Inspired by the success of Tayside summit to sea in 2017, in spring 2019 I began to wonder if we might be able to do something similar along the River Dee. It’s 135km from the source at the Wells of Dee High on the Braeriach Plateau to where it reaches the sea in Aberdeen, so it was going to have to be another multi-sport adventure, with lots of stages and some fun logistics to sort out. After giving a talk as part of the DMChat series, I managed to persuade 8 others to get involved!
Stages -2 and -1: Invercauld to Corrour via Linn of Dee
We fuelled up with a chippy tea in a very balmy Braemar, and then me and Dom drove to Invercauld to get my car in position for the kayak section the next day, while the others headed to Linn of Dee to walk into Courror. From Invercauld we had a pleasant cycle in the evening sunshine to Linn of Dee, stashed the bikes and set off towards Corrour. As we were planning to run out via White Bridge we took the route via Derry Lodge, and caught up with the others a couple of km from the bothy. It was then time to pitch tents in what passed for midnight darkness in late June and get some rest before the next day’s efforts.
Stage 0: Corrour to Braeriach
Before we could follow the Dee to the sea, we had to get to the source. Leaving our tents at the bothy, the whole group walked up the Lairig Ghru, and then took a rocky, bouldery spur coming of the plateau steeply up towards the summit. Even in the early morning it was pretty hot! After some photos, the runners, (me, Dom, Andrew B, Iain and Fiona) said goodbye to the others and headed off to find the Wells of Dee, while they continued at a more leisurely pace.
Stage 1: Braeriach to Linn of Dee
Some nice running along the Plateau took us to the source of the Dee, and then we continued on, over Carn na Criche (important Top bagging), Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Cairn Toul and then eventually on to The Devil’s Point. A slight backtrack took us back down to the the bothy, where we picked up a little bit of kit, leaving the majority for the walkers to take out, and splitting into two groups, me, Dom and Andrew running along the Dee via White Bridge. There was a reasonable small path along the east bank of the Dee until we met the track at White Bridge, from where it was fairly easy going back to Linn of Dee, even if the legs were feeling a bit tired!
Bike from Invercauld to Linn of Dee; Walk to Corrour; Camp; Walk up Braeriach; Run to Linn of Dee via gor an Lochain Uaine, Cairn Toul and The Devil’s Point; Bike to Invercauld; Kayak to Balmoral; Bike to Aboyne; live life for a few weeks; Bike to Aberdeen
28/29 June 2019, 4 August 2019
Dominic, Fiona, Iain, Andrew B, Berenice, Katrina, Caitlin and Bruce