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Ben Avon & Beinn a'Bhuird, maps 36, 43
11th July 2003 & 24th May 2007

Route: 2100m = 6900'; 30.5 miles; 15hrs 45mins.


Kit: A head torch should be taken as the route is very long, even for a summer day; gaiters for wet valley vegetation & poles to help over large amounts of descent.
Access: Drive 3.9 miles from Linn of Dee to Linn of Quoich. Park just before bridge in layby on left or just after bridge on field on right.
Route: This is one of the top ridge walks in Scotland, but it has a long walk in for which a bike may give some help. I used a bike on one of the visits, and walked the other time. The route has Linn of Quoich as the starting point rather than the more usual car park in Keiloch. The distance for a Keiloch start is 2.8 miles more.
One can easily cycle from Linn of Quoich up the track on either the east or west side of Glen Quoich (4.1 or 4.7 miles respectively) as far as the easternmost bend at NO092952 where the track fords the Quoich Water. Note, however, that the Quoich Water may be difficult to cross after rainfall and this circular walk brings one back to the other side of the river from where one started. That's only a problem if there is a bike or other gear to recover.
For the walk out from the path at NO11139587 to this track bend and ford, there is a much better path on the north side of the Quoich Water than the south side.
As usual, the route includes all the Munro Tops. Omission of them will shorten the walk by 10 miles, but this would remove much of the pleasure from the full trip. Beinn a' Bhuird currently has three Munro tops and two deleted tops besides its summit. The southernmost top 1177m is deleted, as is A' Chioch 1151m. These two are adjacent to the Munro top of 1179m at NO092986 which is naturally on this walk. Likewise, the Munro top Cnap a'Chleirich 1172m is en route. However, Beinn a' Bhuird's remaining Munro top, Stob an t'Sluichd 1107m, requires a detour of 2.2 miles. The ridge out to it provides superb views S and SE into Garbh Choire.
The 12 significant tops of Beinn Avon are widely distributed. Currently, the summit is joined by only 4 others classified as Munro tops, the remaining 7 having been deleted. Two of the Munro tops are down the south ridge, as is one of the deleted tops, and so they are naturally on the circular route. The other two, West Meur Gorm Craig and East Meur Gorm Craig are down the north east ridge, which terminates at Meall Gaineimh 912m and is very appealing for inclusion. These two Munro tops add a further 5.2 miles to the distance, and the return takes one naturally over the deleted top Big Brae. The stacks out SE to Stuc Gharbh Mhor are well worth inclusion; they include three of the deleted tops as well as providing some very short, fun scrambles and fine views. The detour north to the deleted top Stob Bac an Fhurain is well rewarded for the little extra effort by the views. The only other deleted top, Stob Dubh an Eas Bhig at NJ133002, is a barn due south of the summit. It's a short detour to visit, but its deleted status seems well-deserved.
The main escape route, should things turn pear-shaped, is the path heading south from the bealach at NJ11800102 between Beinn a' Bhuird and Beinn Avon. The whole route can be broken into two manageable expeditions at this point, one mountain in each part.
Weather 24/05/07: Torch required until 04.00; prolonged rain showers 06.30–12.45; increasing wind from light to strong; in cloud 09.30–12.00.

0515 11/07/03: Depart Braemar on bike 3300.0 milesNO15199146
  Cycle W & cross R. Dee at Victoria Bridge 3353.8 milesNO10228956
  E to Linn of Quoich 3755.2 milesNO11419109
0715 N up W side Glen Quoich to easternmost
bend in track where track crosses
Quoich Water and park bike.
4659.8 milesNO09149524

