Sunday, 14 September 2014

Scotland, September 2014. Cairngorms, Day 3.

We decided to make an earlier start today and so were packed and away for 8.00 am.  The walk up through Glen Geusachan was wild, remote and beautiful; and also trackless, so tough on the legs.  As we climbed higher towards our first goal of Loch nan Stuirteag, we began to get superb views up to Cairn Toul, one of the big Cairngorm 4000s!  Following a cereal bar, we climbed up to the col separating Glen Geusachan from the vast boggy basin of the Moine Mhor (Big Moss).  From here we could look down onto Loch nan Cnapan, where I had camped and swum while doing my Mountain Leadership 40 years previously.  On that occasion we had to complete a night navigation exercise around the series of small lochans scattered hereabouts.  We also enjoyed superb views of a herd of red deer on the skyline that we were heading for,  The climb up onto the plateau of Monadh Mor was straightforward and I revelled in the walk across the arctic/alpine tundra with its low vegetation of mosses, lichens and club mosses, to the summit of our first Munro of the day.  A quick descent took us down to the col and excellent views across the glen and our campsite of the night before to the Devil's Point, perched high above the headwaters of the River Dee.  All that remained of the climbing for the trip was the steep, but short, pull up to the summit of our second Munro for the day Beinn Bhrotain.  As we descended from here towards Glen Dee in the early afternoon, the sky cleared from behind us giving beautiful light and enhancing the fabulous views up the Lairig Ghru and of the Devil's Point, Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui.  The walk out towards the Linn of Dee was now flat and easy going, but long at the end of a tough three days.  Just after White Bridge we were met by our faithful support team who had driven to pick us up and had walked up to meet us.  What stars!!!
Before long we were back at the site and it was beer, shower, beer before a huge pasta meal and then an early night for tired legs.

Today we had walked 17 miles with only 1000m of ascent and 2 more Munros.  Altogether we had covered 52 miles with a moving average of 2.3 mph and 1.8 mph total average.  We had climbed 3876m (12600 feet) and had been on our feet for 28 hours.  Our packs had weighed 25lbs.  I was well proud of my 65 year old legs!!

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