The Cairnwell - 933m
Carn a' Gheoidh - 975m
Carn Aosda - 917m

Sunday 2nd June 2013

Weather/Conditions: Stunning, blue-sky golden afternoon. Hardly be better...
Distance/Ascent/Time: 10.7km / 620m / 3h 30m
Accompanying: Alone

I started the day planning to go back and do the Munros I hadn't done north of the Tarf Hotel - An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir. After Steve's birthday, I was in 'normal' mode (as opposed to 'hill mode') and the hills seemed pretty far away.

I'd got up early, but I packed reluctantly and swallowed mugs of tea to perk up. It was a slow morning. I didn't really want to do anything with my day (not in the mood) but summits were needing climbed. It was almost tempting to believe I could pass a rest day, but I wasn't fooling myself. I knew I needed to get something done to stay on schedule!

Importantly, I needed to get back out on the mountains and be back in that mindset. So I packed my gear up and got it all in the back of the car. Mum had planned to drive me to Glen Shee but in the end I decided to drive myself and save her the long journey up and back. It would also give me the benefit of the car with the drawback of longer approaches.

I only left for Glen Shee mid-afternoon, and my focused my sights on the Cairnwell trio. The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda are unquestionably the easiest Munros, since they're an easy 1000 feet (or less...) above the car park, which itself is above 2000 feet. The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda are also very affected by the Glen Shee ski centre, probably the most damaged hills by any ski development.

But their convenience suited me, and I only started up them around 6pm. The Cairnwell was first. I climbed the summit mast on my first visit years ago, but left that out this time. The weather was perfect and the most amazing change happened - the minute I set foot back on a hill I was right back 'in it', in the whole mindset of hill bagging. After so much lethargy throughout the day, I was refreshingly back in the mood.

In the distance I could see the previous months hills. Unclimbed hills surrounded me, all high plateaux and humps. If they were all done in this weather, I'd be glad - the high tablelands around Glen Shee are harder to navigate than sharp west coast ridges.

The second Munro of the Cairnwell trio is called Carn a' Gheoidh and it lies well behind the two that have been given over to ski development. It's much more in the spirit of the mountains in this region. I had a good walk out to it - I chatted on the phone to James Steele to let him know plans. I could see that the Cairngorms to the north were still thick with snow. Everything was silent in the evening sun, very settling, very calm.

On the way back from Carn a' Gheoidh, I chatted to Jac Johnson about the upcoming days plans. Carn Aosda was quickly dispatched and I was quite happy to be heading back to the car. If this day wasn't a rest day, I came very close. I was back at the car within about three hours of leaving, with three Munros done en route. What a cop out! What a satisfying cop out... :-)

The sun set over Glas Maol and Cairn of Claise, and it turned their slopes to fire. I drove to Braemar, had a quick internet update in the Fife Arms before camping out at Inverey where my next day's hills would begin.

All in all, a good and short day. I really should have done An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir, but I'll catch up on them later. The most fascinating thing was to see myself click right back into action on The Cairnwell.

360° Panoramas

The Cairnwell

Carn a' Gheoidh

Carn a' Gheoidh - 150° West

Carn Aosda
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 6.00pm Glenshee ski centre
(0.25) 6.25pm The Cairnwell
(1.35) 7.35pm Carn a' Gheoidh
(2.55) 8.55pm Carn Aosda
(3.30) 9.30pm Glenshee ski centre
Uploaded: 2018-10-22