A good weather forecast for the weekend so Karen and I set off for a wild camp up near Bod an Deamhain (The Devils Point isn't even a direct translation of the mountain). One of the few Munros in the Cairgorms area that Karen had not climbed. The usual routes folk take are either from Linn O' Dee via the Lairig Ghru, Rothermurchus voa the Lairig Ghru or a traverse over the plateau including Braeriach, Sgorr an Lochain Uaine and Cairn Toul. Instead we decided on a more adventurous and seldom walked way from Glenfeshie.
SATURDAY 8th AUGUST
We set out early from Achlean in beautiful Glen Feshie. At 0800 it was already hot with no breeze to speak of. Flies and midges soon fell by the wayside has we gained height on the excellent path that heads up towards Carn Ban Mor. Quite quickly you are up at 1000m on the Western Cairngorms plateau.
This high level plateau is a land of wonderful Arctic Tundra which boasts a wealth of habitats for wildlife including Dotterel, Ptarmigan, Golden Plover and Mountain Hare. There are a few estate stalker paths which cross this high area. Once you leave the path that connects the Munros of Sgor Gaoithe to Mullach Clach a' Bhlair you can almost guarantee not to see another human being.
This high tundra is named the Moine Mhor (Great Moss). If you're on an Mountain Leader Course undergoing assessment its alternative name is 'The Graveyard', depending on success or failure of your navigation assessment! This is a huge chunk of high level ground dotted with small lochans and burns. No need to worry about not getting any drinking water up here on a hot day like today.
After passing Loch na Stuirteag a big, high level traverse is required to gain the bealach between Cairn Toul and Bod an Deamhain, our planned spot for this evening. The ground is a delight to walk on with a real sense of wildness. No paths here, no phone signal here, no roads within a few hours walking. My kind of place. We came across a pair of beautiful Ptarmigan has we walked high above the remote and spectacular Glen Geusachan.
We made good time and reached our chosen camp spot by mid afternoon. Some perfect places to pitch the tent here. Flat, beautiful short cropped vegetation. Deciding on staying well away from where most folk camp which is right on the path between the two Munros and the path running down to the Lairig Ghru. We came for wild camping and quiet camping. I had a feeling there would be other groups camping high whilst doing the Braeriach-Cairn Toul traverse. Some folk chose to stay overnight in Corrour Bothy in the Lairig Ghru but at the moment all bothies are closed due to COVID restrictions. Of course we are all allowed to camp now.
After getting the tent up we had afternoon coffee. Sitting outside the tent at 1000m in hot sun was magic. There was a gentle breeze that came and went. Hopefully midges would stay away in the strong, hot sun and wind. After coffee and cake we headed up to the Munro summit of Bod an Deamhain. It is but a short, easy a angled walk and takes just 20 odd minutes. Superb views from the top looking across the Lairig Ghru to Ben Macdui.
Dinner at camp was spoilt by the dreaded midge. Still, it is August I guess and we were expecting the wee buggers to invade. The only way to enjoy being outside in Summer is a midge net. The most effective barrier. Although eating and drinking is a problem! Keep your expensive repellents..Especially the ones that melt plastic watch straps, scary what they must do to your skin?
We went for a after dinner walk up to the start of the Cairn Toul ridge to get a sunset. Some cloud had built up during late afternoon so not the pinky skies hoped for, but the views were wonderful.
It was a relief to feel the temperatures drop during the night. We woke early to clear skies and beautiful sunrise. I walked up to the Bod an Deamhain summit again to capture the sun slowly rising from the East. There were 2 folk bivvying bear the top and 6 tents down at the bealach..pleased we were camped in a beautiful, peaceful place away from the masses! All relative I guess.
SUNDAY 9th AUGUST
A leisurely breakfast outside of the tent with no midges this morning. That was lovely. We packed up and set off back home. Walking the same route out. Always different views and different things to see. Also Karen fancied a wee dip in one of the lochans on the Moine Mhor.
The path down from Carn Ban Mor was just beautiful. Lots of heather in bloom, in fact it looked like there was more colour than just 24 hours earlier! A fab weekend and a little wild corner of the Cairngorms discovered and enjoyed. There are lots of them in The Scottish mountains, no need for everyone to go the same places now is there? True Wild Camping this weekend, it's the only camping I know of.
MONDAY 10th AUGUST
Another warm and pleasant day in store. I had a wander up to my usual Mountain Hare photography area in the Monadhliath. The day I don't get excited seeing the hares, or any other wildlife is the day I hang up my boots and camera. The Mountain Hare is just one of those adorable creatures that everyone loves to see.
I roamed about the usual haunts for a couple of hours before getting settled in with one lovely character who was half asleep when I spotted him. Eventually he woke up, yawning and stretching and not at all bothered about my presence.
It was also nice to still see Wheatear about up high. They looked like mature Juveniles, if that's such a thing? Still some fluffy feathers on them, they were looking beautiful in the summer sunshine.