Six Club members from Aberdeen and one
who’d travelled up by car overnight from London gathered at
Keiloch Sawmill on the morning of Sat 11th August 2012 for a Day
Meet to Bens Avon and Bhuird. The settled weather and a Saturday
start provided an opportunity to bivvy on the hill and five lay down
for the night high on Ben Avon above the Allt an Eas Mhoir.
Below is mostly a pictorial account of this
trip which got everyone into remote corries and hidden corners
which totally and completely added value to the traverse of
these two splendid, massive mountains.
At Keiloch the mown grass and swallows
meant it felt really summery. Ken and Willie ascended the
Corbett Carn Liath (aka Creag an Dail Bheag). Creag an Dail Mhor
across the River Gairn is a Munro Top of Ben Avon.
Leaving Keiloch near Invercauld
Coire na Ciche and A’ Cioch (Beinn a Bhuird)
On the good path north for Clach a’
After visiting the ‘Secret Howff’ for
coffee it was a case of heading up towards Coire nan Clach (the
corrie of the stones)
In the 'Secret Howff'
Dividing Buttress of Coire nan Clach and
Coire an Dubh Lochan from small Lochan
There are a couple of small, crystal clear,
lochans in Coire nan Clach and today they were literally teaming
with small trout, quite a remarkable and unexpected sight really
as the lochans must be frozen over for circa 3 months of the
year, they were sure they were trout and not Arctic Charr.
The small fish of Coire nan Clach
Approaching the Smith–Winram Bivouac
Part of today’s itinery was a visit to the
Smith–Winram Bivouac. It’s basic and compact and no doubt serves
a function. An old climbing boot lay by the entrance and one
must descend down into it (as you would into a submarine) Coffee
was taken again here and the group topped up their suntans
before being joined by Ken T. Research on “Smith” of
Smith/Winram suggests he is one and the same person who gave his
name to the Smith-Dey Bivouac high in the Garbh Coire of
Braeriach. There may even be a Club connection.
As time was wearing on new plans were
adopted to get onto the plateau. Ken took a fairly direct route
up broken crags whilst Clive led four behind him across, through
and over Coire nan Clach. A flock of around sixteen Ptarmagin
then a dozen or so more were spotted and Sue found a nest. A
gentle grassy walk took them onto Beinn a Bhuird (just to the
left of the low point picture below).
Coire nan Clach (Corrie of the Stones)
Looking across to A’Cioch and the Dubh
On Beinn a’ Bhuird (Ben Avon beyond)
After another short break a visit was made
out to Stob an t-Sluichd where wreckage remains of a flight
(missing presumed at sea for seven months in 1952) Follow the link
below for an interesting, if sad, story. Mr Kammer was the Cairngorm Club member who found Jan’s gold watch, by
chance, on this remote outcrop.
A water stop on the return around
the rim of Garbh Corrie
The climbs in the Garbh Corrie were at
times in sunlight and the rock was looking fantastic (and dry)
yet we could see (nor hear) anyone on the likes of Square Face
or Mitre Ridge. The group met Garry and Carol as they ascended
towards the big barn on Ben Avon (Garry and Carol’s attendance
means this meet attracted nine members in total – the same as
Approaching Leabaidh an Diamh Bhuidhe (The
bed of the tawny stag)
Bivvy site (Clach Choutsaich left)
Graeme at his bivvy (around 8.00pm) as the
cloud rolls in ! ! !
In the morning they were up and away after
hot coffee and sandwiches around 6.10am descending into the
murky bowl that holds the Allt an Eas Mhoir. The cloud cleared
as they lost height. A new bridge over the Gairn was a welcome
sight before the last stiff pull of the day to the Bealach Dearg.
The shooters bothy near the high point is now gone (did they use
the timber for the bridge?)
Creag an Dail Mhor and Carn Eas (of Ben
Avon) from the new bridge over the River Gairn
After a dram and with the weather getting
better and better it was a very enjoyable walk back to
Invercauld which was reached at 11.00am.
Culardoch from the Bealach Dearg (The Red
On the Bealach Dearg for Invercauld
Braemar from the path on the walk-in
Thanks to Ken T and to Graeme for getting
everyone back to Keiloch and to all other members in attendance
who made this “big” Day Meet such a success.