Cairngorms and sleep out under a stone. TRL0082
Distance day one 30km (18¾ miles); day two 25km (15½ miles)
Total ascent day one 1000m; day two 500m
Time day one 11½ hours; day two 8 hoursStart/finish Aviemore (NH896124); ﬁnish Braemar (NO151913)
Nearest town Aviemore, Braemar
Terrain tracks, rough paths, stony mountain ridges
24 hours till tomorrow and then another 24 hours tomorrow ... ? The Cairngorms are Britain’s biggest. So when it comes to river deep and mountain high, we take the tip from unlikely hill-walker Tina Turner. A true Cairngorms through route takes two. It takes two, baby, to make a dream come true...So take two long summer days, two granite summits, the UK’s two highest and least frequented lochs, and two ancient pinewoods at either end. And between the two long days, a short summer’s night is just right for a stop under the Shelter Stone. Well, the hole under the big boulder is high on height (750m up), tops for romance, but a bit too uncomfortable to spend more than a short night there.
Come out from under the huge rock and there’s even huger rock still over your head, as you spiral around the base of the Sticil crag. Loch Etchachan, cold and pale under the dawn sun, is not too hard to say. Take a dip in Loch Etchachan, catch a chill as you get out and then sneeze – there, you said it. At 925m altitude on the shoulder of Ben Macdui, it’s higher than all but four of the hilltops of England.Then cross the high stoneﬁ elds of Derry Cairngorm – or else, if the Cairngorms have hit you with some of their special weather, dodge down Coire Etchachan below more huge crags. Follow the Dee along its wide valley, and ﬁnish at evening among the bright birchwoods of Braemar.
Accommodation hostels (both SYHA and independent), also campsites, at Aviemore, Loch Morlich (SYHA Cairngorm Lodge and campsite) and Braemar; unlimited wild camping between. Inverey SYHA closed. Shelter Stone has room for 5-8; note bothy in Coire Etchachan, and near Derry Lodge.
Public transport trains, coaches to Aviemore; from Braemar, buses to Aberdeen. To then return to Aviemore, continue by train via Perth. No public transport to Linn of Dee. www.travelinescotland.com – tel. 0871 200 2233
Tourist info – tel. 0845 225 5121
Best Pub Fife Arms, Braemar – tel. (01339) 741644
NH896124Taking a bus to Loch Morlich (Point 2) would save 17km and 4-5 hours’ walking. But to include the ancient pines, cross the Spey by an old railway bridge, follow the pavement to Inverdruie, and take the path south to Croft and the track to Loch an Eilein with its island castle. Head east by Achnagoichan and the Cairngorm Club footbridge, to join a track running north-east to the foot of Loch Morlich. Turn right to follow tracks to the south of the loch to Heron’s Field car park.
NH980095 Follow the streamside track for 800m, then turn left on path to join track behind Glenmore Lodge. Turn right on forest track to pass Lochan Uaine (supposedly haunted by fairies). In 500m, fork right on track to cross a footbridge over the River Nethy.
NJ021105 Bad weather Turn right on path to the left of the stream, keeping left of bog at ﬁrst, then go up the valley beside the stream to the col at the top, the Saddle.
Good weather Across the footbridge take the path ahead onto the north shoulder of Bynack More. Head up ridge to the summit, then head south-west to cross A’ Choinneach and descend ridge to the Saddle. A rugged path slants down south-west to Loch Avon, and follows the lake shore to its head. Continue for 400m then cross stepping stones over Garbh Allt (if it’s in spate, you may have to divert a long way uphill to cross). Two hundred metres ahead is the Shelter Stone, with a cairn on top. If occupied, there are other even less comfy shelters nearby.
NJ002016 The path heads south-east, below the huge Sticil (or Shelter Stone Crag), then slants up to its left, to a wide col, with a slight drop to Loch Etchachan’s outﬂow.
NJ013004 Bad weather Take the well-built path down to the left. Descend Coire Etchachan to Glen Derry. After 3km, a footbridge on the right gives a pleasant path to another footbridge and Derry Lodge.
Good weather Take the path slanting up right (south-west) to a stony col, skirt to the right of Creagan a’ Choire Etchachan, and head south across Derry Cairngorm. Cross Carn Crom, and follow path down south-east to a footbridge and Derry Lodge.
NO041934 Take track down Glen Lui for 3km. Just before the bridge, fork left on older track. Join a road at Claybokie, but fork off right on a track towards Mar Lodge. After 400m, cross a stile to the riverside and follow the Dee to Victoria Bridge.NO102895 Cross Victoria Bridge and turn left on the road for 2km. Opposite a car park, a track forks up to the right. At the end of the plantation, enter Morrone Birkwood reserve. At once turn left on waymarked path. It slants down, bends right and contours through the open woodland to a small pool above Braemar. Descend the street ahead into the town.
Buchtipps für die Region
Grundausrüstung für Wanderungen
- Feste, bequeme und wasserdichte Bergschuhe oder Zustiegsschuhe
- Kleidung im Mehrschicht-Prinzip mit Feuchtigkeitstransport
- Rucksack (mit Regenhülle)
- Sonnen-, Regen- und Windschutz (Hut, Sonnencreme, wasser- und winddichte Jacke und Hose)
- Ausreichend Proviant und Trinkwasser
- Erste-Hilfe-Set mit Blasenpflaster
- Biwaksack/Survival Bag
- Navigationsgerät/Karte und Kompass
- Die Listen für die „Grundausrüstung“ und die „technische Ausrüstung“ werden auf der Grundlage der gewählten Aktivität erstellt. Sie erheben keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit und dienen lediglich als Vorschläge, was du einpacken solltest.
- Zu deiner Sicherheit solltest du alle Anweisungen zur ordnungsgemäßen Verwendung und Wartung deines Geräts sorgfältig lesen.
- Bitte vergewissere dich, dass deine Ausrüstung den örtlichen Gesetzen entspricht und keine verbotenen Gegenstände enthält.