Our blog - Cairngorms, 19 Oct'17

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

Bespoke day in Cairngorms

19 October 2017
Hiking up Meall a'Buachaillie and Craigellachie in the Cairngorms in autumn colours. Steven was leading....

Most of the folk we hike with are aiming up peaks and summits, often with a specific aim in mind. So regardless of the weather (within reason) we're up in the mountains often in cloud and can't see 10 metres in front of us. Today was different !

Nejra from Switzerland wanted a day to experience some hiking in Scotland's hills with some glorious views. She'd been out with Rabbies Trails on the west coast up to Skye doing the 'usual' tourist honey-pots and today needed to be different and special. So the plan was for a hike around Coire an t-Sneachda and the Northern Coires of the Cairngorms - but alas the weather had other ideas - stubborn cloud clung to the high ground with winds blowing the mist around. A change of plan was needed - an idea of hiking 2 shorter routes was proposed - Craigellachie pre-lunch and Meall a'Bhuachaille in the afternoon.

Craigellachie is a little hill immediately above Aviemore, often overlooked by hikers, therefore frequently quiet and peaceful, giving us the chance hopefully to spot wildlife. The autumn colours of the birch forest around lochans were glorious as we walked and chatted from the foot of the hill onto its crest. We quickly gained height, stopping on the way up and on the summit to take in the wonderful panorama.

Over to Glenmore, we hiked a circular route up Meall a'Buachaille, down to Ryvoan and past Lochan Uaine. A gentle breeze wisped past us while walking uphill with the sun coming out as we reached the summit at 810m. Superb views ! Cloud still clung to the higher ground - we had chosen well today ! We briefly stopped at Ryvoan bothy before joining the fine track to Lochan Uaine - meaning 'small green loch' - where we stopped for a while. Just as we were preparing to leave, a small red squirrel jogged by, hoping onto the trees and climbing with amazing skill to the top branches - what a great way to round of a lovely day.

More photos by Steven Fallon are here on Flickr.

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