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||330||0.0 miles||NO15199146|
|Cycle W & cross R. Dee at Victoria Bridge||335||3.8 miles||NO10228956|
|E to Linn of Quoich||375||5.2 miles||NO11419109|
|0715||N up W side Glen Quoich to easternmost
bend in track where track crosses
Quoich Water and park bike.
|2355||Park at Linn of Quoich||330||0||0.0 miles||NO11729101|
|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.
|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.
|(The following mileages assume the shorter east bank route)||4.1 miles||NO09219520|
|THEN Head N up ridge to X Beinn a'Bhuird, south S Top.
(No path visible, & first 500' is thick heather.)
|0830||0340||N on plateau to T Beinn a'Bhuird, S Top||1179||900||6.3 miles||NO09279864|
|NW to main (first) col||1128||6.67 miles||NO08889912|
|N over plateau to M Beinn a'Bhuird, N Top||1197||980||7.7 miles||NJ09250059|
|0950||0500||NE to T Stob an t'Sluichd (Wartime aircraft remains & memorial)||1107||1035||9.6 miles||NJ11210274|
|1025||0530||Return S/SW, then S/SSE to T Cnap a'Chleirich||1174||1205||11.0 miles||NJ10780101|
|1035||Optional detour S to Cnap a'Chleirich (S top)||1125||NJ109006|
|1100||0550||E to bealach||975||1215||11.6 miles||NJ11800102|
|0615||E up to plateau, then NE to X Ben Avon, SW top||1135||1385||12.2 miles||NJ12590135|
|NE to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe,
and ascend stack (on N side) to claim summit.
|1145||0700||NNE/NE ½ mile to next stack.||1136||1460||13.22 miles||NJ13730247|
|1210||0720||NE/N/NNW to X Stob Bac an Fhurain||1076||1472||13.9 miles||NJ13690332|
|Contour round SE/S & partly reascend Mullach Lochan
nan Gabhar before descending to col
|1245||0755||NE to T West Meur Gorm Craig||1023||1522||15.3 miles||NJ15360363|
|1305||0820||E to stream, then N to T East Meur Gorm Craig||935||1552||16.05 miles||NJ15950422|
|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|
|OR: Cross country via X Big Brae 942m
on direct bearing to X Stuc Gharbh Mhor
|THEN N/NW to stack Clach Chousaich||1105||1802||18.7 miles||NJ14320185|
|1425||1015||N to stack X Mullach Lochan nan Gabhar||1122||1830||18.85 miles||NJ14330214|
|1435||1030||N then W to Stack||1136||1875||19.4 miles||NJ13730247|
|1445||1045||SW back to M Ben Avon, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe||1171||1930||19.9 miles||NJ13190188|
|1455||1100||SW back to X Ben Avon S. top||1138||1955||20.4 miles||NJ12590135|
|1505||—||Optionally SE to stack X Stob Dubh an Eas Bhig||1061||NJ134003|
|1530||1130||S to T Carn Eas||1089||1975||21.8 miles||NO12259926|
|SE down to bealach||905||22.45 miles||NO12969851|
|1610||1200||SSE to T Creag an Dail Mhor||972||2045||22.67 miles||NO13179822|
|1640||1240||Ridge WSW then descend W to path junction in valley||610||2050||24.05 miles||NO11679672|
|1735||1355||Path S/SW back to track ford at Quoich Water||465||26.35 miles||NO09219520|
|1840||1540||Track W/S/SE back to Parking at Linn of Quoich||330||2100||30.5 miles||NO11729101|
|1735||11/07/03: Bike at Quoich Water ford||465||0.0 miles||NO09149524|
|1840||Cycle S by E bank of Quoich to Linn of Quoich||330||4.2 miles||NO11949131|
|1900||W through Mar Estate to Victoria Bridge||335||5.6 miles||NO10228956|
|1920||E to Braemar||330||9.4 miles||NO15199146|