Deeside Source to Sea (Jun 2019)

29 June 2019

Deeside Source to Sea – an attempt to follow the River Dee from it’s source to where it meets the sea, under our own steam.

The team met at the Braemar chippy on Friday night to stock up with calories for the next 24 hours. Whilst waiting for his meal Dom whipped out his stove to prepare a second dish! After dropping off the kayaks at Invercauld Dom and Amy joined the rest of the team to walk (and in Iain’s case, attempt to cycle) from Linn of Dee via Derry Lodge to our camp site near Corrour bothy. A beautiful evening, it was warm and light enough to walk without torches right to camp at 11.30pm. Straight to bed, no time to drink the ‘crate’ of beer that Bruce had heaved up the hill, for the expedition required an early start.

Up before 6am, >too early to eat breakfast, and in Iain’s case no fuel for his stove 😉 >We all set off travelling as light as possible up the Lairig for the stiff climb up the UK’s second highest peak. Fantastic views and great to be on the summit so early, although the sun was already quite high in the sky. After a group photo the runners set off – no time to dawdle if we were to get to Aberdeen for a beach bbq. First stop though, the Wells of Dee, some magical springs on the high plateau where the river begins its journey. Rather than follow the river directly over the cliffs we ran between the four Munro summits, over Angel’s Peak, Cairn Toul and the Devil’s Point, which amazingly took less than 2 hours. The latter summit had the most incredible view of the Dee stretching ahead of us. A quick descent back to camp where we picked up our sleeping bags and started the run alongside the Dee back to the Linn. Thanks to the walkers in the team for carrying leftover tents!

Having only eaten a cheese roll for the last 35km I was starving at this point so I took some time to have lunch while Dom and Amy set off on their bikes. Iain and I then set off together to meet them at Invercauld as they were preparing to get into the kayaks. All was looking good so we continued to Balmoral where we would pick them up. Unfortunately by that time the most intense storm I’ve ever experienced was rolling in. Incredible lightning displays were followed immediately by huge thunderclaps. The storm was all around us! However we set off on the bikes for Aberdeen as the rain seemed to come and go. By the time we got to Aboyne the rain was most definitely more come than go and the lightning was hitting the ground around us. Calling it a day we retired to the local Indian where we were able to celebrate Amy’s birthday in some style (and Dom nipped out to cook a second meal whilst waiting ;-)).

  • Report by Andrew
  • Participants: Dom, Amy, Andrew, Berenice, Fiona, Caitlin, Bruce, Iain

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