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.

Above Glen Einich in the Cairngorms

Sgoran Dubh Mor and Sgor Gaoith are two hills in the ridge of hills lying to the east of Glen Feshie and towering over the dramatic glacial Loch Einich in the Cairgorms.

The walk to ‘bag’ these two hills was undertaken on a wonderful long, balmy summer day (obviously not last summer) when we dawdled throughout the day, finished late and saw practically no one the whole day.

We started out from Loch an Eilein with a gentle walk though the remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest under magnificent Scots pine. The loch was voted one of the most picturesque picnic places in the UK in some poll, but despite it’s popularity is still relatively quiet and unspoilt.

Loch an Eilein
Continue reading

Spring in the Caledonian Pinewoods

The burn is unusually low after weeks of dry weather

I have started back at my summer seasonal post as Forest Ranger at Glenmore, near Loch Morlich, This is a wonderful place to work as I enjoy lovely walks through the Caledonian Pinewoods every weekend and share the wildlife with the visitors.

Following the past two weeks of warm, sunny days, the buds on the trees were bursting and the early spring flowers blooming.
Continue reading

Book review – Cairngorm John: A Life in Mountain Rescue

Cairngorm John: A Life in Mountain Rescue (Non-fiction) (Hardback)

* Publisher: Sandstone Press Ltd
* Published: 20 March 2009
* Format: Hardback 320 pages
* ISBN 13: 9781905207244 ISBN 10: 1905207247

Frequently when working or walking in the Cairngorm mountains I hear or see the mountain rescue helicopter buzz overhead and wonder what has happened to an unfortunate climber or hillwalker. I’ve felt especially concerned for the injured person and the mountain rescue team if it was particularly bad weather. I’d then maybe hear a short two line article in the local press the following day.

Continue reading

Sharing a local hill with friends – and books

Ascent of Meall a’ Bhuachaille (810m)

Translation from Gaelic = ‘hill of the herdsman’
Distance 8.5 km / 5 ¼ miles
Ascent 510 metres / 1666 feet

Meall a' Bhuachaille

I stayed on at my work place at Glenmore for an extra night this weekend, so I could meet up with ‘net acquaintances who were passing through the area. I had not met the fellow bookcrosser, Sujie before, but from our emails before her visit, I learned that she and her husband would be interested in joining me for a walk up a small hill during their stay. I choose to share the delights of Meall a’Bhuachaille with them, as this wee hill gives a lovely view of the Cairngorms mountains.

After the poor forecast of the previous day we were lucky to have a lovely warm, sunny afternoon.
Continue reading