Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Friday, 4 June 2010

Chest of Dee to Aviemore

First off an omission from yesterday , a chap named Hugh Boyd donated to the charity and tonight the Williams family did too! Thanks to all !
The nights here are nearly not happening ! At 1.30am the sky was a deep blue but by 3am the sky was brighter so does it get really dark? I'm not planning on being awake to find out!
Our usual 7.30 start and we race off along glen Dee the river drops down a series of small falls and rapids with a Greeny blue hue to the water ,the water all along here is melt from the snow above and as such is excellent drinking water , so sweet!
Rounding Sgor Mor a low mountain we get ever expanding views of towards the Lairig Ghru which I can't believe is an old drove road ! The dominant landmark at this stage is the Devils Point a shear buttress of rock towering over Glens Geusachen and Dee left of pic.
On past Cairn Toul on our left and Ben Macdui on our right both around 3900 feet we have to ford deeply flowing streams swollen with melted snow Alfie does admirably for his small stature !
Up into the boulder field of the Lairig Ghru we find ourselves floundering over the still deep remnants of the winters snows, treacherously with the tributarys of river Dee rushing beneath our feet , keeping to the edge of the snows we pass beneath the  Cairn Lochan and Braeriach ranges to either side.
Down and out of the mountains we are swallowed by the Rothimurchus forest with a hot humid change from the cold winds of the tops.
Into Aviemore for a campsite for the night and the first pizza for two months ! Lovely! 

Blair Athol to Chest of Dee 3/6

Having been pushing it for the last few days to get to the Cairngorms while the forcast good weather held (nearly made up a days walk!) Our efforts have paid off! Perfect blue skys sunny and a cool wind, a bit too hot at 28 deg C ! But so nice!
The walk starts on the trail thru Blairauchdar wood with signs warning of a precipitous drop to our right, as warned the path rises and the river Tilt disapears into the woods below us, we soon meet the river again as we head up the gently sloping Glenn Tilt.
Passing a house called Marble Lodge the glen opens up before us to reveal a staggering sheer sided valley rising up to 2500 feet (approx) on either side! As we sit and marvel another incredible sight meets us as a Euro Fighter jet thunders down the valley and over our heads! The first of four jets to do so today, the trail becomes a footpath under the towering flanks of Dun Beag and in the midday heat we find to our left the lovely falls of Tarf (pic to follow) Alfie's straight in for a cooling paddle and I dip my feet into the freezing river, so nice! The path winds up and down the steep sides of Alt Garbh Buidhe and around the edge of a boggy area of water catchment from the surrounding hillsides, after fording some large streams we get to Geldie Burn now in wetter times this would cause huge problems crossing but for me it was on with the gaiters and start wading it still came up to just below my knee ,and even so I only got one wet foot, happy with that!.
With gobsmacking views of Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui to our left both snow capped, we set up camp at the Chest of Dee (by white bridge) , the path tomorrow goes between these two mountains via the Lairig Ghru sadly a hill in front obscures this so tomorrows callenge still remains a mystery!