Our blog - Cairngorm Darkside

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Cairngorm Darkside

19-20 August 2017
Two days of guided hiking over the Moine Mor and into the remote Cairngorms. Richard Kermode was leading....

Day 1 - Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor

We had an early start down Glen Feshie for our long wild walk across the Moine Mor to visit Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain. I met up with Nick, Diane and Linda at what was a relatively midge occupied carpark. It didn't take us long to leave them behind as we raced up the fantastic path and into the cold cloud on the Moine Mor. The forecast was for some potentially heavy showers and gales so with some trepidation we set of over the plateau.

As we left the good path the sun threatened to emerge and we climbed over Tom Dubh in a lovely spell of weather and were soon across the rivers on our way up Monadh Mor. The wind was definitely getting stronger making for hard going along the broad summit, but it was still quite dry. We had discussed options earlier and as the wind was strengthening we retreated rather than commit to Beinn Bhrotain and it's boulder field in the wind. It took no time to reach the good path and we emerged from the cloud again. As we were now walking into the wind back towards Glen Feshie and easier descents if the weather really deteriorated any more we headed for Mullach Clach a'Bhlair as its an excellent track all the way. Sadly we didn't get any views from either summit and some heavy squalls came through to give us some rain. By the time we were descending into Glen Feshie we could smell the heather and it dried up so we enjoyed a lovely walk back along the beautiful Glen Feshie to the car park where the breeze was perfect!

Day 2 - Beinn Mheadhoin and Cairngorm

Our second day was starting at the Cairngorm ski centre and it was only Linda and Diane today. The forecast looked great with improving weather all day and little chance of rain. We climbed up Fiacaill a'Choire Chais into some wind before descending by Coire Raibert down to the wonderful Loch A'an. We were travelling fast and made excellent time round beneath the shelter stone with some glorious morning sun lighting up the cliffs. After passing a family camping we didn't meet many folk all day just a couple of solo walkers on the slopes of Beinn Mheadhoin. We made our way up to the towering granite tors on Beinn Mheadhoin our primary objective of the day were there was a cool wind, but a good shelter for lunch in the lee of the summit tour. A wee scramble to the top to take in the extensive 360' views including Beinn Macdui, Lochnagar and Beinn a'Ghlo in different directions.

The next section of our route was to return to Loch A'an and visit the howff in the massive boulder field. We were moving well and now the climb back up to the plateau via Coire Domhan started to reveal some tiring legs. That said we made good time on the climb in fairly warm humid condition and were glad of the cool breeze in the plateau. After a good break for fresh water and food we joined the busier northern corries walk round to Cairngorm to be met by a large group of Reindeer enjoying a visit to the weather station. It was the perfect finish to the walk and after enjoying the views we descended back to the car park to complete a great walk.

More photos by Richard Kermode are here on Flickr.

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