The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Scotland - Day 15 (Aviemore)

We didn’t get the sunshine I wanted and expected for today’s outing. In fact, quite the contrary: it was snowing convincingly as we set out, but it was just one of a number of flurries which passed through today.

The weather, and the low cloud made me think that we should save our intended route for a nicer day, but Mick was set on it, so out towards Ryvoan we headed.

The snow on the track looked pretty as we made our way up through the woodland, but it really was only the slightest of dustings:


By the time we reached Ryvoan Bothy it was feeling like elevenses were well overdue, so we popped in for tea and cake…


Taking a snap of the bothy was something of an afterthought.

…before heading up and up on a veritable motorway of a path which wasn’t where our map said that it should be. Our paper map is six years old now and from the (rather newer) electronic map shown at the bottom of this post it’s apparent that at some point in recent years the path has been re-routed. With us going up and the cloud coming down, we found ourselves shrouded earlier than we would have liked, but after a while spent lunching in the lee of the summit cairn, some of the cloud drifted away again:


The top of Meall a Bhuachaille

By the time we got up to leave, it was even clearer still to the east (i.e. behind Mick in the snap below), but the continuation of the ridge, to the west, was still hidden behind the cloud. I said that there was just no point in walking the entire ridge if we weren’t going to be able to see anything and thought that we were going to have an early descent.


However, by the time we got to the junction of paths, where we would have headed down, the next top was in full view, and it didn’t look very far away, so we thought that we may as well nip up it:


It was in cloud by the time we got to the top, but by then it seemed a better idea to continue along the ridge than to retreat back to the downward path. A good decision, as the weather did clear as the day went on.

In fact, by the time we were on our way through the forest, we even got a glimpse of some of the high Cairngorm tops.

The stats for the day were 10.5 miles walked with 2500’ of ascent, throughout which we were happy to find all of the ground and bogs frozen solid. It was evident that parts of the route could be quite soggy and soft underfoot in warmer weather.



  1. Gosh, you've got more snow than Timperley!
    Thanks for the informative write-up, that's a walk I've looked at but have always had to head east....for some reason.
    Might give it a go when I'm up there next - it looks good.

  2. I've done the shorter loop but not the ridge - looks good! Might have to give it a go.........

  3. I love that walk! Meall a Bhuachaille is my favourite hill, I've done it twice on it's own and the ridge twice, once from the east without the corbett, once from the west with. Love it!

  4. No, that's wrong. From west without, east with. Oh God, that doesn't bode well...