Sunday, 14 September 2014

Scotland, September 2014. Cairngorms, Day 2.

Despite the long day yesterday we were still up and away early, perhaps because of the midges which were out in force as soon as we stirred.  The day began cloudy but gradually cleared and finished with a beautiful evening.  We enjoyed cloud free summits throughout though.  The day began with a climb up into Corrie Etchachan, stopping off at the Hutchinson Memorial Hut on the way up.  It was good to find that the hut was open and had had some refurbishment since we had been up here last, two years ago.  Pulling up over the lip of the corrie we had superb views of Ben Macdui behind the still waters of Corrie Etchachan.  We also began to hear ptarmigan and delighted at their curious creaking churrring call as they peered at us from behind rocks.  I had never seen so many of these birds in one place before, at one time half a dozen or so sat tamely on a group of rocks watching us carefully.  Oh for my 500mm lens!!  From the loch we made the steep pull up onto the plateau and walked across the tor studded high ground to the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin.  From up here there were superb views down to the famous Shelter Stone and Loch Avon and across to Cairngorm.  It was easy to linger up here taking photographs but we needed to geton  so made our way back down to where we had left our rucksacks and, after a quick cereal bar, headed on up towards Derry Cairngorm.  Again we left the sacks on the col to make the trek across to the summit easier.  Again, reunited with the bags, we continued up the path towards the summit of Ben Macdui.  Just before the summit, however, (we had been up here two years previously) we headed off down the very steep slopes beside the Allt Clach nan Taillear burn to the Lairig Ghru and the Corrour Bothy.  It was tempting to stop for the night here, but knowing it would be crowded and needing to get as far as possible, we carried on into Glen Geusachan where we found a wonderful campsite by the crystal clear waters of the river.  It was a beautiful evening and we were camped up earlier than the previous night, allowing us to eat our meal (pot noodles and angel delight again) before the midges descended and we retired to the tent.

We were out for 8 hours and 50 mins today with a moving time of 6 hours and 12 minutes. 14 miles, 2 Munros and 1190m of ascent.

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