Date: Friday 6th March 2009
Last time we did Carn Bhac we followed the SMC route down Glen Ey, although we camped at Altanour Lodge and did Carn Bhac alone.
One of the striking tendencies of the SMC routes is to stick to glens for approach. Personally I find that getting high quickly for views rather than staying in enclosed glens is more enjoyable (conditions dependant of course).
We’ve had a few hols in Braemar and an approach to Carn Bhac along the high ridges was on our “to-do” list.
Parked up at Inverey at 0620. Walked W along the main road for 1km to NO 081 894 where a forest track on the left leads through conifer, then larch up to Creag a Chait. The track then seems to continue along the high ridges although the snow cover made it hard to judge its quality.
From here a relatively easy walk in the soft snow to Carn na Moine. Unfortunately the westerly breeze was pushing cloud over us so the sun was fading.
From Carn Liath there’s a 4km ridge undulating between 800m and 750m, heathery (which with the soft snow made for hard work) but with the estate track I’d expect good progress in dry weather.
We had jigsaw views through the cloud.
From there an easy walk first to the 920m top and then on to the summit. The cloud swirled for much of this although the summit was right on the edge of the streamer so sun at the cairn. Didn’t take any snaps.
From here descent routes include carrying on over Carn Creagach, we chose to reverse to the 920m top and descend over the ridge called “The Top of the Battery”. Escaped the cloud just down from the 920m top – descent ridge:
Despite the cloud we enjoyed the route. The ascent is great – 45 mins and there are fabulous views of the southern Cairngorms. There should be persistently good views from the ridge to Beinn a Ghlo and W.
In retrospect I’d carry on along Carn Creagach and Carn an Lochain (and having looked through the TR’s I see this is what WoB did) to complete the highest level ridge route.
Beats glen crawling with the SMC (unless it’s a flat gale with zero vis).