Another walk on the wild side of Scotland.

The classic traverse:  Lin of Dee to Cairngorm, a walk slightly longer than I would normally tackle in an eight -hour window but made possible by one of the Moray Mountaineering Club’s monthly meets. So Sunday arrives with fine weather and a apparently good conditions to tackle some of the more challenging terrain in the Scottish Highlands. The walk started from Lin of Dee in the Mar estate near Braemar with a finish at the Cairngorm base station, around 15 miles to the north as the crow flies.

Decision time at Derry Lodge! Turn left for the low level walk into the Lairig Ghru and access to Munroes such as The Devil’s Point and Cairn Toul. My walk, with half of the club’s party, was a high level one to the east of the Lairig Ghru to take in Derry Cairngorm and Ben Macdhui.

Looking towards the west and the distant south end of the Lairig Ghru on the ascent of Carn Crom on the way to the first Munroe: Derry Cairngorm.

Looking south towards Lin of Dee, the starting point of the traverse.

North and east towards Glen Derry from Carn Crom.

The summit of Derry Cairngorn is visible in the distance. For the start of the trek, visibility was perfect.

From the top of Derry Cairngorm with Lairig an Laoigh in the middle of the picture and Beinn a’ Chaorainn to the left.

From Derry Cairngorm to Ben Macdhui with the weather closing in fast, a character of the Cairngorm mountains which can prove very hazardous, even to well-equipped walkers.

Orientation table at the top of Ben Macdhui, Scotland’s second highest mountain.

Crossing the plateau between Ben Macdhui and Cairngorm itself, a fairly long but easy walk with the cloud clearing temporarily. Some of the group made their way down to the base station via the Fiacaill Buttress whilst I completed my walk by scrambling my way over Stob Coire an t-Sneachda towards Cairngorm.

Walking towards Cairngorm along the top of the ridge at Stob Coire an t-Sneachda.

Looking back towards Stob Coire an t-Sneachda and the Fiacaill Buttress as the cloud moves in again. Map and compass navigation beckons!

At last, true mountain weather at the summit cairn of Cairngorm itself. Damp, raining and time for my traverse is running out. All that remains is to descent carefully to the base station to complete the traverse which amounted to around 20 miles af climbing, walking, scrambling and boulder hopping allowing for detours, ascents and descents. A long day that finished up in the bar at the Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore to swap tall stories with my fellow walkers.


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