At the end of last year @oi.lukey and a couple of mates took a trip up to Scotland for a hike and camp at Braeriach. Read below for a full description on the adventure.
We got to Aviemore in late October. Leaving the heated seats of the rented Landy, the pregame nerves eased as it looked like the mild weather would hold.
Within an hour we were scrambling through the Chalamain Gap - our gateway to the ‘gorms. Then Braeriach lay ahead. A misleadingly vast colossus, most of the afternoon was spent on its long - but not overly steep - ascent.
Our lunch spot was spectacular: blue skies and pristine tundra, falling away steeply into the Lairig Ghru where glittering streams snaked toward our final stop.
But all those months chin-stroking over OS maps didn’t translate IRL. Already we were up against it. With just a few hours daylight left, we had most of the plateau still to cross.
Upping the pace we soon bagged the high point. It was an emotional moment. After a long old pandemic, here we were. Finally.
With eyes dried it was time to shift. By Carna Criche the sun was dipping, with Angel’s Peak and Cairn Toul still to go. Bugging out a bit, I hastily steered us down, expecting to see the Bothy just over the next ridge. I was wrong. Getting back up was a right slog.
But the speck of the hut eventually came into view and we descended the valley with the last scraps of light behind us. Hoping for a fire, we found the shelter claimed by slightly standoffish Londoners. And no firewood. Not the romantic Bothy experience I’d envisioned, but at least the drams hit different.
Next day, after a soggy, heads-down march we reached the motor with 15 hours walking time clocked.
An adventure worth waiting for.