Sunday, September 11, 2011

Devils and Angels

Sentinels II
The Devil's Point guards the entrance to the Lairig Ghru. Cairn Toul is behind and to the right.

The Devil's Point, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak) from the Linn of Dee.

Munro #126 : The Devil's Point
Munro #127 : Cairn Toul
Munro #128 : Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak)

Date : 04/09/2011 Distance : 38km Time : 10hrs 29min Flickr Set : View GPX Route : Download


This was a trip a long time coming. We had been waiting for the availability of all involved to align with the required weather window for all of the summer. Now it was on. This was to be the trip which completed the Cairngorms for me, as well as all Munros east of the A9. Well, apart from one which I have potentially earmarked for my final Munro in a few years time...

It would also be the first hill trip for my new camera - an upgrade from a Nikon D50 to a D90.

We set off from the Linn of Dee just after 8am. It had been a chilly clear night and gloves were required on the bikes. We scooted up to Derry Lodge and then cycled/slid across the Derry flats (last time at Easter, this section had been bone dry - today it was a bog) We dumped the bikes about halfway between Derry Lodge and the Luibeg crossing. The day was warming up so the zip-off trouser legs were removed and we set off on foot.

We crossed the Luibeg via the bridge, more because we had never done it before, rather than due to the water levels and then made our way round Carn a' Mhaim into the Lairig Ghru.

Luibeg Bridge
Luibeg Bridge.
Glimpse into Glen Geusachan
Looking across to the entrance of Glen Geusachan and the way to Monadh Mor.
Sentinels II
The Devil's Point, Cairn Toul and Braeriach.
The Lairig Ghru
The Lairig Ghru.
Corrour Bridge
Brian and Mike cross the River Dee. The Devil's Point in background.

Cross the Dee by the bridge, and stop at the empty(!) bothy for a coffee break..

Corrour Bothy
Corrour Bothy and The Devil's Point.
 
After our coffee break, we hauled ourself up into Coire Odhar at a steady pace, following the path as it steepens and zigzags up the headwall to the 900m bealach between The Devil's Point and Cairn Toul. Here we dumped our packs and headed for the short climb to the summit of The Devil's Point. I'll let the photos speak for themselves..

Glen Dee and Glen Geusachan
Looking south from the summit of The Devil's Point.
The Devil's Point Summit I
Brian and Mike on the summit of The Devil's Point.
The Devil's Point Summit II
Munro #126
The Devil's Point Summit III
Mike, Me & Brian on The Devil's Point Summit.
The Devil's Panorama
The Devil's Panorama. Click to view large.
Cairn Toul from The Devil's Point
Cairn Toul from The Devil's Point.

After soaking up the views here, it was back to the bealach and onto Cairn Toul. We hugged the edge to the 1213m top and then followed a bouldery route to the summit of Cairn Toul..

Cairn Toul
1213m top in foreground, summit in the background (1291m)
Cairn Toul Viewpoint.
Near the summit of Cairn Toul, looking back into the Lairig Ghru. Cairn Toul, at 1291m dwarfs The Devil's Point at 1004m (right) and Carn a' Mhaim at 1037m (left). Corrour Bothy can be seen far below.
Bear-riach II
Nursery Bear on the summit of Cairn Toul. Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak) and Braeriach are behind.
Falls of Dee
The Falls of Dee cascade from Braeriach. The source of the River Dee, the Wells of Dee, are just behind and to the left of the waterfall.
Brian and Braeriach
Brian looks across to Braeriach from the summit of Cairn Toul.
Cairn Toul Summit Cairn IV
Mike, Brian and myself on the summit of Cairn Toul. Munro #127 for me.

The summit of Cairn Toul was a little chilly, so after abite to eat and some of Mikes homemade ginger beer (with a kick!) it was onwards to the last hill of the day..

Cairn Toul North Panorama
Brian and Mike descend Cairn Toul towards Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak).
Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak) Summit Cairn II
Brian and Mike on the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak). Ben Macdui in the background.
Cairn Toul from Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak
Brian social-networks from the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak). Cairn Toul in the background.
Lochain Uaine II
From the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak)
Cairngorm Explorer
Me standing near the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak), looking down into the Lairig Ghru. Munro #128 for me.
 
We met a few folk on the summit here and hung around for a good while gawping at the views. My new camera also proved its worth here with my favourite shot of the day, this panorama...

The Angel's Panorama
Panorama from the summit of Sgor an Lochain Uaine (The Angel's Peak). Braeriach to the left, Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui in the centre and Cairn Toul to the right. Click to view Large.


Eventually, time was wearing on, so we started back. We polished off the 2nd bottle of Ginger Beer and then contoured round Cairn Toul. On the descent of Cairn Toul, we picked up a path which has been hidden on the ascent but was prefectly visible on the descent. It proved a speedy way off the hill, avoiding the boulders and we made it from Sgor an Lochain Uaine summit to Corrour Bothy in 90 minutes.

Cairn Toul Descent
Brian and Mike descend Cairn Toul towards The Devil's Point. We found a path which had the unusual property of only being visible from above, hence invisible on the ascent.
Descent to the Lairig Ghru
Mike and Brian descend The Devil's Point into the Lairig Ghru towards Corrour Bothy. Carn a' Mhaim in background.
Bothy Days
Mike relaxes at Corrour Bothy in the Lairig Ghru. Still a long way to go to the Linn of Dee..

After another break in the sunshine and a chat to a couple of German hikers, we set off back around Carn a' Mhaim. This leg felt much longer than it did on the walk in. At the Luibeg, we crossed by the stones (nearly managed to lose a pole in the river here) and then got back to the bikes.

On the cycled back from Derry Lodge we began to pass more and more people wearing midge nets. Looking down, our legs were crawling with the winged devils. Fearful for our skin, we never stopped until we reached the Linn of Dee carpark. The midges here were as bad as I have seen them anywhere on the west coast and it was an epic struggle to get th ebikes onto the bike rack. We were stratching ourselves all the way to the Inver Hotel.

2 comments:

Martin Rye said...

They are special mountains in the scale of what the UK has to offer. Great photos by the way.

Graham said...

Thanks Martin. Yep, all of the Scottish hill areas are grand but the Cairngorms still blow me away every time.