Conditions good and the going easy make for another good day in the Cairngorms (Munros Completed : Bynack More (80).
The weather was almost the complete opposite to yesterday on Cairngorm. Not a breath of wind to start with, and although it was a bit misty this started to clear early on. However, it never cleared fully above the tops, the summits always being in cloud throughout the day though visibility below was good.
The walk up is really easy though it’s long, at around 23km round trip. The ascent is mostly on moderate slopes all the way up except for the last part & even beyond the footbridge where track changes to path, it’s still a well built path. A lot of the ground is glacial till so once the top heather has been worn away you are left with a firm, dry reddish-brown path with the odd rock. I started early at 08:45 from the Glenmore Forest Park and the start of the walk is wonderful through the Forest area on the blue trail up to the lochan. From here it breaks out of the forest to some wonderful views ahead before reaching the footbridge, a great place by the stream to bivy if ever needed. It’s also possible to cycle all the way up to this point saving a bit on time and the legs, as one couple did (even with dog in basket at the front!)
Beyond the footbridge the path bears away from the stream and heads upwards on a moderate slope and the ridge to Bynack More soon appears ahead. This is the only really steep part and it’s a bit deceiving because it’s still 1.5km to go from here so the view is a false summit. There was some wind up here but nothing like yesterday. Fortunately, it splits into two paths either side of the rocky ridge so I kept to the leeward side to keep out of the wind. The path here has started to erode a bit and so meltwater has formed & channelled down it in places, where it had frozen so it needed some care.
I reached the summit at 12:15pm, after 3 ½ hours, so good going but helped by the ease of the trail and lack of snow. It is possible to continue on SSE beyond the summit to the Barns of Bynack, join a path below and then loop back joining the path just beyond the footbridge. However, due to the length of the route I decided to return by the same route.
Once off the ridge it was out of the wind although there was more of a slight breeze than on the way up. I stopped at the footbridge to sit on a rock and admire the view and watch the water tumbling down the stream. The way back seemed longer than the way up and in fact took the same amount of time as I was back at Glenmore Lodge at 3:30pm, half an hour before dark. The campsite right next to the Pine Martins Bar so a great place to rest the feet with a nice coffee.