Monday, 20 February 2012


I'd always imagined that Lochnagar was some wild and inaccessible place inhabited by monsters (I was perhaps influenced by a story written by Prince Charles?), and the very name, in my head had a ring of beetling cliffs and woolly monsters. So with a brief sojourn in Braemar on the cards, I jumped at the chance to head up there for a look with my friend David. We appraoched from Glen Muick, where I was astonished to find at the end of a long snowy singletrack road, a large car park, choca block, and a pay and display machine. I had no change, so stuffed a fiver in an envelope and tucked it under windscreen wipers, hoping for the best.

 The approach is on an excellent footpath, no doubt funded by the parking fee, and up to a bealach between Meikle Pap and Cuidhe Crom (The low point on the horizon). 

 From the bealach, the dark cliffs of Lochnagar loom in to view. The summit is the high point on the right set back a little from the coire rim.

 The path skirts around the back of the great rocky mass encircling the coire, avoiding the dangerous rim and associated cornices, before emerging close to the summit. There were great views from the top.  This shot is looking south west towards Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach and the vast plateau of the White Mounth. 

 Looking back in to the Coire from the top of Black Spout. A striking grade 1 climb that was heavily corniced yesterday. 

We descended a good path in the gentle glen of the Glas Allt, which suddenly descends precipitously via the cliffs of Falls of the Glasallt. From here an easy stomp took us via Loch Muick back to the car park, where my envelope contained a pay and display ticket, and some change.

This was a great day out, and felt much easier than the 19km that we covered. Careful navigation on the plateau would be required in bad visibility.  We saw tons of wildlife, including mountain hare, ptarmigan, red grouse, golden eagle and a huge bachelor herd of red deer stags.

No comments: