Hills: Cairngorm Traverse - Auchlean to Linn of Dee via Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain
Date: Sunday 17th August 2015
Company: Myself, John, Jake, Graeme, Dan, Ros, Corinne, Lianne, Lindsey, Tom, Bob, Fiona, Sheena, Jan, Malcolm, Bill, Desmond, Lucy, Jerry, Josh & Nicholas
Distance: 29.3km, Ascent: 1355m
Time: 8Hrs 25Mins

One of the benefits of being a member of a mountaineering club which runs monthly bus meets is the ability to undertake traverses which would otherwise be logistically difficult to accomplish using cars. Over the years, I have undertaken numerous traverses through the Cairngorms thanks to club bus meets. I last undertook a traverse from Auchlean to Linn of Dee back in 2001. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to repeat my 2001 walk with the Moray Mountaineering Club. Even better, I would be accompanied by twenty other members and guests undertaking the same route.

After picking up members in Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Inverness our bus made its way down the A9 towards Glen Feshie. On arrival at the Auchlean car park, the bus dropped off walkers and cyclists and subsequently made its way round to the Linn of Dee to pick us up at the end of the walk/cycle.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

MMC at the Auchlean car park:

From the car park, we set off up the excellent track leading towards Carn Ban Mor. I have walked this track countless times previously for various ascents of various mountains. I last walked this track in March this year for a Winter ascent of Sgor Gaoith and its four tops.

View during initial ascent:

It was good to chat with friends and guests as we made our way up the hill. We are a friendly Club.

Ascending the track towards Carn Ban Mor:

Ascending the track towards Carn Ban Mor:

Looking back to Glen Feshie:

On the track towards Carn Ban Mor:

On the track towards Carn Ban Mor:

On reaching the track high-point, we enjoyed great views across to Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul. Cairn Toul is very distinctive thanks to its flat top. We did not take a short detour to the top of Carn Ban Mor. I have ascended this Munro Top many times previously. Our first top of the day would be Tom Dubh.

Looking towards Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul from the track high-point:

As we followed the track leading out towards Tom Dubh, we got increasingly good views of Sgor Gaoith. On one side it has gentle slopes while on the other it is guarded by impressive cliffs.

Sgor Gaoith (zoom):

Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul:

Prior to crossing the Allt Sgairnich, we re-grouped and stopped for brunch. We then continued on to Tom Dubh.

Crossing the Allt Sgairnich:

This was my 3rd ascent of Tom Dubh; a Munro Top.

At the summit of Tom Dubh:

A short distance beyond Tom Dubh, we had to cross the Allt Luineag. Today the crossing was fairly straight-forward. Myself and Tom stopped there to offer assistance to others crossing.

Crossing the Allt Luineag:

From the Allt Luineag, we made our way up to the 974m top of Monadh Mor before continuing on to the summit.

Looking back during ascent of 974m top of Monadh Mor:

Cairn Toul (zoom):

We again re-grouped at the summit of Monadh Mor before continuing on towards Beinn Bhrotain.

Ascending Monadh Mor:

At the summit of Monadh Mor:

Cairn Toul and the Devil's Point from Monadh Mor:

Beinn Bhrotain from Monadh Mor:

The Devil's Point looks very impressive from Monadh Mor.

The Devil's Point (zoom):

Beinn Bhrotain:

During the descent from Monadh Mor, we all stopped for a late lunch.

Lunch stop:

Des, Jake and myself then set off in advance of the main group towards Beinn Bhrotain. There is more chance of spotting wildlife when on your own or in a small group than in a large group of twenty.

View from col between Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain:

Stony ascent of Beinn Bhrotain:

Approaching the summit of Beinn Bhrotain:

On reaching the summit of Beinn Bhrotain, I stalked a Snow Bunting until I got close enough for some photos. Soon thereafter the remainder of the group started to arrive.

Snow Bunting at the summit of Beinn Bhrotain:

From Beinn Bhrotain we split into two groups. A fast group of fifteen and a not-so-fast group of six.

At the summit of Beinn Bhrotain:

We initially made our way towards the East Top of Beinn Bhrotain before descending towards our next Munro Top objective; Carn Cloich-mhuilinn.

At the summit of Beinn Bhrotain (East Top):

Descent towards Carn cloich-mhuilinn:

Heading for Carn cloich-mhuilinn:

Looking back to Beinn Bhrotain and Beinn Bhrotain (East Top):

This was my 2nd ascent of Carn cloich-mhuillin. I last ascended this top fourteen years previous.

At the summit of Carn cloich-mhuilinn:

We then made our way from Carn cloich-mhuillin towards Glen Dee.

Descent from Carn cloich-mhuilinn:

As we approached Glen Dee we split into two groups, some going to the left of Carn Faiclach Beag and some to its right. I took the longer but more scenic descent to the left of Carn Fiaclach Beag.

Nice view along Glen Dee during descent:

Once onto the Glen Dee track, it was a circa 10km plod back out to Linn of Dee albeit with some great scenery along the way. During the walk back we passed the Chest of Dee. This is a lovely section of the Dee, although it is better seen from the other side of the Dee.

Chest of Dee:

Looking back towards Carn cloich-mhuilinn and Beinn Bhrotain:

Some stopped at White Bridge while others, including myself, continued on.

Looking back to White Bridge:

Scot's Pine near Linn of Dee:

On reaching the Linn of Dee, a short diversion to see the Linn was a must.

Linn of Dee:

Linn of Dee:

It was however good to reach the bus and get the boots off. Once everyone was back to the bus we returned to Inverness, Nairn, Forres and Elgin via Tomintoul, Grantown and Carrbridge.

A superb day out undertaking a very interesting traverse through the Cairngorms.