kath & Louis romped round this usually big day out in 8hrs and we only saw 5 other folk all day. Three more Munros on the cards for tomorrow and a good looking forecast again