Monday, August 20, 2007

39-40. Ben Macdhui (2), Cairn Gorm (6) 17/08/2007

After chatting to our friend John in the local shop and after hearing that the weather was going to be good, we chose the route up the Fiacail Buttress to the Cairngorm plateau aiming to take in Ben Macdhui, Britain's second highest hill. John had said that this was his wife's favourite walk and had named the route after her. We promptly forgot her name and so spent most of the climb (or at least I did) thinking of possible names for what we should call Sylvia's Scramble. We took the bus along the road for the first 200m of ascent (whether or not this was cheating remains a moot point, but I maintain that the walk up the road would have been a bit dull and pointless) and began the walk in the inevitable mist and rain. We were on Felicity's Finger in no time and it did turn out to be an excellent scramble, with some slightly exposed moments. The rain abated and the mist withdrew as we climbed, leaving clear weather. Once up on top, it was an easy few kilometres through magnificent views to the top of Ben Macdhui. We could clearly see the ascent on our first day and the spectacular An Garbh Choire. On the way back it was as easy as pi to take in Cairn Gorm, the north side of which is rather spoilt by the ski developments, which made our descent back to the youth hostel a bit bleak and featureless. These two only took us about 7 hours, despite a similar distance and ascent to our climb of Braeriach, so we made good time.

Scrambling along Nelly's Nobble
The edge of the Cairngorm plateau
The route up Cairn Gorm

Ben Macdhui from Cairn Gorm


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