A dry day with some low cloud on the Munro tops saw 18 members, 2 new members, 1 guest and 6 LDWA members set off for Loch Laggan. So a big warm welcome to our new members Sean and Sarah.
First off the bus at Kingussie was the LDWA group (Rikki, Mick, Bea, Sally, Carrie, Jenni) and John. Their objective for the day was an 18 mile traverse of the Badenoch Way and Speyside Way from Kingussie to Aviemore. They managed to fit in a tour of Ruthven Barracks before enjoying a coffee and cake stop at Loch Insh Café. Some speedy walking ensured that they were back in Aviemore in plenty of time for some socialising at Café Mambo.
Next off the bus at Adverikie Estate Lodge were George, Graeme and David. Monarch of the Glen fans should be familiar with this location! They parted company at Lochan na H-erba (my apologies if I have misspelled this loch – there appears to be several spellings of this Loch to the south of Loch Laggan) and George headed up Binnein Shios then onwards, well (a long way) down and then up, to tackle Binnein Shuas. With this approach it was easier to spot a suitable gully to ascend Binnein Shuas and then descend to the pick up point at Luiblea. Graeme and David headed up the stalkers path to the north ridge of Geal Charn, encountering low cloud at about 2200ft. Descended south from the summit to collect the Munro Creag Pitridh. With time running out to get to the pickup point they decided not to attempt Beinn A’Chlachair.
The next drop off point was Creag Meagaidh car park. Unfortunately, I was busy talking to Bob and thought the driver knew where to stop … so, having passed the drop off point the driver skilfully completed a U-turn about 1 mile further down the road before returning to the car park. Getting off here were Annika, Rob, Bill, Staurt and Dawn (the Famous 5) with intentions of tackling the Creag Meagaidh circuit or just a traverse of Creag Meagaidh. A quick decision (low cloud) made their minds up that it was more prudent just to do Creag Meagaidh. All reported a great day out – but like the other Munros in the area, the summit was covered in heavy mist.
The penultimate drop off point was Luiblea where Pete, Ken, Sean, Sarah, Andy and myself set off with the intention of tackling Binnein Shuas. After a short discussion at the crossroads – Ken set off for a walk around Lochan na H-erba and Pete followed him for a short while before ascending Binnein Shuas from the South West. Pete commented that the ascent from this direction was a bit “rougher” than it looked and the gullies were quite steep on the descent. However, he did mage to get some good views (and photos) of the Ardverikie wall. Andy, Sean, Sarah and myself set off along the south bank of Loch Laggan before finding a gap in the forest to start the ascent of Binnein Shuas. About 60m ascent short of the summit, I decided that the nausea and tiredness in my legs was not going away and decided to bail out and turn back (on the plus side, I walked and ascended further than the previous bus meet – so still making slow progress to getting back to summiting Munros). Andy, Sean and Sarah continued to the summit and enjoyed some great views before finding an easier descent than Pete to return to Luiblea.
The final drop off/pick up point was the Laggan Dam. Graeme, Mark, Richard, Jerry, Bob and Fiona all got off here with thoughts of tackling the 2 Munros of Beinn A’Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach. However, it soon became clear that the ground was quite boggy and that it was wiser only to tackle Beinn A’Chaorainn. Like the Creag Meagaidh group they encountered low cloud and light rain with occasional breaks to take in the views.
Following a discussion about the time left for a refreshment, the planned stop at Newtonmore was changed to the pick up point of the LDWA group at Aviemore. However, in my haste to get some well-deserved fluid replacement, I forgot that we were supposed to pick the LDWA members up at the bus stop. After retrieving my phone from the bus, we eventually all met up.
My thanks to the driver for getting us home in time, despite some additional driving up and down Loch Laggan.