Monday, 4 May 2009

Derry Lodge and Glen Luibeg

I’d promised myself a couple of days in the Cairngorms this weekend. The week flew by. A few trips to local gear shops furnished me with meal-pouches and a fresh gas canister. Kit was dusted off, cleaned, treated and repaired. I couldn’t unlock my PacerPoles, but found the new carbon-fibre poles in Craigdon Mountain Sports. An impulse buy which performed well over the weekend.

After a false start on Friday, I parted with a new Therm-a-rest NeoAir sleeping mat to add to my kit. Apart from a couple of speeding cars and one overtaking on a blind corner, the drive out to Linn of Dee was excellent. Swapping out my sleep mats, I then had a fine walk up to Derry Lodge. The half-moon and familiar Landrover track allowed me to walk it all without a torch until I reached the pitch.

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Clearing away pine cones and debris, the tent was soon pitched and the pack (Osprey Atmos 50 litres) was emptied. I pack items into stuff/dry-sacks, so I end up batching bags together in the tent, eg sleeping bag, mat, pillow. After a good night’s sleep, I breakfasted and headed out to see what the weather was going to do on the tops.

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The weather was definitely changeable. Snow above 800m was also on the forecast. I decided to turn back to Derry Lodge and have a lazy time.

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The weather changed again, but I was already in a mindset to kick back and put my feet up, and enjoy the day.

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I rigged up a reading-lamp, which was more comfortable than the head-torch, and got through a lot of Tom Standage’s “The Victorian Internet”. Normally, I don’t take a book, instead a thin, cheap book of poetry. I may change that habit now.

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After a cold night, I broke camp and headed back to the car. There were some hailstones (just a few seconds-worth), and the shower didn’t come to much. Looking back, I couldn’t guess whether I would have had a good or bad time up on the plateau, but I still had a good time not risking it.

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The journey home included a brief stop to resupply in Braemar (yes, it did include “The Hungry Highlander”), and dropping my Furtech trousers in to HillTrek in Aboyne to get some decent belt-loops fitted.

8 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Good to see your out and about in the hills. Very nice as always to see the Cairngorms.

Mac E said...

Glad to see you're on the go again, I see the weather's as predictable as it was last month :-)

AktoMan said...

@Martin - about time. I couldn't be bothered walking down the lower part of the Lairig, as I find it dull. The Lui is much more interesting for me.

@Mac E - aye. I just wasn't going to risk going up on the ridges. I'm a wimp, and the forecast had the word "snow" in it. Just about 12 miles (20km) round trip. Just to blow the cobwebs off.

Big Kev said...

Good lad :o)

Dawn said...

Good to see you out Duncan. At present I am tentatively plotting a high level trip above Glen Feshie and camping high for a few days. Dawn

AktoMan said...

If you want to meet up, drop me a line and I'll check my social calendar.

trond said...

Hello
How did you manage to get all the stuff into a 50 litre backpack. Do you attach something on the outside.

I live in Norway and I think that only my sleepingbag is 12 litre (after i have compressed it)...

Nice picturees

AktoMan said...

Hi Trond,
Aye, it all fits into the pack. Including a pack with 3-days of food. The Atmos is a fun pack. A summary of the regular kit is here. I'll do a year 3 summary after I get out more in the summer.