The Walk That Nearly Wasn’t

We arrived at Inverey having driven the last few miles down Glen Shee wondering what had happened to the good weather that had been forecast. Sitting in the car with light rain and low tops obscured in cloud, we looked at the map for low level cycles as an alternative and were just about to head back to Braemar to start things off slowly with a breakfast when the clouds vanished within a couple of minutes – quite amazing. Before they could reappear and change our minds we were assembling bikes and soon on our way to the top of Glen Ey.

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A stunning morning for a fairly gentle, 9km ascent. Lovely reflections on a snow-melt swollen river along the way and blue sky above snow streaked hills seemingly between winter and spring.

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Almost immediately after setting off on our walk, from the ruin of Altnaour Lodge, we saw the cloud coming in again, but we expected things to be changeable over the course of the day and improve whilst we were higher up.

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Whilst traversing Carn Creagach we passed a large herd of deer crossing a snow slope in single file.

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An ascent of Carn Bhac first, with views opening up for us up high, then over to Beinn lutharn Mhor. On ascending the knackeringly steep slope, we could see spindrift blowing at the top in the sunlight and were soon feeling the cause. Up top it was ferocious, almost comically so. Painful too, the ice crystals were almost unbearable on our faces even with hoods zipped up as we stumbled on to the summit cairn. A nice big cairn, which thankfully we could tuck in behind for a rest and some food.

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The descent was quick and led us in to the confines and shelter of the of the glen formed by the Allt Beinn lutharn which took us eventually back to Glen Ey, by now showing lovely colours in the weakening sun.

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Cycling out was a breeze, just the odd, easy ascent interrupting 9km of freewheeling and easy peddling back to Inveryey. Lovely scenery enjoyed at speed and the long straights emphasising how much nicer to be on wheels at this point than hobbling back on foot.

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Previous visit to Glen Ey and Carn Bhac.

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