The forecast was for strong winds on the main plateaux of the Cairngorms, and all of my remaining big hills for the trip were up in that direction, so I decided that it was time for an easier day, up a slightly less celebrated, and hopefully less exposed hill. Once again taking the bike from Braemar I headed out (for the first time) to Mar Lodge across Victoria Bridge, and then headed up to the road on the far side of the valley, failing woefully to find the landrover track I’d planned to take to get to the hill.

It looked like there was a reasonable alternative on the map, so I made for that, and eventually found it, leaving the bike at a gate which crossed it, and hiking the rest of the way. As it turns out I could quite easily have taken the bike a couple of kilometres further up the hill; a fairly decent landrover track goes a lot of the way to the top, though for the last half kilometre or so it’s started to be “rewilded” a little, and reabsorbed into the hillside.

The final climb up from the track was less than a kilometre long, and even by Cairngorms standards was an easy climb, though the path was rough and only a narrow cutting through knee-high heather. The wind picked up very noticably close to the summit, and I felt fairly vindicated in choosing not to do something bigger. There are a couple of cairns on the top, though I didn’t stay long on the top; the was a bit of a view, though the high tops to the north were in cloud.

The return was straightforward, though I was surprised to encounter a group of around ten walkers at the end of the landrover track eating sandwiches; I’d spent most of the rest of the walk assuming that I’d probably be the only person to climb this hill today, and wouldn’t have been surprised if you told me only 10 people had climbed it all year (only 342 people have claimed it on Walk Highlands).

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