1689086835 Creag Mor and Bynack Over Glenmore | phillipspacc

Creag Mor and Bynack Over Glenmore


The weather forecast had been much more promising than the morning rain I woke up to in Glenmore, near Aviemore, on Sunday. My friend Rob and I had a long hike planned to get to the Corbett Creag Mhor and didn’t fancy a full day of dreich. We decided that maybe the forecast was vague and would clear up later in the day, so we set off anyway.

I have walked Bynack More at least twice before. The first time was with Hubby G and our sighthound Wispa, when I described him as possibly the most perfect Munro. Another memorable outing was with two friends, Jane and Denise, when I combined the Munro with another Corbett, Meall a’ Bhuachaille, and a wild camp for a great adventure.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve walked and run Meall a’ Bhuachaille, too, from Glenmore.

That meant that the path through Glenmore Forest Park, to the beginning of the remote Cairngorms, was familiar. It is often crowded with walkers and cyclists because this is the route to reach the well known ‘green lochan’ – An Lochan Uaine – and also Ryvoan Bothy.

Despite having hiked here many times, I really enjoyed the first section through the forest park and the magnificent tall trees, which are remnants of an ancient Caledonian forest.

Although the sky was overcast, An Lochan Uaine glowed an incredible shade of green.

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1689086813 35 Creag Mor and Bynack Over Glenmore | phillipspacc

At a junction before the bothy, Rob and I took the path to the right and continued on a track that took us further and further away from other people. There is an extensive network of tracks and roads all over the Cairngorms and unlike some of the West Coast Corbetts it was possible to see an undulating uphill path towards our first objective.

The grades were seldom steep throughout the day and over a distance of about 32km we climbed only about 1300m.

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Looking forward to the tors of Creag Mhor.
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Summit One: Creag Mor

Large granite boulders crown the top of Corbett Creg Mhor and we could see them for many kilometers ahead. Our path took us east of Bynack Mor, which rose much higher than our first summit.

As we walked and talked, the sky began to lighten and the cloudy mountaintops cleared up.

On the way up the hill, we were overtaken by a running woman. As she approached us, she said, « Fiona outdoors? » I laughed and nodded, then asked her who she was. It turned out that Emma follows me on social media and recognized my standard dress code of Flanci culottes and buff.

We had a short chat before Emma ran off and Rob and I continued on our walk.

At a small cairn at the side of the road, we began an uphill hike over rough terrain. This was the most arduous part of the entire hike, although it still felt relatively tame compared to many other steep, trackless Corbetts I’ve come across.

We walked over heather and grass towards the ridge and then towards the great tor at the highest point of 895m. We enjoyed fine views of the rolling Cairngorms before heading south-west from Creag Mhor and returning to the path we left earlier.

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Creag Mor summit.
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Storm looks towards the Cairngorm and Ben Macdui.
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Stunning Loch Avon.

Summit 2: Bynack More

The path led us south to the River Avon and past a small mountain cabin. We stay on the north bank of the river and follow a swampy path to the west. This brought us to the shore of the spectacular Loch Avon (Loch A’an).

I remember skiing down to the lake from Cairngorm Mountain one winter a few years ago. The landscape looked very different on a sunny summer day.

At the edge of a sandy beach, we met another hiker who was enjoying a day of summit bagging.

The drive offered us splendid views of some of the other Munros in the area, the Cairngorm, Ben Macdui and as far as Braeriach.

In 2021 Rob and I completed a loop up these mountains.

Further along the way Rob and I had the choice of either going back to the start via Strath Nethy and along the river, or climbing the Bynack More. We chose this last option.

This was my first ascent of Bynack More from the south and we passed a series of fabulous tors to reach the summit at 1090m.

1689086820 873 Creag Mor and Bynack Over Glenmore | phillipspacc
1689086821 833 Creag Mor and Bynack Over Glenmore | phillipspacc

Just before making the ascent of the Munro, we came across a couple, originally from France and now living in Aberdeenshire, who were halfway through a few days’ wild hike and camping. They asked about the Munros and said they preferred to walk in and around the mountains, rather than climb to the top.

The weather forecast finally came true and Rob and I enjoyed the rest of the hike in warm conditions. We sat for a while on the top of Munro soaking up the sun and enjoying the beautiful views.

Across the valley, Creag Mhor seemed small from our elevated perch. From the summit of Bynack More, we walk north on the more popular route. Unsurprisingly, this is where we meet and cross paths with most people.

While the Corbetts are usually very easy going, many Munros these days are quite busy with walkers and runners. I can see the attraction of Bynack More with its obvious route from the roadside to the top and back.

Rob and I continued down, eventually rejoining the path we had traveled to get to the Corbett.

As is always the case, the walk back to the start felt much longer than the walk in, but there was little to complain about other than tired feet. This was the longest mountain hike I’ve done in a long time and my feet were telling me they needed a break.

It would be possible to walk a round trip route to Creag Mhor, complete a loop of Creag Mhor and Strath Nethy, or follow the same route as Rob and I over Corbett and Munro Bynack More.

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Late afternoon sun on the Green Lochan.

Creag Mor and Bynack Walk More

Route details: Strava and SW Maps.

Distance: 32km

height gain: 1330m

Bagged Corbetts: 122