Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn an t-Sagairt Beag

We set off for Loch Callater all the lighter for our £2.50 'donation' to path repair. Large holes were being filled to ensure, no doubt, a smooth passage for the Range Rovers and their clients but there was no such traffic this morning and no evidence of activity at the Lodge.
The route taken today is popular with TGO Challengers as they head out of Braemar for the east coast. Once high, numerous ways are possible: via Lochnagar to the Spittal; down to the Dubh Loch for a wild camp; over Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn then, from Sandy's Hut, a drop down to Bachnagairn and thence to Glen Clova. Or down to Loch Muick perhaps. It's not hard to see why these routes are popular. Our own cancelled/postponed crossing included Lochnagar among others. Maybe next year if we can fit it in.
On the summit we met a chap and his Border Collie who had come from Lochnagar and had found it awkward in the strong wind, a mere snuffle by yesterday's standard. They were about to set off on the last section of their eighteen mile round over Cairn Bannoch etc. This has become a popular way to do these Munros but doesn't give much time for exploration or diversion.
We paused at the cairn taking in the scene. As Lynne put it "You can stretch your eye in this immense landscape - but never enough."
Including a stop at the aircraft remains, it's a mere twenty minutes from the Munro to Carn a t-Sagairt Beag, not a Top of Carn a t-Sagairt Mor but of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach. Munro trivia, I know, I know! The rocky summit is cairnless which perhaps says something about visitor numbers. We snuggled behind rocks to escape the wind and had lunch.
On our return journey we met a lady, a former member of Cairngorm MRT, and had a good natter about climbing, hills, islands visited and those yet to be explored. Full of life she was, her exuberance only exceeded by that of her two lovely dogs. She had thirty-eight Munros left and was saving Dreish and Mayar for last since they were easily accessible for a party with friends and family. Another pair arrived just as we were leaving and we recognised them from our aborted Lochnagar day. They had also retreated but no doubt would get their hill today.
Our descent was a leisurely one, encouraged by the warm atmosphere low down. A Range Rover was stationed at Callater Lodge and another guarded the start of the track. Royalty must have been about.
Oss - that's what I tell others but I'm not all that good at taking my own advice. I like misery - I am Scottish you know!
Conrad - thanks for pointing out my error and for generously allowing me to claim a typo. Unfortunately I can do no such thing and can only claim an aberration. I'll fix it when home and hope that there are no mistakes in this and future posts. It will be the BlackBerry's fault if there are! Your experience of flight on Blencathra sounds of longer duration than Lynne's, but luckily no harm was suffered by either . I love wild mountain weather - it adds an edge to the day.
AlanS - good to hear from you. The paths need a good hoover as well. We spoke of you as we traversed the hillside high above Loch Callater, knowing you often pass this way on the Challenge and love these hills.
AlanR - it was a wild day for sure. Too much common sense stifles action :-) which in turns makes you old! That's what I tell myself anyway.
Laura - Thanks for popping over. This area is very special - and I'm typing this a lot nearer to you than you might think!
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