The Mountain's Silhouette

Hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Scotland

Eastern Cairngorms Through Walk

Another modified route, this time taking us through the glens of the eastern Cairngorms from Invercauld on Deeside to Corgarff on Donside via Glen Gairn and Loch Builg.

Dark skies and sunshine

Date: 17th August 2013
Distance: 29.35km
Ascent: 638m
Hills: None
Weather: High winds, cloud and sunny showers
Route: View on OS Maps

Last year the August Stocket walk was wonderful. On one of the single best days of the summer we enjoyed beautiful sunshine and a cooling breeze as we traversed from the Linn of Dee through to Coylumbridge via the Cairn Toul massif on the west side of Glen Dee. Any repeat of such a glorious day was not to be this year though as forecast high winds, low cloud and bands of rain made us rethink our plan of a full traverse of the wide open spaces of the Ben Avon plateau.

Rainbow below Carn Liath


Instead, we followed good tracks north from Invercauld, climbing steadily up to the col between Carn Liath and Culardoch where mist enveloped us and the winds made us unsteady on our feet. We dropped down into Glen Gairn and made our way around to Loch Builg for a spot of lunch.

Loch Builg

Loch Builg

Then it was down Glen Builg as the skies gradually brightened and by the time we reached Inchrory and the waters of the River Avon it was hot and we were rapidly shedding layers. We walked out along the track that parallels the infant waters of the River Don, gradually dropping towards Corgarff.

Glen Builg

River Avon

Dark skies over the Donside hills

Ben Avon above Glen Avon

After a final brief shower the sun came out for good, the clouds scudding low over the green hills, glistening with that freshly washed look after the rain. We came across the Royal shooting party, a vast array of Land Rovers and Range Rovers trundling up the track, some with armed soldiers in them. Above us, marksmen stood behind the ranked grouse butts as beaters scurried about the heather.

Strath Don

Clouds near Corgarff

Corgarff Castle

At last we were past all the commotion and at the coach and soon supping pints in the Allargue Arms before a swift journey back to Aberdeen in the evening sunshine.