Sunday 2nd August
With the COVID-19 restrictions still in force a hastily rearranged day walk to the Cromdale Hills was in order. This walk to tackle the two Grahams and either end of the ridge was scheduled for February when it was postponed for the for the much more acceptable reason of roads closed by snow.
As there was nine of us from seven households we split into two groups with Chris, Tim, Graham and Bob heading directly up the hill to traverse anti clockwise whilst Ali, Jane, Gillie, Alan and myself walked along the road by the river Avon to take the hill track from Milton. It was a fine mild day with good visibility and the track took us quickly upwards almost to the summit plateau of Creagan a' Chaise and afforded open views over the moors to the Cairngorms.
A huge cairn that many a Munro would be proud of stands on the summit to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Vic. Our group, with little regard to personal safety, posed for the perfect summit picture.
After enjoying views from the Moray firth and Ben Wvyis to the full range of the Cairngorms and the close by Ben Rinnes we set off northwards along the wide ridge. With Strath Spey to our left (north west) and Strath Avon to our right (south east) we walked over the short heather covered moorland and tasted some cloudberries on the way. Along the ridge there is a further memorial; this time a 3m high obelisk erected by the good people of Strath Avon in favour of Edward VII on his coronation.
Not far from the obelisk we met with the first group which confirmed that we were either all on the correct route or all had got it completely wrong. We had a socially distanced lunch stop in the heather and shared knowledge of what was to come but no sharing of chocolate or home-made cake!
The all male group had warned us that the going underfoot was a bit rougher towards Carn a Ghille Chearr and they were correct. Although in fairness the route was not as boggy or had as many peat hags as I was expecting. It was a straightforward walk up to the second Graham and second trig point of the day before we retraced our steps for a distance and then dropped down to hit the track back to Strath Avon. We slowed down a little to ensure that the other group arrived back first and sure enough when we arrived Bob had the kettle boiled and tea was ready as we reached the car park.
Also a few pictures from the clockwise team.