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The White Mounth Munros

The White Mounth Munros


Postby Left Behind » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:28 pm

Route description: White Mounth Munros, Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar

Date walked: 22/04/2011

Time taken: 7.25 hours

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Lochnagar...

This was my third attempt at Lochnagar. The first ended at the bottom of the ladder in waist deep snow, blizzard and white out conditions in mid december. The second ended at the top of the ladder in february with gusts of 80mph that literally knocked me off my feet whenever I tried to stand. Discretion is the better part of valour they say but turning back, though perhaps the wisest thing to do, left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.

I'd not walked Lochanagar before as a relative newcomer to this hillwalking malarkey, but I know my limits and I knew that on a good day I wouldn't have a problem. I'd had today (good friday) off and the forecast looked good, hazy, it said, but overall pleasant and brightening up by late morning/early afternoon. I decided not to go the tourist path this time as I think I've seen quite enough of it these past few months.. :lol: I did consider heading up by the Falls of Glassalt and maybe back down the ladder but in the end I decided I'd head in past Broad Cairn and grab the other 4 munro's on the walk. I'll admit it was mainly to prove to myself that I am capable of walking up hills without quitting, but I think that's as good a reason as any! :D

I'd decided to leave the house before 6am as Mrs LB told me to be back for dinner ( 8) ) and I didn't want to rush myself, so around 0545 I headed west out to Ballater. Thick fog was everywhere on the way filling my heart with dread, were the seasons conspiring against me, I thought. The fog cleared a little just as I arrived at Ballater but a little crept back in as I drove towards the car park at the Spittal of Glenmuick. I parked up at just before 7, I was the 6th car there which caused a raised eyebrow as on my previous attempts I was the first car at around the same time on both occasions. Parking is still free, which is a shame, they'd have been able to make quite a bit of money this weekend and I'm always happy to pay the £3. I then opened my boot and got out my bike (did I mention that I was taking my bike? well... better late than never) attached its front wheel, put on a thin fleece as there was a little chill to the air and got my bag on my back. Checking the time as I left, it was pretty much 7am on the dot. The plan was to cycle to the bottom of the twisting path that leads to Broad Cairn. It was only 2/3km but I knew that I'd be thankfull for the bike on the return leg.

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There was still some mist in the air at the head of Loch Muick, but overhead looked promising. Blue sky! :D

I parked my bike at the bottom of the slope to Broad Cairn and chained it to the sign, I tried to look for somewhere else more discreet but sadly couldn't find anywhere else. The walk up the zig-zagging slope was tiring, in hindsight it was probably the toughest uphill section of the day. It did cross my mind at this point, if I'm tired now.... what will I be like in a few hours time? Persevering, the slope eased out and I got some nice, but misty views accross Loch Muick on my way towards Broad Cairn. Realising that I was perspiring I took off my fleece and so it remained for the remainder of the walk.

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It was around this time that I'd realised I coundn't remember locking my car after leaving the car park. I thought about going back for approximately 2 seconds before deciding that "ahh it'll be fine!" and heading on.

If ever there was a hill more aptly named it was Broad Cairn, it seemed like the entire upper section of the hill was one huge summit cairn. Scrambling on occasion I reached the top at 0900 and the mist was beginning to clear also and the sun had poked its head over the hill to the east of me and was shining quite pleasantly. There was a little breeze in the air but it was nice and cooling.

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At this point I grabbed a tangerine from my bag and had a 5 minute rest as I enjoyed the views.

Cairn Bannoch was my next target and seemed a relatively simple jaunt accross some open moorland with a well worn path leading upto a slightly higher summit than the previous munro. It took around 30 minutes to travel to Cairn Bannoch, no rest stop this time. Carn an t-Sagairt Mor was looming menacingly from a little further afar. (the views weren't great either!)

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The path upto Carn an t-Sagairt Mor was tough going at times, but a couple of stops on the way for a few seconds to get my breath and I was fine and on my way again. This hill appears to have two summit cairns, and though I'm fairly sure that it's the first one that I reached that was the actual summit I thought it was better safe than sorry and grabbed a photo of both! (Anyone know why the second cairn has a few items of ironmongery leaning against it?)

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(Views accross Glen Callater on both)

I'd been keeping my eyes peeled for the infamous aircraft wreckage and headed off to grab a few snaps.

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I headed down into the bealach with Carn an t-Sagait Beag and grabbed another snap of the wreckage there too. Sadly I must've knocked my compact camera in it's puch and the next few pictures came out as a white screen. :(

Skirting Carn an t-Sagairt Beag I rejoined the path before the Allt an Da Chraobh Bheath burn and forded that before following up towards Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach. Nipping off the path, I grabbed a pic from the summit but I'm afraid you're going to have to tak my word for it!

I thought I'd take a look at The Stuic as I hope, at some point in the hopefully not to distant future, to ascend that way. Again, you'll have to excuse my lack of pic looking down the buttress.

Rejoining the path I headed towards my nemesis. Lochnagar. ( :evil: )I left that I was on the last leg of my walk at this point and the walk up was quite straight forward in comparison to the previous uphill sections. It was at this point that I encountered my first walker since leaving the car park, prior to this it was just me alone with Lady Gaga's new song stuck in my head (it was hellish!), I took a couple of pics from the summit of Cac Carn Beag.

