Derry Cairngorm Day Walk
On Saturday 3rd April, 12 of us gathered at the Linn of Dee car park for our walk and covid briefing. The group consisted of Susan, Jane, Chris, Iain, Ruth, Steve, Bob, Gillie and Graham. We were joined by new members Irene, Donald and Alison. It was the most beautiful spring day with blue skies as we set off on our bikes along the track to Derry Lodge.
We all re-grouped at Derry Lodge and got the bikes parked up and set off across the Derry Burn and through the forest on the track leading to Carn Corm. The summit made an excellent first picnic stop, with loads of flat slabs for us to space out socially distance, enjoying the company, sunshine and views.
The track took a steady climb up with a little bit of boulder hoping to reach the summit of Derry Cairngorm, where we were welcomed with the most wonderful panoramic views of the snowy peak of the Cairngorm plateau.
We then descended to the col where we stopped for lunch, with the weather being absolutely amazing, some of the group began hatching plans for a high level return route via the shoulder of Ben Macdui and Carn a’ Mhaim.
On the descent to Loch Etchachan, the high level party split off and headed toward Ben Macdui, the rest of us continuing on our proposed route to Glen Derry. We had decided to take our ice-axe and crampons, as we knew there were large patches of snow on the north face to traverse. But with the sunshine most of the patches were soft and presented no challenges.
The breakaway party
We reached the Derry Burn and picked up the steep path down towards the Hutchison Memorial Hut. The hut offered another nice view point for an afternoon picnic stop in the sunshine. We meandered down the track to Derry Lodge to collect the bikes.
Postscript: Shame Iain forgot his skis!