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Lochnagar 5 bike/hike from Glen Callater

Lochnagar 5 bike/hike from Glen Callater

Postby Scott Philp » Sun May 14, 2023 5:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Càrn a' Choire Bhòidheach, Càrn an t-Sagairt Mòr, Lochnagar

Date walked: 13/05/2023

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 39.3 km

Ascent: 1405m

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Posting this as there doesn’t seem to be many reports for this route to the Lochnagar 5. We are 2 guys the wrong side of 60 and a girl the wrong side of 50 with reasonable fitness for our age and decent experience on the hills with each having bagged over 80 Munros.
Decided to do the Lochnagar 5 from Glen Callater side which saved us a couple of hours driving all the way round to the usual Glen Muick approach. It was a hot sunny day so we were carrying more water than usual in preparation for an epic day.

Stage 1. Cycle 5k from Auchallater farm to Lochcallater Lodge. It’s a push for the first 100m but once through the gate it’s an ok cycle on a gradual ascent. Just kept in the lower gears and didn’t have to get off at all. Track is fine just a bit stoney in places. Track is part of Jock’s Road and takes you up to end of Loch Callater (for swimming in later). Took us 35 mins.

Stage 2. Ascent up to Carn an t-Sagairt Mor. Left our bikes at the Bothy which has public toilets for those that are desperate. It’s a gentle traverse to start with on a clear decent path which starts to get steeper once you cross over onto the Munro itself. The path traverses around the Munro to ascend from the other side but we went straight up and over. It took us 2 hours from the car park to bag this first one.

Stage 3. Walk to Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn (return). This is gentle in comparison to the initial climb and with clear paths out to both we did it in 2.5 hours out and back including a stop for lunch. Apart from a wee scramble to reach the summit these are 2 uninspiring Munros. We had lunch in between these two and left our bags to pick up on our return - one of the advantages of a route that retraces your steps.

Stage 4. Walk out to Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach and Lochnagar (return). This requires a bit more effort as both these Munros have a steep ascents to start with. This took about 3.5 hours (including a stop for more scran) but again left our bags at suitable points to be picked up on return from both Munros. Clear paths and just a wee scramble on to summit of Lochnagar.

Stage 5. Descent back to Bothy to pick up the bikes (just over 1 hour). The path traverses around Carn an t-Sagairt Mor to save you having to climb up and over again and you just retrace your steps back to the bothy.

Stage 6. Cycle back to the car park took about 20 mins and it’s almost freewheel all the way which was a bit of a relief for tired legs.

Car to car took us 9hrs 30mins - left at 9am and returned at 6.30pm with 5 Munros in the bag. 39.3km of which we reckon 10km is on the bike. With only 1405m ascent we think that’s pretty good for 5 Munros although we did register nearly 50k steps.
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Scott Philp
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 1, 2021

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