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Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Conachcraig - dodging the showers


Postby ChrisW » Fri May 13, 2011 4:04 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Conachcraig

Date walked: 12/05/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.8 km

Ascent: 641m

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With showers predicted for the day and MWIS having reduced probability of cloud free munros I stuck to the low lands once more and headed out to a local corbett. I have looked at Conachraig a number of times whilst in the area but never saw anything that made me want to rush up there, so I saved it for ......a rainy day :roll:

The car park at the Spittle of Glen Muick was almost empty when I arrived at 11.30, both pay and display machines are still out of order whilst improvement works are taking place. So I leave the car on a freebie and head out toward the hill, the vans ahead are workers who seem to be doing a complete overhaul of the toilet block.
Image

I am soon past the little visitor centre and looking at the familiar junction, its a right turn for me and off on the lochnagar path.Image

from the path Conachcraig is dead ahead with a beautiful blue sky overheadImage

to the far left are the hills surrounding Loch Muick and above the small cottages on the right just the smallest glimpse of the flat top of lochnagar corrie Image

I pass a couple of MTB's tucked away behind the disused building as I enter the woodland which is a little boggy today and leaves me wondering about the ford up ahead
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a few dark clouds are floating by as I ascend via the well constructed path which climbs at a very steady pace
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on reaching the ford I was surprised to see only a little water and an easy crossingImage

looking back down the path it's surprising to see how much ascent is gained on the very gentle grade, mount keen is just visible away on the horizonImage

continuing the ascent lochnagar appears to be having the best of the weather and I'm beginning to wonder is the weatherman was a bit 'glass half empty' with his prediction :lol: Image

On reaching the small cairn where the route splits I can see the rain falling on the horizon and Conachcraig is overshadowed by a lurking dark cloud Image

to my left Meikle Pap is the only hill not clouded over and by the looks of things that won't last long Image

I turned right at the small cairn and followed a well worn path up through the heather, looking back to lochnagar the clouds descended and soon after this shot I had to stop and get the waterproofs out before continuing my ascentImage

as you can tell from my jacket the wind was wicked on top, but the rain had moved on and and I had a little blue sky for my summit picImage

looking north toward Crathie from the summit as another dark cloud creeps into the shotImage

the view to the west suggests I might want to find a suitable spot for a drink and a snack as a heavy shower engulfs lochnagar Image

looking to the south I see a large overhang that appears to be the very thingImage

a quick wander over there confirms my belief and I tuck in to a cracking little spot (suitable for al least 3 people to get comfortable) and settle in for a 10 minute tea break
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the shower is short lived and is soon replaced by blue sky againImage

I emerged from the comfort of my wind free overhang and headed over toward the two smaller bumps that share this hill, particularly Caisteal na Callich which is only 3m lower than Conachcraig, would hate for someone to move the summit in future :lol:
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from the lesser of the two there are open views of Loch Muick and Mount Keen which appears to be remaining clag free
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the view to the north east shows the wooded glen and a second pathway that runs all the way to the 'royal lochnagar distillery'
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I walk across a short boggy section to the summit of Caisteal na Callich where I see another dark sky creeping in over lochnagar

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looking north shows the two dominant tracks that both run over toward Crathie from either side of Conachcraig
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the storm I saw approaching over lochnagar has blown over without rain and the sky is once again blue
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after skipping around the rocks a while and generally enjoying myself I decide on a circular route home and I set off down toward Carn an Daimh and watch the shadows as they dash across glen muick belowImage

I then descend at a steep angle toward the woodland below and the pathway clearly visible beyond it, the heather is short and the ground good underfoot as I charge down the slope really enjoying my descent

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I pass through the wooded area startling a couple of deer that were sheltering there and emerge onto a track just a few metres from the disused building where I will pick up the usual route back to the car park
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as I cross the river muick another dark cloud threatens to chase me back to the car park Image

though it does throw a few spots of rain about, it's not enough to wet your head and I make the rest of the journey at a nice steady paceImage

