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Monday, 3 March 2014

October Smash-and-Grab (1)

By mid-October, I could bear it no more ... I just HAD to get back to Scotland one more time before winter set in. So I looked for an excuse ... ANY excuse, to do a quick smash-and-grab raid on a Scottish mountain or two. And that's when I remembered that I had promised myself that I would plan a Challenge route which involved using the Cairngorm Club Footbridge in its centenary year ... 2013. Only, when I came to plan my route, I forgot all about that promise. And my 2013 route had taken me nowhere near the Cairngorm Club footbridge. Still, 2013 was not out yet, and there was my excuse. So I repaired my tent groundsheet, booked a train to Aviemore on Saturday 19 October and a bed for the night at Aviemore Youth Hostel, and I set out to make an autumn ascent of Braeriach. Which would, of course, involve crossing the Cairngorm Club footbridge. OK, so it wasn't on the Challenge, but I would be keeping my promise in spirit. And that was what mattered. Well, that, and getting another trip to the Scottish mountains in before the onset of winter.

I suspected that I might find myself struggling for daylight coming back off the mountain, so I booked a taxi to meet me at the Youth Hostel nice and early, and drive me the short distance to Coylumbridge. It wasn't much, but it helped. It was still completely dark as I started off into Rothiemurchus forest; but the track was easily discernible even without any artificial light, and the dawn soon began to break all around me. So by the time I reached the Cairngorm Club Footbridge, it was bright and clear, and I was able to take photographs.

I wished the bridge a happy 100th birthday, and began to cross.

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