Meall a' Bhuachaille and the Ryvoan Pass.

Start. The Visitor Centre Glen More.

Route. Glen More Visitors Centre - Glenmore Forest Park - Coire Chondlaich - Meall a' Bhuachaille - Ryvoan Bothy - Lochan Uaine - Reindeer House - Glen More Visitors Centre.

Notes. Meall a' Bhuachaille 'hill of the shepherd' at 2,654ft high makes for quite a challenge considering the walk today is just under six miles in length, steep up and down was the order of the day. With it's conical shaped summit presenting us with stunning views in all directions, from the fearsome northern corrie's of the Cairngorm's to the gentle folding hills extending north-east to Moray, tiny lochan's shining from a vast landscape of pine forest, peat bog and heather, I felt quite small standing on it's wind swept summit.

From behind the visitors centre a path climbs into the Glenmore Forest, this was our route, steep at first before leveling a little as it followed the Allte Coire Chondlaich (burn). As we stepped from shelter of the forest it suddenly became evident how strong the wind was, in our favour for a change pushing us up the hill. Ascending on a good path with extensive views opening up behind us we soon reached the saddle between Creagan Gorn and Meall a' Bhuachaille. Turning east we made our final push to the summit where we hankered down behind the summit shelter out of the wind with a dozen other walkers.

On a good path we made our descent, the wind may have wanted to blow us into the Abernethy Forest but we had another objective, Ryvoan Bothy marking the entrance to a pass of the same name. The Ryvoan Pass is a beautiful place, it's crowning glory Lochan Uaine (The Green Lochan), we spent ages wandering it's sandy beaches before ascending the flanks of Glen More. On a rough path through wonderful Caledonian Pines we climbed to reach the start of a forest track, this track guided us through Corsican Pines as we descended to the Visitors Centre and a well earned brew in the cafe.

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On the south facing slopes of Meall a' Bhuachaille deep in the Glenmore Forest one large home for Wood Ants.

Sue strides out through Glenmore Forest.

Our first view of Meall a' Bhuachaille.

Ascend a little higher and Cairn Gorm tilts into view.

Rising from Glen More the Cairn Gorm massif.

On the slopes of Meall a' Bhuachaille looking to Loch Morlich backed by the Rothiemurchus Forest.

A wonderful panorama over the Glenmore Forest.

In shadow Creagan Gorm seen from the ridge leading to Meall a' Bhuachaille.

Near the summit with a stunning view over Strathspey to the Monadhliath Mountains.

Ascending Meall a' Bhuachaille with views to Loch Garton over the Abernethy Forest.

About to step onto the summit of Meall a' Bhuachaille with views over Loch Morlich.

Views west along the ridge leading across Creagan Gorm and Craiggowrie.

Yours truly on the wind swept summit of Meall a' Bhuachaille.

The Braes of Abernethy seen over a landscape of heather and lochans.

A glimpse of Lochan Uaine from the descent to the Ryvoan Pass.

Ryvoan Bothy, once the home to a sheep farmer and his family, this bleak bothy marks the entrance to the Ryvoan Pass.

The Ryvoan Pass with the steep slopes of Meall a' Bhuachaille dropping in from the right.

At the head of the pass Lochan Uaine, once used by cattle thieves and drovers now a watering hole for long distance walkers using the Lairig an Laoigh route to and from Deeside.

The scree slopes of Creag nan Gall seen across the rippled surface of Lochan Uaine, folk law tells us this is the lochan where the fairy folk gathered on mass to launder their washing, of all things.

The beauty of Lochan Uaine with our descent path clearly visible on the lower slopes of Meall a' Bhuachaille.

Sue ascends the flanks of Glen More, one climb too many but when the path leveled off the views were well worth the effort.

The view over Glen More with the slopes of An t-Aonach rising to the Cairn Gorm plateau.

Just before we step into woodland of Corsican Pine, a quick look to Creag nam Gall.

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