Don't Panic

Munros: Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag

Height: 941m/3087ft and 936m/3071ft

OS Map: 42

The last time I had visited the Drumochter hills almost a year ago I had enjoyed a nice clear day with barely a cloud in sight. The weather has been mixed and invariably it seems to rain when I have a chance to get out into the hills. My drive up to Drumochter wasn’t inspiring either as rained most of the way and my thoughts turned to my new jacket and how it was going to receive a good test drive if the rain continued throughout the day. I parked at a lay-by just before the Dalwhinnie junction. There is a decent track that leads up from the main road to 902 m and from there you could walk the two Munros. I decided to take the larger of the Munros, Carn na Caim and I managed to negotiate my way to the top in just under 2 hours from the car. The Munro didn’t really have any great distinguishing feature and by all accounts looked like a big green lump.

 I headed back to the 902 m col where I would head south to A'Bhuidheanach Bheag. At this point I had noticed the weather had turned significantly with the mist and rain moving in. This didn’t prove to be a problem at first as I could follow a track. As I descended and then re-ascended onto the main part of the Munro the weather worsened although through careful navigation I managed to find the trig point at the top of A’Bhuidheanach Bheag. I knew that I didn’t want to stick around and I carefully followed my route back down, or so I thought. After 10 minutes I realised I didn’t recognise my surroundings. Panicking I descended quickly to find a small stream from there I followed it as it flowed into a larger stream at the foot of a rocky hill. I checked the map and realised I had come off the side of the Munro too soon and I was in a gully between two hills. I waited for the mist to clear which must have taken a few minutes but seemed a lot longer. When it cleared I caught the sight of the main road a few miles in the distance. I scrambled back down to the car in a must relieved 5 hours.


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