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Lochnagar cornices

Lochnagar cornices


Postby litljortindan » Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:21 am

Date walked: 12/04/2021

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 760m

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The mwis forecast indicated a 700m freezing level and experience suggested to me that taking ice-axe and crampons along for the walk would be wise.

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After scratching about for the four pounds parking fee I set off in the minus six Celsius morning. The air is very clear and it does initially feel cool but after half an hour of precautionary big glove wearing I relieve my sweating (!) hands and continue un-gloved which doesn't cause any discomfort so I guess the temperature was edging up as I was overheating in my also precautionary fleece and jacket combo. Well, summit temperature forecast was for minus seven right through the morning so I thought I ought to be prepared.

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It was a beautiful walk along the side of Loch Muick with a light dusting of snow on the track and the loch surface shimmering in the early morning sunlight.

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The woods were largely bare of leaves but still looked beautiful.

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Fences up to protect some of the woods.

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I vaguely recollected that the crag ahead indicated the location of the path up (I didn't really fancy a possibly iced up steeper alternative) and a quick look at the map confirmed this; at least twenty-four years since I've been this way. I was a bit sad about that as I had enjoyed the lochside stroll immensely. However, I was here to climb a hill (or was I?) so I had to say goodbye or see you later to the loch at some point. Good view of Broad Cairn too.

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Beginning of the next pine wood also means the start of the walk away from the shore.

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It is a pleasant walk up through the wood to the start of the ascent.

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Good view of the track that climbs from the opposite lochside towards Broad Cairn.

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Steepish zig-zags leading up to the Falls of the Glasallt. It definitely doesn't feel like minus six any more!

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A sight of the waterfall ahead gives me a bit more uphill impetus.

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Well, there is a little bit of ice and a little bit of slippery snow so I take the precaution of donning microspikes. Not really vital but I prefer not to have to concentrate so much on foot placement.

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The main waterfall is quite stunning.

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But, again, I have a hill to climb so need to move on from the waterfall too.

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The way ahead. Not so dramatic as the alternative but it is a vastly improved path compared to my recollection.

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Takes me a while to get up to the snow patches and a couple I met en route confirmed there would be little difficulty.

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I was actually here to see the cornices though so I cut off north to get a view into the corrie.

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Not the greatest vantage point to start with but I knew from my 2014 visit that there would be good views to come further round, providing the cornices themselves did not prevent access to the best viewpoints.

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Managing to peer into the corrie now and the cornices are quite big and dramatic.

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Looks a good ten to fifteen feet wide at some points so I am well back from the edge.

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Hole indicates the hazard.

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Would normally be a straight-forward stroll to this point but today it is a careful navigation of where the obvious edge is.

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Summit. Been there before entirely oblivious of the grandeur of the cliffs but not any more!

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More dramatic crags.

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A quick sortie west over mixed hard and soft snow for more cliff views.

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Don't recall the sea to the east being so prominent before.

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Can't beat fluffy cloud against a blue sky.

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Straightforward plod back to the car.
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litljortindan
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Re: Lochnagar cornices

Postby gaffr » Fri Apr 16, 2021 5:36 pm

Some fine images there of the Coire and approach....fine day out on the hills.
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gaffr
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Re: Lochnagar cornices

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:11 pm

That looked like a brilliant day out. These clear days before the heat of summer give us some fantastic haze free views.

For some reason I always seem to come down your ascent path - I've never actually climbed it before.
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Gordie12
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Re: Lochnagar cornices

Postby litljortindan » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:12 pm

gaffr wrote:Some fine images there of the Coire and approach....fine day out on the hills.


Thanks! Camera can't go wrong in that weather.
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1986
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Re: Lochnagar cornices

Postby litljortindan » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:21 pm

Gordie12 wrote:That looked like a brilliant day out. These clear days before the heat of summer give us some fantastic haze free views.

For some reason I always seem to come down your ascent path - I've never actually climbed it before.



Agreed. Spring was my new favourite time of year until 2020 came along but 2020 is gone now.
First time up that way was in 1991 I think and we didn't bother looking into the corrie which baffles me now. That said, I don't think I truly appreciated the cliffs until my visit in 2014 when I stuck to the corrie edge all the way round. I think on the couple of other trips there we did ascend from the east but then followed the more obvious path that also diverts away from the corrie edge. Maybe I wasn't so keen on corries back then.
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1986
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Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
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Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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