The Lairig an Laoigh route or the “Pass of the Calves” is the more easterly of the two great passes that cut through the heart of the Cairngorms from Deeside to Strathspey.

An early start of 7am was therefore necessary for this classic long distance walk and a total of 18 walkers left Aberdeen to travel to the Linn o’ Dee start point. The recent fine sunny and dry weather was due to continue and shorts were the order of the day for several of our group as they set off from the Linn o’ Dee car park.Most walkers opted for the 19 mile through route with 4 persons staying on the bus to be dropped off later at Nethybridge for a shorter through walk to Loch Morlich. A minor change to the original route was necessary as one of the bridges over the Derry Burn was out of commission, however this was easily bypassed as the main group headed north up Glen Derry. The actual pass starts as the track proceeds between Beinn Mheadhoin and Beinn a’ Chaorainn and continues north to reach the the stepping stones at the Fords of Avon where the recently refurbished refuge is situated. Fortunately, because of the dry weather ,water levels were low in the streams and burns and no problems were encountered with river crossings.The walkers continued north passing Loch Bhainne, skirting the shoulder of Bynack More to eventually reach the pass of Ryvoan near the bothy. One member actually climbed Bynack More on route.

Meantime the smaller group had walked from Nethybridge via Dell lodge and Forest lodge to also arrive at the Pass of Ryvoan. All walkers then proceeded via An Lochan Uaine, the “Green Loch” where according to legend the fairies washed their clothes. We then reached Glenmore Lodge outdoor training centre and finally to the waiting bus on the main road at Loch Morlich. Some walkers arrived early at around 4.30pm however all returned back to allow us to depart at 6.00pm. A short refreshment stop was made at Dufftown before finally arriving home in Aberdeen just after 9.00pm.

Frank

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