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The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!


Postby Redrock » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:06 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: 04/07/2011

Time taken: 10.2 hours

Distance: 30.7 km

Ascent: 1471m

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My 90th Munro was approaching and Lochnagar seemed an excellent candidate. And once I was up there there was the possibility of bagging the four other Munros in its hinterland of the White Mounth. My original plan was to camp in Ballater and have an early start on the hill - and Mrs R was going to join me. But that didn't work out and so I decided that it would just have to be the long early morning road trip from central Fife. The mist soon cleared on the way up and the drive through Glenshee was a delight. Then it was misty again at Ballater. But that soon cleared as I drove up Glen Muick to reveal a rather gloomy looking Lochnagar.

P1060861.JPG
Lochnagar from Glen Muick

The wind was getting up too and I started to wonder if the forecast of bright skies and light winds was going to prove to be an empty promise. However, the sun came out as I made my way past Allt-na-guibhsaich and that definitely lifted my spirits.

P1060867.JPG
Through the trees at Allt-na-guibhsaich

Soon I was on the hill and making good progress upwards - fording the burn and steadily gaining height.
I was heading for the Meikle Pap where, I had been told, the view would be worth all the effort. And there's another thing. This is where I confess my dark secret (something I've never heard of anywhere else on Walkhighlands :shock: ) - as well as bagging Munros, I also bag Tops! :o - not as determinedly as the Munros themselves but I collect them whenever it is reasonable (and I decide what is reasonable!) There's lots of Tops on the White Mounth - and the Meikle Pap is one of them.

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Meikle Pap

The view from Meikle Pap was everything that had been promised - the stark cliffs rising above the corrie loch below

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Lochnagar from Meikle Pap

And I was pleased to have bagged my first Munro Top of the day.

P1060879.JPG
On Meikle Pap

But I still had a long way to go and five Munros waiting on me. So it was back down and up the Ladder which looked like a boulder field (and was) but it had a wonderfully well engineered path up through it. Soon I was rising to the level of the Lochnagar cliffs.

P1060884.JPG
Lochnagar from above the Ladder

I had, however, another top to bag and I headed off south-east across lovely springing moss to Top - Cuidhie Crom. At 1083 metres it would be a very respectable mountain if it wasn't connected to Lochnagar.

P1060886.JPG
On Cuidhie Crom

The weather had been getting brighter as I had climbed to the ridge - but the wind had strengthened to a near gale. Now the cloud dropped down onto the summit ridge and for a time it seemed that the weather was going to let me down. But the sun came out as I made my way along the ridge and by the time I was at Cac Carn Mor - looking towards the summit of Cac Carn Beag - the sun was shining brightly again! 8)

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Cac Carn Beag from Cac Carn Mor

It was still a bit of a stroll to the summit - but soon I was there and a kind fellow walker took my picture.

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The summit of Lochnagar

And I took in the view - looking down at boulder-strewn landscape of Coire na Saobhaidhe below.

P1060892.JPG
Coire na Saobhaidhe from Cac Carn Beag

To the south-west lay my next Munro, the rounded Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, with the much more dramatic summit, The Stuic on the right to the north.

P1060895.JPG
Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach and The Stuic

So I headed off, past the steep, steep gullies of Lochnagar before heading west on my continuing journey. The Stuic was definitely worth a short diversion and the view over the corrie was simply amazing! :D I met a young couple there and I'm grateful to the girl who took the picture of me - she clearly had photographic skills!

P1060907.JPG
From The Stuic to Lochnagar

I've read that there is a scramble route up the prow of The Stuic from Sandy Loch. Looking from above, I wasn't so sure -it looked pretty steep to me. But I didn't have time to to investigate - although I did enjoy the view!

P1060912.JPG
Looking down from The Stuic

My second Munro of the day was still to be bagged and so it was quickly on to the summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach which is far less an imposing place than The Stuic - but it's a respectable summit all the same. I had to set up my own photo shot this time!

