In a new series we will be asking club members to share with us their favourite runs in the Cairngorms. These might range from mega hill day adventures, to lunchtime adventures near where we live. Either way, we hope these routes will provide you with some inspiration! This time we are joined by Johnathan Bellarby to find out more about the through routes in the Cairngorms
We are fortunate to be on the doorstep of some amazing Cairngorms through routes. This last winter was an opportunity to venture South.
1 Aviemore to Glen Feshie via Lairig Ghru and Glen Feshie.
Good trails throughout, albeit rather boggy near the Eidart. Simple routefinding as its over the Lairig Ghru, down to White Bridge on the river Dee then over and into Glen Feshie. This was a last minute run in late November and didn’t quite go to plan. Starting at midday meant it was dark by the time I reached the Geldie Burn – and also very wet. The original plan was to continue via Glen Tilt to Blair Atholl (without really thinking about how I’d get back!) but the Geldie Burn proved impassable, so I returned via a rather damp path over to the Eidart. The rain eased and the moon came out for the wonderful romp down into the Feshie for a 2am finish.
2 Aviemore to Blair Atholl via the Minigaig.
This rather obscure route goes via Loch an Eilean to Glen Feshie then up and over the Minigaig pass to Glen Bruar. It is an old drovers track. Being December, it got dark and a bit blizzardy coming off the Minigaig but the track thereafter is excellent so really enjoyed the trot down to Blair Atholl.
59km but could be a lot shorter if starting from Achlean in Feshie.
3 Falls of Braur tea room to Kingussie via the Bruach Garbh Gaich and Glen Tromie.
You quickly leave the over-priced cappuccinos behind on this route. Garbh is Gaelic for rough and the high section is indeed super wild, rough and remote but only about 2km is pathless before a wonderful descent to Gaick Lodge in gently falling snow. The descent through Tromie is very easy and is tarmac for about 10km. The moon came out and head torch was turned off. The finish was along the Badenoch way to the Kingussie co-op.
4 Aviemore to Blair Atholl via the Ghru and Tilt.
This is a classic route and justifiably so. Route finding is easy even in the dark. It was a superb late January day; cold, clear and frosty over the Lairig Ghru, an easy (dry) crossing of the Geldie Burn and brilliantly runnable single track section to falls of Tilt where the headtorch came out. Looking back at one point in the long plod down the Tilt, the northern lights were clear. One of those unforgettable days in the hills.
Notes from the Editor:
1. JB is an experienced mountaineer and ultra runner and we don’t recommend copying this unless you really do know what you are doing, and are comfortable running 60k overnight over mountains in the winter - Ed.
3 These routes were designed to be accessible by public transport. However due to train strikes, being slow and bad weather meant that pick up was from wife Helen (yes even at 2am - sorry). Thank you.
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