Has anyone walked from Coylumbridge to Linn of Dee through the Lairig Ghru in the winter in a single day? Am looking for a potential walk from Aviemore this weekend and wondering if doable.
It's certainly doable. Depends on your fitness and speed.
...and wind direction/strength, and the state of the snow
It could be an epic or a pleasant stroll depending on the conditions. Wind and drifts could beat you. But given fair conditions, average experience and ability to navigate if cloud comes down its a decent long day (~20 miles), and there's a bothy in the middle. Lengthening daylight now too.
I prefer the other way round though... the last 5 miles to LoD is a bit tedious.
Absolutely agree that it depends on conditions - could be a memorable experience for all the right reasons or for all the wrong ones. Nearly half a century ago I did it early in February, from a very chilly bivvy in the pinewoods just above Coylumbridge, to Braemar. Dull with low cloud, slushy snow on lower ground, but I was wading through wet drifts in clag higher up. Was seriously worried about falling into the Pools of Dee, but happily they were open when I passed them. Cloud was being packed in on the Dee side of the pass by a SW wind. Didn't see another soul all day till I got on the Aberdeen bus in Braemar - changed days. 20 miles on the hill, 5 miles on the tarmac, took 9.5 hours. It could take a lot longer if you're toiling through soft snow much of the way. Well worth waiting for a reasonably calm clear day if you want pleasure rather than stern challenge. Best of luck if you have a go.
Thanks all - I will keep an eye on the SAIS site for snow conditions - hopefully it will be possible as the forecast is for it to warm up slightly by the weekend
Definitely agree with this direction, even running in summer it's much nicer to arrive in Aviemore than Braemar. Transport links are better in Aviemore too, especially when you're tired.
I’ve just been told that the Lairig has deep snow in the pass. I wonder if going up Glen Feshie and linking up with Geldie Burn and then into Linn of Dee would be a better option to avoid a potentially difficult and time consuming trudge through deep snow. If we get a lift into Auchlean it looks to be about the same distance - c 20 miles. Has anyone tried that route in the winter?
I havent been that way recently but i'd suspect that the trek across from the head of glen feshie to white bridge would be an absolute ball breaking slog right now unless youve got skis
> Thanks - but do you think it would be better than the Lairig? It’s a bit lower and more exposed so hopefully less snow?
Why not have a look at webcams and sais blog and make that call yourself?
Thanks for the links - I have been looking at the SAIS blogs but didn't know MWIS had webcams. I will let you know how it goes if we decide to do one or other.
The route through Feshie is nice up to the watershed and a bit dull after that.
Things are going to change a bit over the weekend with a thaw tomorrow then refreeze higher up on Sunday. Likely to mean any snow will be soft / melting on either route.
it can be a very serious challenge in winter, lots of fatalities here historically (the Tailors at least have a burn and a rock named after their misadventure) and in more recent times. A great walk in decent weather, keep it for then.
Thanks for all advice on this. I did the walk (up to the Pools of Dee and back - conditions were too challenging for the originally planned walk down to Braemar) just over a month ago (pre-lock down) and have written it up the walk, with some pictures and maps, on a wordpress site at https://cairngormmarch2020.wordpress.com/. I hope you find it interesting.
The return of large numbers of people to national parks and other upland areas in England has brought a spike in littering, wildfires and mountain rescue incidents. Some issues appear to be worse than during equivalent periods in past years.