Benn Rinnes is the graceful peak on the sky line and was my original choice for today. Last minute map review and some very good blog posts made me change my mind for Gael Charn above Dorback in Abernethy. Perhaps not memorable as a true mountain experience it yet provided fantastic and enticing views. The camera is looking east toward Ben Rinnes rising above the famous distillery towns of Dufftown and Aberlour (think Glen Fiddich, Balvenie, MacAllan). Looking north rolling farmland unfolded to the sea at the Moray Firth. The view west and south was in to the Cairngorm heartland of truly massive mountains most notable being Ben Avon (Ann) with its crest of granite torrs. While it felt like I could reach out and touch it, its nearest access from public road is at Kelloch (Braemar) on Dee side, a ten mile hike in one direction.
The walk here presents a natural loop and the descent was through very deep heather. The valley below is still a changing landscape with the river meandering and incising in to the moraine exposing very light sandy gravel screes. The walk also passed several abandoned farm buildings and Dorback Lodge, still an impressive structure despite dilapidation. .