This turned out to be a much more interesting little corbett than I first assumed and it certainly has the best natural summit shelter I've seen on a little un :D
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ChrisW
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby monty » Fri May 13, 2011 4:41 pm

Thats a nice route Chris,
We went straight up Connachcraig on our round of the munros their and it was a tough slog up the heather. Looks like your trip was a much better appreciation of this nice corbett. Some lovely pictures there. :D
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby Graeme D » Fri May 13, 2011 7:17 pm

Cracking pics Chris. Good old Conachcraig - the only listed hill I think I ran all the way up and back down! And the was the same day that a guy in another group walking beside us fell face flat in the river at the ford crossing. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby ChrisW » Fri May 13, 2011 7:36 pm

monty wrote:Thats a nice route Chris,
We went straight up Connachcraig on our round of the munros their and it was a tough slog up the heather. Looks like your trip was a much better appreciation of this nice corbett. Some lovely pictures there. :D


Thanks monty - I did consider the vertical ascent as I walked out of the trees but I was after a longer walk, when I walked down that way I was bloody glad I didn't go up it :lol:

by Graeme Dewar on Fri May 13, 2011 7:17 pm

Cracking pics Chris. Good old Conachcraig - the only listed hill I think I ran all the way up and back down! And the was the same day that a guy in another group walking beside us fell face flat in the river at the ford crossing.


Thanks Graeme - ran you say :wtf: that's not even in my vocabulary :lol: I would have bust out laughing if I'd seen that fall (like I did when I saw two guys fall over a wire fence on the summit of Mount Battock) :lol: ...... I'm a bad person !
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ChrisW
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby morag1 » Sat May 14, 2011 9:38 am

Well done Chris, another great walk and more fantastic photos :thumbup:

I am heading to Aberdeen in the next few weeks and have been looking at your past reports for some ideas of walks. this looks like a good one to do :D
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby ChrisW » Sat May 14, 2011 10:30 am

morag1 wrote:Well done Chris, another great walk and more fantastic photos :thumbup:

I am heading to Aberdeen in the next few weeks and have been looking at your past reports for some ideas of walks. this looks like a good one to do :D


Thanks Morag, I think you're right about doing this one - this is a really comfortable walk nothing too strenuous and some great views for a little hill, take £3 in change for the machine just in case they have it working by then :wink: :D
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ChrisW
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby kevsbald » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:13 pm

Chris,

appraising my next trip N to tackle this and your report was fine. You'll be a loss to this site.

Good luck.
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby orion » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:57 pm

kevsbald wrote:Chris,
You'll be a loss to this site.
Good luck.


Seconded.Consistently good pics :D

I followed almost the same route a few days ago on Sunday.Icy path on the way up and very blowy on top....
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby rockhopper » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:25 am

orion wrote:
kevsbald wrote:Chris,
You'll be a loss to this site.
Good luck.

Seconded.Consistently good pics :D


"Thirded". Missed this first time round chris - you certainly got better views than I did on this corbett - very nice - cheers :D
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Re: Conachcraig - dodging the showers

Postby ChrisW » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:03 am

kevsbald wrote:Chris,
appraising my next trip N to tackle this and your report was fine. You'll be a loss to this site.
Good luck.

Thanks Kev, I'll still be on the site, just over in the 'tumbleweeds' section :lol:

by orion » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:57 pm

Seconded.Consistently good pics
I followed almost the same route a few days ago on Sunday.Icy path on the way up and very blowy on top....

Thanks Orion, love that pic of Lochnagar with a dusting of snow....very nice :D

"Thirded". Missed this first time round chris - you certainly got better views than I did on this corbett - very nice - cheers

Thanks Rockhopper, there are so many report going on here now its impossible to read them all, I was hoping to get one more in (hoped for Lochnagar) before I go but not much chance of that now, the removal men arrive Thursday and all the prep for that needs to be done before then :( I miss the hills already and I haven't gone yet....but new pointy hills await me over in the land of the moose :lol:
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