We called ourselves the Epic Munro* Baggers- we four from Aberdeen watched the weather forecast app and Tuesday was ‘SUNBALL’ with confidence; no equivocating with the little cloud on the side or nothing!!!
I had done lots of research about which epic munro in Lairig Ghru we should attempt since the glen is full of them! Devils Point, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul to name a few. All an easy day hike from the Linn of Dee car park a few miles past Braemar. (£3) Given the fitness average of our group, Cairn a’ Mhaim was chosen since it was the easiest and closest.
We set out under a cloudless sky from the car park and progressed along the forest track road which is rolling flatness as the pass begins to unfold until you arrive at Derry Lodge.
From there, across the tributary to the Dee
Then onwards up the glen as the peaks began to unfold as guardians of the glen
Crossing another tributary before beginning the serious vertical footage
We climbed up and up about 30-45 minutes of huffing and puffing (at least on my part!) to reach the false summit
A bit more and we were there!
On the return walk, I refilled water bottles directly from the tributary and so far have not contracted any strange tummy disruptions. And I sadly went wading in the stream with my boots on deliberately wetting my feet (stupid!) forgetting the cardinal rule of hiking “Dry socks make for happy feet!” And promptly wore 3 or 4 big blisters on my soles during the remaining 6 miles back to the car. (Did I say stupid??)
But it was an epic day for all even the dreaded midges were scarce! All told it was a 14 mile day and worth every step to be out in the Highlands on a big SUNBALL day.
*A Munro is a mountain in the UK at least 3000ft or 914 meters elevation. Its the highest classification of mountain.