Monday, 28 September 2009

Cairngorm 4000ers, Sep'09

There was one route in the Pocket Mountains book I'm writing that I needed to go back check, so I headed up to the Cairngorms early on Sunday morning. Weather was fine, summits clear and a slight breeze upon arrival. I ran from Glenmore Lodge up the new Allt Mor path to the ski centre, then on up to Cairngorm. Cloud was starting to drift in. Over to Braeraich and the breeze had now become a wind and cloud clung lower. The few walkers that were around were well kitted out in gortex and overtrousers and some of them gave me funny looks with my bare legs, and hill-running gear on. A huge drop down boulders, scree then heather took me down to the Lairig Ghru. Looking up from the glen floor, I debated which route to take up to Cairn Toul and opted to head to the right of the crags and cliffs. Upon reaching Cairn Toul's crest the wind had turned gale-force and it became difficult to walk westwards, let alone try to run. I persisted over Sgor an Lochain Uaine and around to Braeraich, the wind funnelling over the plateau and down through any gaps it could find. Further down on Sron an Lairige I had stopped to check the map, then a violent gust blew me over, sending me tumbling over granite boulders. With a bloody knee and hand, I cursed and shouted back at the wind, but it only seemed to provoke it more. Once back down to the Lairige Ghru, conditions were much more pleasant and I enjoyed a jog back to Glenmore, perhaps limping just a little. (Photo was taken on a better day !) A GPX of the route is here :