Author Topic: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)  (Read 2073 times)

richardh1905

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Day 1 - Friday 15 June 2018


Living in Orkney I don’t have easy access to the higher hills, so having to head ‘sooth’ to pick my son up from Glasgow presented me with an opportunity that I could not ignore. After catching the early morning ferry and driving down to Aviemore, where I had a bone to pick with Blacks over some faulty boots, I headed for Glen Feshie. After parking near Achlean I headed for the hills; time 1335. My plan was to climb Mullach Clach a Bhlair, and then cross over to the valley of the River Eidart before spending the night at the head of Glen Feshie.





After a couple of pleasant miles along good paths, I struck off over moorland to the foot of dramatic Coire Garbhlach, before climbing steep heathery slopes to Meall nan Sleac (800m). Fine views unfolding, and lots of wild flowers to add interest to the climb.


The road to Achlean Farm



Coire Garbhlach





Views unfolding as I climbed...


There were fine views down into Coire Garbhlach to my left as I passed the summit and joined a Land Rover track that headed up on to Moine Mhor. A couple of showers had me reaching for my waterproofs but the weather had improved by the time I was on the plateau.



Meall nan Sleac summit cairn and the climb ahead


The summit of Mullach Clach a Bhlair (1019m) is an anticlimax, to say the least, but there were fine views of Cairn Toul in particular. I think that I spied the pyramid shape of Meall a Bhuchaille above Glen More throuh a gap in the higher hills.






From the summit I headed east; easy going along the track, until I was able to turn north and descend the southern rim of Coire Mharconaich; a place of utter solitude. Rough going though, with peat bog and heather - and frogs.


Choire Mharconaich


I was hoping for a path along the banks of the River Eidart, but I was to be disappointed; the only intermittent paths were made by cloven hoof rather than Vibrammed boot. No option but to struggle on though, through knee deep heather and over bog, and it was a long 5 miles down to the River Feshie. I have to say that this took the shine off the day’s walk, and I did not appreciate the finer points of the valley, which is lovely in an austere way. Some fine cascades, especially lower down.






River Eidart


I camped near the ‘Pony Hut’, a crude shelter at Grid Ref 906885, arriving at 2000; six and a half hours and around 14 miles walking from the car.



 
Day 2 to follow…
« Last Edit: 11:12:29, 20/06/18 by richardh1905 »

Owen

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #1 on: 20:30:57, 19/06/18 »
Looks like you had nice weather. I went up the Eidart all the way onto Tom Dubh at the beginning of June lovely solitude. I think I camped in the same spot.

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #2 on: 20:37:42, 19/06/18 »


Day 2 - Saturday 16 June 2018

Awoke at 0507 and was away at 0550, an early start as I had to get to Glasgow by early afternoon! Breakfast was a sip of peaty water.


The walk down into Glen Feshie was an absolute delight.



Upper Glen Feshie


The Glen was bleak to start with, but improved as I descended and reached the first trees. Disturbed 7 deer; a stag with velvety antlers and 6 hinds. The valley was wide initially, but narrowed and deepened, with dramatic crags and ravines plunging down to the valley bottom. Native Scots Pine and birch woodland clung to the hillsides, and I spotted some unusual plants. The path was good on the whole, but sections had been washed out in ravines, and I had to cross steep active scree, disconcerting with a full pack and tired legs.



Cyphel (I think)











Lower down, the Glen widened out, and the river spread itself out over shingle banks.





Easier going now, and I was offered a coffee at Ruidh Aiteachain bothy; gratefully accepted! I was on a bit of a high now, only 4 easy miles to go through beautiful country; the sights, sounds and tastes (wood sorrel) of the forest enough to make the heart sing! Glen Feshie still had a surprise for me though; there has been some dramatic erosion where the stream that drains Coire Garbhlach enters the Feshie



Elemental forces at work



The 'home straight'.


Arrived back at the car at 1020; knackered but happy - very happy. Already planning my return!


« Last Edit: 08:06:06, 20/06/18 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #3 on: 20:44:42, 19/06/18 »

Looks like you had nice weather. I went up the Eidart all the way onto Tom Dubh at the beginning of June lovely solitude. I think I camped in the same spot.
I dodged the bullet with the weather; after the walk I drove through a tropical downpour on the M9 past Stirling; so heavy that the outside lane was covered in water. And I endured Midge Armageddon at Loch Lomond where I camped on my way back north from Glasgow.

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #4 on: 06:21:02, 20/06/18 »

Just out of interest, I made a list of what I was going to carry beforehand:



Rather pleasingly, when I put the rucsac on the bathroom scales, it weighed 11.0kg.


To save weight, next time I do a serious walk involving a wild camp, I am going to ditch the stove and cookwear altogether - a simple cost free saving of 1.2kg! The food that I cooked was disgusting in any case (I still gobbled it down), and I struck camp early and didn't bother with a morning cuppa. I also took rather too much food, but perhaps this is no bad thing if going to a remote area.


