Rounding off a Brilliant Holiday: Bynack More

Our third and final hill walk of a week’s holiday exploring the Scottish Highlands. To round off what had been an excellent week, we decided to head up Bynack More, part of the Northern Cairngorms and my last Munro in the area. The forecast couldn’t have been any better!

[Sep ’21]

Despite 2 hill days already, we were feeling fit and ready to tackle the final hill walk of the week. Bynack More was the longest walk we’d tackled on our trip, but the prospect of another one of the Cairngorms Munros (definitely my favourite place in Scotland) was enough to motivate us to tackle the route.

As we were staying in Aviemore, the drive to Glenmore wasn’t a long one and we were parked up and ready to go just before 0830. Despite the near perfect forecast, the car park was far quieter than I expected, especially given the popularity of the area since lockdown restrictions had eased.

Our day began with a pleasant saunter through the forest as we headed for An Lochan Uaine.

A pretty start to the day

The terrain was pretty much level as far as the bridge over the River Nethy, so we made quick progress to here and stopped for a quick snack before beginning the bulk of the day’s ascent. Much like the route so far, the path beyond was well constructed and would be easy to follow in most conditions.

The ascent begins

As we climbed, the views behind us across Speyside opened up. Once we reached the plateau where the Lairig an Laoigh path forks from the one heading for Bynack More, our day’s objective came swiftly into view.

Bynack More coming into view

After another nearly flat section, the final obstacle was a couple of hundred metres of ascent. Thankfully we had set off at a good time of day and were in relative shade for most of the sweaty part, so we made good progress and meandered our way amongst the many boulders and tors towards the summit.

Last push to the summit
Rocky summit

3 hours after setting off from the car, we reached the summit of Bynack More. This was my 84th Munro and the last in the Northern Cairngorms. We couldn’t have asked for finer views from the summit. Peaks as far as those west of the Cairnwell Pass could be seen. The landscape in the cairngorms is definitely my favourite in Scotland – I love the remoteness, the wide open spaces and the endless possibilities the area presents someone with a backpack and a wee bit of imagination!

Big sky and big mountains

After soaking up some sunshine and some fine summit views, we headed back towards the car, once again retracing our steps (all 3 of our routes this week had been out-and-back). This let us admire the fine views north across Speyside and Moray.

Meall a’Buachaille and Speyside beyond

By now the heat and sun were fierce and the walkers passing us looked much more uncomfortable than we had been a few hours before. It was supposed to be the ‘last real day of summer’ according to any weather forecasts, so we were very glad to have made the most of it!

Strath Nethy

The descent was dealt with fairly quickly and we were soon back at the bridge over the River Nethy. From here it was a simple saunter back to the car through the Ryvoan Pass and past An Lochan Uaine.

Back at the Ryvoan Pass

The last section of our walk was by far the busiest (though a fair few walkers were heading up as we left the summit of Bynack More), but after the lochan the crowds disappeared and we were left to finish our day’s walking in peace and quiet amongst the beautiful woodland. We reminisced about the wonderful week we’d enjoyed so far and how we’d managed to tick off 3 more Munros, each in a different area of Scotland.

We arrived back at the car 5hrs 45mins after setting off. For 14.3 miles and 850m ascent, we were very chuffed with our efforts. We were both glad to have spent our last sunny day of the holiday taking in the awesome scenery that this stunning part of Scotland has to offer. Cairngorms, we’ll be back!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rosie says:

    Fab photos 🙂 I was up in the Cairngorms in July, and Bynack More was one of the Munros I did while I was there. Like you, I was glad of the early start as the afternoon was sweltering and there’s not much shade on that route!

    Liked by 1 person

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