- Monday 11th & Tuesday 12th October 2021
The Carn à Mhaim is a remote Munro in the heart of the Cairngorm’s.
This is a more remote Munro as its an approximate 2 hour hike (if you walk smart) to even get to the base of it then a 2 hour hike (depending in how the legs feel afterwards) back out once achieved so it can make for a slightly longer and hopefully quieter day on the hills.
The track crosses the Lui Water bridge with huge views towards the mountain range.
I love the forests here, Scots Pines dominate the landscape, they look so rustic and old and if they could talk they’d have a few stories to tell.
After an hour and passing nothing other than absolutely beautiful scenery, we approached Derry lodge and the surrounding forest.
The track from here opens out into moorland, boggy in parts and after crossing this we then continued followung a path alongside the river.
Carn Crom towers overhead as the path winds its way into a plantation before we had to cross over the Luibeg which can be tricky and even more so after heavy rain which we have had, so in this case we used the footbridge slightly upstream.
Once crossed we then climbed some steps up a slope before coming to a junction where we would start the ascent of Carn a’ Mhaim.
From here you get the feeling of being totally alone. I like this feeling of remoteness and much prefer these type of Munro’s.
The path from here is small but quite obvious as you climb very steeply up towards the plateau.
Once on the flatter area the faint path almost disappears as you enter a boulder field. You can see how this could potentially be treacherous in poor visibility and believe you me its an awesome drop into the Lairig Ghru if you go wrong!
Eventually a path returns leading us up towards the summit which we could now see.
The summit of Carn a’ Mhaim I felt was pretty dramatic and not what I was expecting at all. Conditions today were made worse by the very powerful wind which at points almost blew me off my feet.
We could see the Devil’s Point and Cairn Toul totally dominating the view with a very dramatic drop far below.
We could also see the Corrour Bothy on the valley floor as well as Ben Macdui the UK’s second highest mountain, and Braeriach UK’s third highest mountain.
Due to the wind howling we decided to continue from here across the mountain and head for a rocky section in which to hide behind to eat some lunch before our decent.
The descent back down was quick and easy over large boulder like steps positioned at a fine gradient for getting off hills quickly.
Before we knew it we were crossing back over the footbridge over the river Luibeg and powering out back towards the lodge, then from here we knew it was an hours walk back to the van.
This had been a great Munro for some dramatic scenery at the summit as well as a beautiful valley hike.
Apart from the point of reaching Derry lodge whereby we saw 3 mountain bikers we never met a soul the whole day…my favourite kind of Munro’s indeed.
Next day we were up and away early to retrace our steps back in to Derry Lodge. From here we were heading to a different mountain, Beinn Bhreac.
Beinn Bhreac is a domed shaped mountain which rises above heather moorland and pine forests.
So this time we didnt cross the bridge and instead stayed to the east side of Glen Derry following a nice path north up the glen. This was a beautiful walk taking us through a stunning old and new forest.
Then from here on in it got wet. We entered one big bog fest which basically contined to near enough the summit. It was wet and it was slippy, the whole way up. Perfect. The only way things could get any worse was if it were to rain. The positive of the day was no rain on the forecast but sunshine…and the views were pretty decent also.
We basically ascended up and up towards the bealach between Meall Lunndain and Beinn Bhreac through wet ground and more wet ground.
It was a bonus once we reached a boulder field as at least it was dry.
Then we reached the summit marked by a large cairn.
We had good views back down to the pinewoods of Glen Derry as well as out towards Lochnagar.
We also saw the summit we undertook the previous day.
Then it was time to retrace our steps…back down the wet and slippery mountain which continued until we got back on the nice dry path that would take us back out to Derry Lodge and out through the Glen back to our van.
This was one wet mountain, but it had to be done, and the scenery did outweigh the wetness of the land. Once again it puts it in to perspective how different each of the Munro’s are.