Hill: Meall a' Bhuachaille
Date: Sunday 27th September 2015
Company: Myself and Becky
Distance: 10.1km, Ascent: 565m
Time: 4Hrs

Yesterday afternoon, Becky asked if I could take her up a hill today. As the weather forecast was looking quite tasty, how could I refuse .

I initially considered potential walk options in the Southern Cairngorms. However, on realising many roads would be temporarily closed due to the Etape Royale cycle race, I considered potential Northern Cairngorms options instead. Having already ascended Meall a' Bhuachaille back in February this year, I knew this would be a good, straight-forward walk with An Lochan Uaine and Ryvoan Bothy providing some additional interest en-route.

We arrived at Glenmore Lodge around 8.30 this morning. Once suited and booted, we set off walking. The beginning of the walk was somewhat midgey.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Most of the walking I have undertaken with Becky thus far has been during the spring and summer months. It was therefore nice today to see and talk about autumnal flowers, fungus and the changing colour of tree leaves.

On the path from Glenmore Lodge to An Lochan Uaine:

Walking towards An Lochan Uaine:

An Lochan Uaine (the Green Lochan) is a stunningly beautiful lochan. I suspect the green colour is due to copper minerals in the water and not in fact due to pixies washing their clothes in there. On enquiring with Becky, she suggested it was possibly due to water fairies.

An Lochan Uaine:

An Lochan Uaine:

Becky really enjoyed the visit to An Lochan Uaine, so much so she asked to visit the lochan again during the return walk.

Scot's Pine at An Lochan Uaine:

We also visited the North end of An Lochan Uaine before continuing along the track towards Ryvoan Bothy.

At the North end of An Lochan Uaine:

Whilst walking this section of track, we were somewhat surprised to meet someone we knew from our village. It's a small world .

Beautiful autumnal colours:

Meall a' Bhuachaille:

Looking back towards Creag nan Gall:

I have visited Ryvoan Bothy numerous times previously. Today was however Becky's first visit to Ryvoan and indeed her first visit to any bothy. Thankfully Ryvoan is one of the nicer bothies. It might have put her off bothies for life had her first visit been to the likes of Carnmore.

At Ryvoan Bothy:

Inside Ryvoan Bothy:

We had a drink, a bite to eat, signed the bothy book and spoke briefly with other bothy visitors. Becky also read out the bothy poem.

Ryvoan Bothy poem:

After visiting Ryvoan, we set off up Meall a' Bhuachaille. Becky set off uphill at a good rate of knots and kept up this speed all the way to the summit. Oh to be young again .

Looking back to Ryvoan during initial ascent of Meall a' Bhuachaille:

I recall ascending Meall a'Bhuachaille many years ago via an eroded, muddy path. The new path in comparison is excellent.

Excellent track ascending Meall a' Bhuachaille:

Looking down to An Lochan Uaine (zoom):

Looking down to Creag nan Gall and An Lochan Uaine:

Ascending Meall a' Bhuachaille:

We stopped briefly before the final stretch to the summit for a drink and to put back on a layer of clothes.

Having a wee rest during the ascent:

Final ascent towards the large summit shelter/cairn:

We spent at least fifteen minutes at the summit enjoying the views, having an early lunch and taking numerous photos. We met several other groups of walkers at the summit. What a great day to be out and what a great place to be: the Cairngorms.

Sitting atop the large summit cairn of Meall a' Bhuachaille:

Loch Morlich from the summit:

At the summit of Meall a' Bhuachaille:

From the summit, we returned to Ryvoan Bothy for a second visit  i.e. an opportunity to consume some more chocolate. We then returned to An Lochan Uaine for a second visit.

Descent back towards Ryvoan Bothy:


Back to An Lochan Uaine:

Having a seat on the An Lochan Uaine bench:

From An Lochan Uaine, we walked the short distance back along the track to Glenmore Lodge.

Meall a' Bhuachaille was an ideal short walk for today. I am already looking forward to my next ascent of the great wee hill. Of the 27 hills Becky has ascended thus far, she suggested this was one of the best ones.