Tomintoul - Cnap Chaochan Aitinn
Sunday 5th September 2004
OS sheet: 36 GR145099
Walking Time: approx 6 hours - 6.5 hours
Distance: 20 km. Ascent: 400m approx
The walk follows the River Avon south before crossing it to rise to the Graham [south west and overlooking Glen Loin], known as Cnap Chaochan Aitinn 715m (Lump of the Juniper Stream).
At the beginning of our walk south we pass along a stretch travelled by Queen Victoria who returned from her first 'Great Expedition' from Balmoral to Grantown along this route in 1860. Her diary reads: "We came upon a beautiful view looking down upon the Avon and up a fine glen". There is a viewpoint soon after the start of the walk.
The walk starts at Tomintoul car park on the road to Dalnabo GR164175. We follow the easy track past the bridge for Delavorar and continue south towards Auchnahyle. The bridge crosses the River Avon and we follow the track to Wester Gaulrig, a deserted farm. There is a small stream to cross by the wooded glen going SW before the track rises over open moors to Carn an t-Sleibhe. There is another small stream to cross before Geal Charn. Just before the summit of this hill we take a track (not marked on older OS maps) to the climb Cnap Chaochan Aitinn which has a quartzite top on the cairn.
From this plateau there are views over to the tors of Ben Avon, and views into Glen Loin, Ailnack and Glen Avon.
The return route joins the track at Geal Charn to its end, then through grass and heather for about 1km east to take a steep descent west of Dalestie GR 161112. A faint path follows the River Avon on the west side to recross the bridge at Auchnahyle for the walk back on the east side of the glen.
It is a remote and little frequented area (apart from the initial part of the track south which hillwalkers use to ascend Ben Avon). I saw a heron, oystercatcher and numerous deer and on a clear day is a lovely walk.
Part of the walk is on tarred surface; much of it is on landrover tracks. The summit is an exposed plateau. If there has been a lot of rain in the days preceding it may be advisable to avoid the steep descent - which means we will return by the ascent route.
Walkers must wear walking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, hat and gloves and take plenty food and liquids. THESE ARE ESSENTIAL. Be prepared for possible bad conditions on the top whatever the forecast.
Meet Culter Village Hall 8.am returning 6.30-7pm approx
Contact co-ordinators by 31st August or email the club
or text/phone 07747 178657
Culter hillwalking club has no members who are qualified leaders or instructors. Therefore anyone volunteering to assist the club on a meet cannot be held responsible for other members' welfare. Members must be aware they are solely responsible for themselves at all times
Hillwalking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury and death. Those participating in these activities should be aware of the risks and accept the responsibility for their own actions and involvement. No responsibility can be accepted by Culter Hillwalking club committee, members, guests or co-ordinators of walks for any mishap, which may occur, during a meet.