11/7/0324/5/07 Description Ht.Asc.Dist.Grid Ref.
 2355 Park at Linn of Quoich 330   00.0 milesNO11729101
 —0120
-0130
EITHER Walk a few hundred yards N up the path on the E
bank of the Quoich Water to small house & bridge, then right
up hill to the track. Follow track N for 1 mile. Then fork left
along edge of forestry instead of going up hill. Continue to
eastern-most bend in track. Cross Quoich Water at track ford.
4651854.1 milesNO09219520
0715 — OR Cycle 3.8 miles N up the track on the W bank
of the Quoich Water and then take right fork after bridge.
Continue E to ford at eastern-most bend in track.
4651854.7 milesNO09219520
   (The following mileages assume the shorter east bank route)   4.1 milesNO09219520
 0315
-0325
THEN Head N up ridge to X Beinn a'Bhuird, south S Top.
(No path visible, & first 500' is thick heather.)
11778805.8 milesNO09029790
08300340 N on plateau to T Beinn a'Bhuird, S Top 11799006.3 milesNO09279864
   NW to main (first) col 1128 6.67 milesNO08889912
09050405
-0415
N over plateau to M Beinn a'Bhuird, N Top 11979807.7 milesNJ09250059
09500500 NE to T Stob an t'Sluichd (Wartime aircraft remains & memorial) 110710359.6 milesNJ11210274
10250530 Return S/SW, then S/SSE to T Cnap a'Chleirich 1174120511.0 milesNJ10780101
1035  Optional detour S to Cnap a'Chleirich (S top) 1125  NJ109006
11000550 E to bealach 975121511.6 milesNJ11800102
 0615 E up to plateau, then NE to X Ben Avon, SW top 1135138512.2 milesNJ12590135
11300635
-0650
NE to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe,
and ascend stack (on N side) to claim summit.
1171144012.7 milesNJ13190188
11450700 NNE/NE ½ mile to next stack. 1136146013.22 milesNJ13730247
12100720 NE/N/NNW to X Stob Bac an Fhurain 1076147213.9 milesNJ13690332
   Contour round SE/S & partly reascend Mullach Lochan
nan Gabhar before descending to col
985148214.9 milesNJ15090299
12450755 NE to T West Meur Gorm Craig 1023152215.3 milesNJ15360363
13050820 E to stream, then N to T East Meur Gorm Craig 935155216.05 milesNJ15950422
1325 — EITHER: S back to West Meur Gorm Craig 1023  NJ15360363
1355 — Continue to stack Clach Chousaich 1105   NJ14320185
1405 — S to X Stuc Gharbh Mhor 1120  NJ14730125
 —0935
-0950
OR: Cross country via X Big Brae 942m
on direct bearing to X Stuc Gharbh Mhor
1120176718.15 milesNJ14730125
14151000
-1005
THEN N/NW to stack Clach Chousaich 1105180218.7 milesNJ14320185
14251015 N to stack X Mullach Lochan nan Gabhar 1122183018.85 milesNJ14330214
14351030 N then W to Stack 1136187519.4 milesNJ13730247
14451045 SW back to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe 1171193019.9 milesNJ13190188
14551100 SW back to X Ben Avon S. top 1138195520.4 milesNJ12590135
1505 — Optionally SE to stack X Stob Dubh an Eas Bhig 1061   NJ134003
15301130 S to T Carn Eas 1089197521.8 milesNO12259926
   SE down to bealach 905 22.45 milesNO12969851
16101200 SSE to T Creag an Dail Mhor 972204522.67 milesNO13179822
16401240 Ridge WSW then descend W to path junction in valley 610205024.05 milesNO11679672
17351355 Path S/SW back to track ford at Quoich Water 465 26.35 milesNO09219520
18401540 Track W/S/SE back to Parking at Linn of Quoich 330210030.5 milesNO11729101

1735 11/07/03: Bike at Quoich Water ford 465 0.0 milesNO09149524
1840 Cycle S by E bank of Quoich to Linn of Quoich 330 4.2 milesNO11949131
1900 W through Mar Estate to Victoria Bridge 335 5.6 milesNO10228956
1920 E to Braemar 330 9.4 milesNO15199146


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