May 22, 2005
. There wasn't really a chance to stop for lunch at the top as the weather was wild but we found a sheltered spot on the way down and by the time we reached the bottom the sun had come out and the top was almost clear....typical.
We followed the river back up the Glen looking for a spot to cross back over but it was either really wide or far too deep. We headed for a bridge far downstream but had to pick our way through a peat bog and leap across a stream which I was convinced I was going to wearily land face down in. Then, we were back onto the bikes for the long cycle ride back to the car which took the last traces of energy right out of us. At the time you occasionally wonder what it is all for but writing about it now makes it feel like a bit of an adventure.......
Derry Cairngorm is a Munro on the edge of the Cairngorm range and is best reached by a long 10k track through Glen Derry from Linn of Dee. The only way to do it in a day is to do the first part on mountain bikes and so that's what we did. After a very early start, and on the drive to Ballater seeing a large stag leap across the road in front of us, Me, Simon and Willie set off along the gorgeous countryside of Glen Lui following the river. We ditched the bikes in the heather when the track got too rough and then set about finding a good spot to cross the river. Once across without getting too wet we headed up towards what looked like (on the map) the best route up but we had made a slight error and had gone too far and ended up scrambling up a very steep heather and scree (loose stone) slope with the weather rapidly deteriorating. By the time we got up on to the flat top the visibility was terrible and the wind and rain were biting hard. We had to guide ourselves to the cairn at the top using a GPS and only then did we realise how far we had gone wrong