23rd May 2015, Carn Liath (M181), 3199ft, 975m
23rd April 2015, Beinn Bhrotain (M019), 3796ft, 1157m
From the bealach between Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain there is a staggering view of the highest Cairngorm peaks which sets everything into perspective. It is worth making the effort to get to this place for this experience alone.
The route to the summit from here is over large wobbly red boulders. My descent into Glen Geldie was slowed by steep rough slopes and melting snowbanks. I made camp on the high grassy banks of the Geldie Burn.
The next day I walked south into Glen Tilt and made one more camp before returning home on the train from Blair Atholl.
23rd April 2014, Monadh Mor (M040), 3652ft, 1113m
This is a big flat nondescript pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere. From my camp under An Sgarsoch it was a long slog following the southern shoulder due north after crossing the upper reaches of the Geldie Burn. The above image is taken from the summit looking back south east towards the bulk of Beinn Bhrotain.
22nd April 2015, An Sgarsoch (M126), 3301ft, 1006m
Between Carn an Fidhlier and this mountain there is a substantial drop into a boggy bealach. The descent is in shadow and holds an increasingly unstable cornice. During the ascent on the sun side, assorted amphibians seemed to grow out of the ground with the heat. At the top I surveyed the familiar profile of the Cairngorms to the north and contemplated the next day’s journey. I found a camp on the northern slopes in a damp little hollow that was warmed immediately by the morning sunrise.
22nd April 2015, Carn an Fhidhlier (M148), 3261ft, 994m
From my camp at the head of the Water of Tarf to the summit ridge of this mountain was a short climb. It was a glorious day. I lingered along its length admiring the views and being thankful for my life.
21st April 2015, Beinn Dearg (M124), 3307 ft, 1008m
The walk up this mountain is straightforward and never steep. Snowbanks receded under the sun. At the end of the day I made camp at the watershed of the Water of Tarf and the River Bruar. This is the best time to be in the mountains.
19th April 2015, Ben Chonzie (M250), 3054ft, 931m
This was Shona’s first Munro ever. She did not like the interminable plod up the stony estate track, but enjoyed the long summit and the wildlife. There was still a lot of snow on the peaks to the north and west. It was a warm spring afternoon.