The tent is a budget 2 man tunnel tent, quite decent quality for the money. I could take my Saunders Jetpacker, but it is such a struggle to get dressed in such a small tent - even putting on a fleece involves some horizontal gymnastics! I like a little extra space; it's nice to be able to sit up.
« Last Edit: 08:01:54, 20/06/18 by richardh1905 »

sunnydale

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #5 on: 07:18:13, 20/06/18 »
Nice photos, looks a great walk! O0
***Happiness is only a smile away***

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #6 on: 07:56:53, 20/06/18 »

Nice photos, looks a great walk! O0


Thanks for the feedback; my first trip report.


It was the toughest and wildest walk that I have done for many a year, and the whole experience has left me feeling somehow more alive.

vizzavona

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #7 on: 08:47:44, 20/06/18 »
Good to see some fine images of my local glen....looking out this morning Coire Garbhlach is hidden by thick cloud after a night of heavy rainfall.  Also a man who uses a Primus stove fueled with Paraffin.  I have both a pint and a half pint one of these although one is a Svea make but must say that I have changed over to a gas stove in recent times. 
At the rickety hut close to where the Feshie is joined by the Eidart I received a helpful mug of sweet tea from campers at this area when feeling low when on an off-road bike trip along Feshie, Minigaig, Bruar, Tilt, Geldie and back down the Feshie to Kincraig. Outdoor folks look after one another. :)

 

April

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #8 on: 08:57:49, 20/06/18 »
Great photos  O0 There is nowt like getting out on a camp  O0
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

beefy

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #9 on: 08:58:38, 20/06/18 »
Nice pics  O0
The midges are  a menace in the lake district too at the moment
DRIP COFFINS  :D

adalard

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #10 on: 09:00:38, 20/06/18 »
Thanks for the feedback; my first trip report.


It was a great read, Richard, and some fantastic pictures too.  O0


I see the pointy outline of Meall a Bhuchaille but I'm surprised you didn't mention that one of the Brecon Beacons had sneaked into the photo below...  ;)


Seriously though, what stunning scenery - thanks for sharing.

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #11 on: 09:07:40, 20/06/18 »


Good to see some fine images of my local glen....looking out this morning Coire Garbhlach is hidden by thick cloud after a night of heavy rainfall.  Also a man who uses a Primus stove fueled with Paraffin.  I have both a pint and a half pint one of these although one is a Svea make but must say that I have changed over to a gas stove in recent times. 
At the rickety hut close to where the Feshie is joined by the Eidart I received a helpful mug of sweet tea from campers at this area when feeling low when on an off-road bike trip along Feshie, Minigaig, Bruar, Tilt, Geldie and back down the Feshie to Kincraig. Outdoor folks look after one another. :)


There's something very satisfying about the roar of a Primus, and the ritual of priming it. I received my 'Omnilite ti' as a retirement present from my employer - I was allowed to choose! I use heating kerosene; very cheap at only 60p/litre, and I have 1000 litres in the tank in my back garden!


Having said that, I am serious about trying a 'no stove' wild trip in the near future.


Edit - that's some bike ride, by the way!
« Last Edit: 09:31:36, 20/06/18 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #12 on: 09:16:58, 20/06/18 »

Thanks for the feedback April, Beefy, Adalard; it was a superb trip. I cannot recommend Glen Feshie highly enough.


Strangely, I wasn't really bothered much by midges on my wild camp in upper Glen Feshie; I didn't even feel the need to put repellent on, despite the fact that I was camping amongst heather next to a stream.


I think that they are far worse in the west; striking camp at Loch Lomond on Sunday morning was a nightmare - the worst midges that I have EVER experienced!

vizzavona

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #13 on: 07:41:46, 29/06/18 »
As a reply to ......1905 regarding the route to Mullach from Glen Feshie.
Yseterday, after a period of thirty years or so, I went by way of the old stalkers track still recorded on both of the OS maps.
Up from 50 metres or so South of RA bothy into now a sea of heather....a feint track can still be followed through the tall heather on a rough contour for a bit when I lost contact with it.  No real problems.  The views into the 'turn of the Glen'....braided river, the split in the estate tracks that makes Tromie and the Minigaig old Drovers trail reachable are very fine.
Simply head out to the first of the the two stream crossings where before the second one you pick up a real path again, cross over at the fine old stone and turf bridge and then the zig-zags of the path up to the higher ground.
It just need to be walked more often....use it or lose it. :)

richardh1905

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Re: TR - Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Glen Feshie (Cairngorms)
« Reply #14 on: 09:19:30, 29/06/18 »


As a reply to ......1905 regarding the route to Mullach from Glen Feshie.
Yseterday, after a period of thirty years or so, I went by way of the old stalkers track still recorded on both of the OS maps.
....

It just need to be walked more often....use it or lose it. :)


Thanks for the reply, vizzavona; I'm reaching for the map....


This looks like a fine way up on to the Moine Mhor after a night spent in the bothy; much better than the bulldozed track I'm sure.
An opportunity may arise in late August, when I take my eldest son back down to Glasgow....

As you say, use it or lose it.