A ‘rest day’ on Cairn Lochan

Cairn Lochan, Cairngorms

After returning from my short backpacking trip in the Cairngorms I planned to have a rest day before working at the weekend. But as I sat in my caravan on the camp site where I work (and live on work days and others) eating a leisurely breakfast the sun came out and lit up the Cairngorm. This was too good an opportunity to miss, so I changed my mind and changed my clothes into hiking gear. I may make some of you a wee bit jealous now when I tell you I walked into the Cairngorm mountains directly from my ‘home’. No cars or buses needed – I simply shut my door and set off on foot.
Continue reading

Three days in the Cairngorms

Tomintoul to Glenmore: Linn of Avon to Fords of Avon

The weather forecast was not looking good for my planned mid-week trip in the Cairngorms. Rain, wind, and the summits hidden in cloud all 3 days. But I was psyched up to get out there into the hills, so a change of plan was called for. I browsed the maps and decided that I’d tackle a walk in the glens instead of the tops. Neil dropped me off at Tomintoul and I was to spend 3 or 4 days walking back to Glenmore – to be back for the weekend for work.
Continue reading

A three-day low(ish) Cairngorms backpack

Camping at Fords of Avon

Last week I did a short backpacking trip in the Cairngorms. The original plan had been for Neil and I to head to the high hills, but after checking the weather forecast (rain, rain and more rain) Neil suddenly decided he had work to do! 🙄 However I was psyched up for a trip between my weekends at work and decided to do a lower level solo trip.

Neil dropped me off at Tomintoul and I walked back to Glenmore via Glen Avon and the Lairig Laoigh, beside Bynack More. Day one was nice easy walking – but tough as I was carrying too much weight (eg a 2-person tent). Day two rained non-stop the whole day. I’d really like to go back to walk Glen Avon again when I can see the scenery. The third day was showery, but pleasant.

I’ll write a full trip report shortly.

To summit or not to summit?

Or Half Way up a Hill

Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard, Glen Strathfarrar

I, like many fellow hiking bloggers, like to walk in the hills and mountains in our country. Some hikers like to stay low down, exploring remote valleys often walking long distances to access places miles from the nearest roads, while others of us feel a compulsion to go uphill. Most days in the hills demand a summit or two. However, sometimes it’s good to simply be in the hills and not ‘bag’ a top. Today was one such day. OK I admit I originally set off with the plan to go to the summit of the hill, Beinn a’ Bha’ach Ard- my local hill and one I can see from our house-but due to several circumstances I changed my plan.
Continue reading

Alone on Gairich

Gairich stands alone on the south side of Loch Quoich. It is a hill you gaze across when driving to Kinloch Hourn to get to Barrisdale and think “Hmm, must do that one day…” This mid summer day was that ‘someday’. It was a perfect day for an easy mid-week day out on my own.

Looking to Gairich (919m) across Loch Quoich.

The usual route up the hill starts by crossing the dam on the south end of the loch.

This hill presents no difficulty with navigation as it stands quite alone and has a path which leads you to the obvious ridge. I parked near the dam at the eastern end of Loch Quoich at NH068024 and walked across the dam.
Continue reading

A short stroll in the Cairngorms

South to Loch Etchachan

I know a couple of blogging acquaintances are currently undertaking long backpacking trips into the heart of the Cairngorms, but as I work in the area I’m able to take short frequent strolls there. It doesn’t equate in any way to the wilderness experience the backpackers will get, but still, it’s nae bad for a ‘Sunday afternoon’ type stroll.

I had originally planned to tackle Beinn Mheadoin, but I was delayed in leaving Glenmore as I waited for my son to come to drop off a few large plant pots and to rig up a support and notice board in my ranger tent. When I set off I was not feeling 100%, so decided to have a short day and save the longer route for another day.
Continue reading