Date: Sunday 1st March 2009
The Cairngorms Plateau is one of our favourite areas. We’ve climbed Ben Macdui from the north about 15 times before by various routes and I’d had my eye on the southern approach using Sron Riach for a while. A brief weather window on Sunday looked just the job.
Kicked off from Linn of Dee, the NTS car park is a great facility. We were there for 0730 – already a few walkers ahead of us.
It’s a pleasant walk along Glen Lui, although I’d dearly love to persuade Hazel that cycling is not evil. Walked this 6km stretch a few too many times now.
Fairly large numbers of Black Grouse were flying from tree to tree. Glen Lui is a good place to see/hear them lek. I think it was late April we heard and saw this here.
It’s 1hr out to Derry Lodge. There’s a beautiful patch of Caley pine here which extends a way up Glen Derry. Wouldn’t drink the water though – very popular camp spot.
Crossed the bridge and headed for the Luibeg bridge – more Black Grouse flying to cover in the trees.
The Allt that drains Lochan Uaine has to be crossed at the base of Sron Riach so spate conditions could lead to disappointment/wet feet.
We clambered up the boulders on the right of the pic, I think in summer a line to the left is the bee-line to Macdui’s summit.
Topped this rise and then things got a bit ‘Gormsy. Cloud and snow swept off the Lairig Ghru and a lot of snow/spindrift was getting flung about.
Decided the 750m and 80m climb was not going to show us anything our previous 15 ascents hadn’t so turned down the slope towards Loch Etchacan on the track just down from the cliffs of Coire Sputan Dearg.
Left the track to cross the wee bealach W of Creagan a Coire Etchacan heading S on easy terrain to climb Derry Cairngorm from the N.
Some lunch on the summit as snow showers raced through then started down the long ridge S to Carn Crom.
The well-constructed path then drops down to Derry Lodge. Then the 1hr walk out.
Enjoyable route on easy terrain. Great potential when the clouds allow.