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Last updated: 15/10/10


A longish walk across
8 June 2008

Derek Beverley and Adrian Scott were the Officers Commanding (these days, we mustn’t use the term “leader”) a Cockbridge/Corgarff to Invercauld/Inver walk on Sunday 8 June. Almost perfect weather was laid on: fresh breezes cooled us as we hoofed it up the track, and then snacked in sunshine overlooking the restored stately pile at Inchrory.

Then it was onto big Ben Avon, where the old stalker’s path was at first rather obliterated by the tracks of various vehicles and rampant heather, and the party began to stretch out. However, once up the steep bit of Carn Fiaclach (a side-visit was made to Clach Bhan, the rocky outcrop that is reputed to induce labour; but it didn’t work for Garry or Derek), it was better walking on short turf, with another stop on the grassy col by Meall Gaineimh.

Then a long meander up onto and along the Ben Avon plateau, bone dry underfoot. The final summit tor of Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe remained hidden for a surprisingly long time and distance, but splendid views were to be had south to Lochnagar and Ben a’Ghlo, and west to Macdhui with its snows.

By this stage, some folk had zoomed off to grab a few tops, while some others “took their time”. At the summit, other people were met with for the first time (wildlife – apart from fellow-members – was scarce all day, though Adrian spotted a nesting ptarmigan, and a largish adder (see below) in Glen Quoich), but there was not much time for the laggards to linger, since time was beginning to press. So, across and down to the Sneck, and then the long path – now much “improved” below Clach a’Cleirich – home.

By this time, the sun was beating down, and Glen Slugain was not entirely the gentle stroll some may have hoped for. Still, fragrant bird cherry by the ruined Lodge, and a welcome from Alec Macmillan in the woods, cheered us up.

All except two (Derek takes his duties seriously!) made the bus by the witching hour of 6pm, and Alec gallantly remained to scoop them up later. For the rest of us, it was a very welcome drink at the Inver Hotel, before a quick journey home.

Total time: 9.25 hours (8:45am to 6:00pm), total distance: 32km.

Author: Ken Thomson