Lochnagar hill walk

This month’s hill walk was up Lochnagar. An early start on a Sunday considering I was out on a stag do the night before, but thankfully the forecast was great.. I’d sweat it out.

Spittal of Glenmuick board

Spittal of Glenmuick board

A couple of boards near to the carpark.

Spittal township board

Spittal township board

We’re heading up and around in a roughly anti-clockwise route.

River Muick

River Muick

Spot a few deer through the heat haze

Deer grazing

Deer grazing

First glimpse in the distance of our target. Still patches of snow visible

Heading up the Allt na giubhsaich track

Heading up the Allt na giubhsaich track

A pleasant bit of shade passing through the woods near the bothy

Allt na giubhsaich woods

Allt na giubhsaich woods

 

Leaving Allt na giubhsaich woods

Leaving Allt na giubhsaich woods

No shade now, strictly blue skies as we climb further following the burn

Allt na giubhsaich burn

Allt na giubhsaich burn

Not entirely sure why this Skylark is fluttering about in this bush but it seems to be having fun

Skylark in bush

Skylark in bush

A neat procession

Party climbing

Party climbing

Better view now of Little Pap, Cuidhe Crom, and Meikle Pap

Little Pap, Cuidhe Crom, and Meikle Pap

Little Pap, Cuidhe Crom, and Meikle Pap

The path turns North at Clais Rathadan where the gorge peters out

Clais Rathadan

Clais Rathadan

A closer look at some of the micro flora

Micro flora

Micro flora

We regroup at the junction where we will be heading East, time for a quick spot of lunch

Lunch below Conachcraig looking up to Meikle Pap

Lunch below Conachcraig looking up to Meikle Pap

Somebody with eagle eyes spots deer on the snow patch, barely a pixel or two below

Deer on the Snow

Deer on the Snow

A red grouse flies past and swoops and lands in the heather beside the group, not shy

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Heading East the path traverses above a bog, a few splashes of colour from the various plants

Bog

Bog

I’m running low on water but have my sawyer filter with me, so a quick detour a few yards off path to a spring,  near this memorial to Bill Stuart.

Memoral to Bill Stuart

Memoral to Bill Stuart

Bill Stuart was climber who died on Lochnagar. The poetry is by Byron.

Bill Stuart memorial

Bill Stuart memorial

The crystal clear waters of the ‘Fox Cairn Well’ as marked on the OS map are nearby

Fox Cairn Well

Fox Cairn Well

Looking up on to Cuidhe Crom we can see the deer a bit more clearly now.

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Ascending the stairs between Cuidhe Crom and Meikle Pap

stairs between Cuidhe Crom and Meikle Pap

stairs between Cuidhe Crom and Meikle Pap

As it levels off Lochnagar finally comes into closer view

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As you walk across the saddle towards the Corrie, the view opens up impressively

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Time to take a seat and soak up the view. It’s a cliche, but definitely true here – a photo doesn’t do it justice

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Obligatory selfie. Glad I took a cap today. Also wearing a pair of zip off trousers, partially unzipped for a slight vent, and a Paramo Katmai shirt for the first time. It’s a decent shirt for this kinda thing, lightweight, wicks nicely, good pockets and velcro cuffs make it easy to roll up the sleeves.

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The pimple on the right is the final target

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Zooming in to 30x I can see a few brave souls enjoying the view over the ‘The pinnacle’. To the left, the ‘black spout’ gully is apparently climbable without ropes.. think I’ll take the easy way around.

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First we needed to climb up on to the plateau, up fairly steep bouldery ‘stairs’. Wouldn’t be much fun in the wet but today was no problem. Following a series of small cairns we made our way around the top. Up here there’s a much bigger herd of deer enjoying the snow

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And some not on the snow. There’s a mountain hare there too

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It seems you’re away to reach the top when you reach the Cac Carn Mor cairn, but there’s a slight dip to the West then the proper summit

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Surprised to see two intrepid mountain bikers up top – although I’m not sure what any ascent from the North or West are like, I guess there is likely to have been some strenuous hike a bike considering the boulders and stairs we’ve had to negotiate. They were heading off to the path alongside Glas Allt burn to descend, which we’d be going down later ourselves

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To the right is ‘The Pinnacle’ looking back to where we came from

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Finally at the peak we met up with a few of the faster walkers of the group who’d pulled ahead

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Looking East

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There’s a bit of dark cloud forming to the West but quite a way off.

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Loch Nan Eun and Carn a Choire Bhoidheach to the South West

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As we made our way back past the cairn, a deer pops up at close range.

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No doubting who’s the boss up here

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We made our way across to the top of the Glass Allt path, stopping to chuck a few snowballs around. The snow patch still a good few feet deep

cairn

 

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The Glass Allt runs down this dip

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More bog colours

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Odd speckling on this granite

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The mountain bikers would have enjoyed this, though some big drainage channels and steep bouldery bits would have meant plenty work

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The burn falls through some pretty rock pools and falls

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Meeting up with more of the party who had either forged ahead or taken a different route

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Looking back upstream from the footbridge

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As we descended further, a first glimpse of Loch Muick valley

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Descending steeply, I can eventually hear the roar of Glass Allt waterfall hidden out of view

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A small path leads off to the left and below it – it’s a pretty nice place to be on a hot day

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I’d decided not to lug the weight of a tripod and the Sony Nex up the hill, and couldn’t get a long exposure on the compact without whiting out, a nice smooth trailed waterfall pic will have to wait for another day. Will need to play around with the compact and see if it’s actually possible, plus get some form of adaptor for my walking sticks. I should have rolled the sleeves down, sun screen had faded by now and wouldn’t realise til later that I’ve gotten burnt

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Onwards down hill, I stopped a few times to look back

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Still a lot of height to lose yet. Some bits here would be hairy on a bike

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Heading towards the loch, through those trees

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Under foliage again

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Through fields of deep komorebi we follow the mountain’s water

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The North shore of Loch Muick

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Bits of the shore are fenced off to stop Deer and allow tree growth to the water’s edge

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It’s quite a long flat and dusty walk along the Loch after a long day out; you could do the whole route clockwise and avoid that though then you’d miss the way the scenery is suddenly revealed coming up to the Lochnagar corrie, then Loch Muick and the waterfall.

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The boat house marks the last leg back across the River Muick to the car park

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Looking back along the loch

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Not far from the start a large herd of Deer gathering

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Finally back the car park, a great day out in amazing scenery. Fair to say I’d enjoy an ice cold beer and the meal in the restaurant later, famished

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Update 29.11.2016

Here’s a 3d virtual ‘fly through’ thanks to Doarama

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