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Route: Mayar and Driesh, Cairngorms

Mayar and Dreish are a pair of Munros that are on the south east of the Cairngorms National Park, and rise from the head of Glen Doll, at the end of Glen Clova. The hills can either be walked together as a circular route, or each one can be tackled separately, with Dreish being the shorter, but less interesting hill if this is your choice.

These two hills are achievable as a family provided you have some experience, good waterproofs, warm clothing and a decent carrier in case little ones get tired.

There are plenty of fantastic low level walks in Glen Clova too, if the weather isn’t so good or you fancy a shorter walk. Good ones include Jocks Path, Corrie Fee, Loch Brandy and Loch Wharral.

The walk starts exactly the same as the Corrie Fee walk, heading through the forestry from the Glen Doll car park. Once Corrie Fee is reached, the path heads along the valley floor, following the stream until the back wall of the corrie is reached.

corrie fee

It looks like there is not going to be a sensible route up this, but there is actually a good path that heads first right and then steeply up, winding around rock outcrops as it climbs. The steep and strenuous pull comes to an end relatively quickly and the ground starts to flatten out.

From here a wall and fence heads up in a leftwards direction, leading to the summit of Mayar. The summit of Mayar is a great vantage point to look across the plateau towards Lochnagar and many of the surrounding mountains on a clear day.

view from mayar

From Mayar the route descends a little and follows a broad ridge for some distance until the turn off for the Klibbo path is reached.

looking back at mayar

There is a fence line, which is a great help for navigation if the weather is less than perfect. Turning left onto the Klibbo Path is the descent route back to the Glen Doll car park, and will be the normal route chosen to descent from Dreish too, so this is a good point to decide if you fancy leaving it at Mayar or adding Dreish into the mix too.



The climb up to Dreish is initially gentle, but steepens, particularly with tired legs. After a surprisingly long climb (at least for my tired legs it was) the summit is reached and you can see all the way to the sea, with the mountains giving way to the low costal region ahead of you.



To descend, re-trace your steps to the Klibbo path, and descend this, which takes a descending traverse on the left side of the valley, with the valley floor far below. Once you reach the woodlands, head downhill following the large path and you soon reach the valley floor only a short distance from the Glen Doll car park and the end of the route.

Please remember that if you are hill walking in winter, it can be much more demanding, and there is a real risk from cornices and avalanches, even on’easy’ hills.

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