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(There's the Stuic!!!)

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Looking down towards Deeside.

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I headed down the summit a little and found a convenient chair shaped rock to sit on and got out my sandwiches for lunch, looking at my watch it was 1150 at this point.

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(You'll notice my boots - we'll come back to them shortly! :evil:)

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This pic isn't nearly as good as Chris' vertical panorama, firstly as I have a naff compact and secondly because I'm a jessie and I'm not getting closer to the edge thank you very much.)

Cutting down past the Glass Alt was the best bet if I wanted to reach my bike so down I went. The hills over Loch Muick looked a little misty still, but the sun was burning it off quickly by now.

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It was on this downhill stretch that I noticed my boots (newly devirginised Asolo Flame GTX's, I bought them the other week as I needed a new pair as my Mammut Monoliths seemed a little heavy for fair weather walks, this was the first time they've been on the hills) were giving my a little toe bang at some points especially down the well made steps. I'd had the boots properly fitted and they'd seemed snug on the walk so far so this came as quite a shock to me. During the descent it began to get quite painfull, I'd considered getting out my spare pair of socks and doubling them up with the pair that I had on to try and reduce the banging but I knew that as soon as I did that I'd fall into a burn and not have any backup! Anyhoo, there was nothing that I could do at the moment and I knew that I didn't have far to go so headed on.

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The falls were looking nice qith the sun shining down on them, and as I decended to Loch Muick I really began to feel the sun, it was very warm and there was little breeze down there too, I took advantage of the sun, as any good Scotsman would do, and tried to walk as far as I could with my eyes squeezed shut and my face pointing towards the sun. I've been peelywallie white for too long, bring the sun!

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With the glorious sunshine the families and fair weather walkers were out in force, kids skimming stones on the loch, dogs jumping in the burns, it was good to see people enjoying nature but from not seeing anyone before reaching Lochnagar I ended up passing a good 60-70 people on the way back.

Glad to see my bike still in its spot, I unchained it and set off back down to the carpark which I reached at 1415, the carpark was full, though, and sadly some people had taken to parking in the passing places due to a lack of spaces in the main car park itself. I appreciate that they need to park but hogging the passing places is selfish and makes meeting a car a pain in the bum.

I'm now sunburnt and my legs ache somewhat, my right big toe has severe toe bang disease and there is blood under the nail and the nail itself has cracked in a couple of places - any bets on it falling off> The nail that is, not the toe... I hope!. :shock: :lol:

Ps. My car was indeed unlocked, luckily nobody had tried anything dodgy. Which is lucky as I'd left my wallet in it! Shh! I missed this part of the story out when I regaled Mrs LB with my report.
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Left Behind
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby monty » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:55 pm

So Third time lucky Left behind, Nice report.

It was around this time that I'd realised I coundn't remember locking my car after leaving the car park. I thought about going back for approximately 2 seconds before deciding that "ahh it'll be fine!" and heading on.


Not a good thought at that point in the walk. :lol: And it turned out to be true.

We done this in the snow and missed the aircraft wreckage. :(

Interesting descent but you had to get back to the bike. Some great pictures . :D
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby yokehead » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:37 pm

This is a very fine, entertaining report and great photos despite the "naff compact"! 8) :D :lol:

Well done in getting the elusive mountain in the bag, with the superb day you had I bet you don't mind the extra trip!

Glad that you got away with the unlocked car, oh and you could try to get extra sympathy by claiming that your injured toe was down to frostbite! If you have any concerns over the injury, contact Caberfeidh for an amputation quote! :lol:
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby ChrisW » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:08 pm

Incredible LB - you made all 5 in the time it took me to do one :oops: - great effort, I'm with yokehead on the toe - go for the frosbite/sympathy :D
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby Left Behind » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:58 am

Thanks guys. :) The toe is looking better today, so I think Caberfeidh can put away his knives! :shock:

And no worries Chris, I admit to rushing them somewhat yesterday as woe betide if I was late for my dinner.. a fate worse than death perhaps.
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby skuk007 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:49 pm

Great report and glad you got a good day for your nemesis hill. Views are just great.
Glad the toe is better too. :)
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby Alastair S » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:18 pm

Another excellent Mounth Munros report and yet another bike-walk-bike route. Good plan of attack for Lochnagar - sneak round the back & nab it from there :lol:
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby flipside » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:37 pm

excellent report hoping to have go at these in June from Glen Clova :)
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby Left Behind » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:47 pm

Alastair S wrote:Another excellent Mounth Munros report and yet another bike-walk-bike route. Good plan of attack for Lochnagar - sneak round the back & nab it from there :lol:


Aye, that way it couldn't see me coming!

flipside wrote:excellent report hoping to have go at these in June from Glen Clova :)


Hope the weather's as good for you then as it was for me. :)
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby iainwatson » Wed May 04, 2011 2:57 pm

crackin report and pics,i'm off to do this round on sat,hope the weather is as good as you had it :D

ps. is it an easier round going clockwise?
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Re: The White Mounth Munros

Postby jwramsay » Wed May 04, 2011 3:03 pm

I did these on Saturday but started with Lochnager for the main reason that it is sunlit rather than backlit in the morning.

Glad I did it that way, the high walk out back to the carpark is superb in the sun.
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