P1060914.JPG
The summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach

It was time for another Munro Top and so I set off north-west and then south-west towards the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Beg. I crossed a bog on the way - but having been in the West Highlands recently I have to say the bogs on the White Mouth seem very tame. Anyway, I reached the summit of this Top and set up my camera on its wee tripod for a summit photo. Did I say that it was windy? Well it was - and halfway through the count-down the camera blew over and - that photo was mainly of grass and soil! The poor camera suffered another scratch on its screen - and I was very careful about the next set-up for the camera - almost placing it in a hole! :lol: . But I had bagged another Munro Top all the same!

P1060919.JPG
The summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Beag

The next Munro was Carn an t-Sagairt Mor - not much higher than Carn an t-Sagairt Beg but with a drop between the two. A good path led through a boulder field on the way down south-westwards from the Beg and then it was steeply up the Mor, passing the old aircraft wreckage that has strewn the hill.

P1060926.JPG
Aircraft wreckage on Carn an t-Sagairt Mor

As I approached the summit cairn another walker approached from the opposite direction. It turns out that Iain (a man with many more Munros to his name than me) was walking the circuit in the opposite direction and here we were arriving exactly together at what was the third Munro of the day for both of us (neat eh! :P ). We shared a few stories and he took my photo (thanks Iain) and we headed off in opposite directions.

P1060930.JPG
The summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor

From there the ridge lay ahead of me with Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn in the distance. I met a young couple on the way down who had camped near Glas Maol the night before and were carrying their complete kit on the journey. I wished them well and carried on my way towards my next Munro summit.

P1060932.JPG
Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn from Carn t-Sagairt Mor

But first I had another Munro Top to visit. Fafernie is a little bit off (about 500 metres) to the south of the main ridge but I reckoned it was worth a visit. There seems to be a good route from there to the south linking to the hills further west. You don't meet so many people at Tops so this was a set-up picture again.

P1060934.JPG
The summit of Fafernie (Top)

But, of course, I had real Munros to do as well - so it was off to Cairn Bannoch - a good looking torr-like summit set amidst a defensive boulder field.

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Cairn Bannoch

The boulders were easily negotiated and soon I was climbing up onto the rocky summit. A couple who had passed me as I had visited my Top, and who were taking a break in the lee of the rocks, kindly agreed to take my picture at the summit - much better than the set-up kind! (Thanks folks! :D )

P1060937.JPG
The summit of Cairn Bannoch

The next top is a bit of a mystery because I passed over a point at 991 metres. Then I walked down a dip and up a little to a cairn marked as Cairn of Gowal on the map at 983 metres. I'll go with point 991 being the top - so here's the picture.

P1060941.JPG
Point 991m - Cairn of Gowal

Broad Cairn was my final Munro of the day and a fine summit it is. The name Broad Cairn is, in my opinion, totally appropriate for this Munro. Another torr, by the look of it, it is just like a huge broad cairn to look at! Finally I had made it to my fifth (and final) Munro summit of the day!

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The summit of Broad Cairn

From, there it was all down hill. First through a boulder-field - which is not my favourite walking territory - but then on down by a good path until I reached about 700 metres. After that it was a long, but pleasant walk down to Loch Muick and along it's south shore back to my starting point at Spittal of Glenmuick.

P1060972.JPG
On the south side of Loch Muick

I had summitted five Munros and five Munro Tops in just over ten hours. I was very happy with my day! Does anyone else on Walkhighlands count Munro Tops - or is it a thing "we dinnea care to speak aboot" ? :lol: Maybe one day we will be able to count our Tops on Walkhighlands too? 8)
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Redrock
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby monty » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:04 pm

Nice report Redrock. Thats a good walk. Hated the walkout though :lol: :lol: Some excellent photos too. :D
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby csimbad » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:58 pm

Great stuff Redrock, good report and pics looks like you had a good day.
Welldone :thumbup:
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby davetherave » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:33 pm

Really enjoyed that report redrock. Thats a big day without doing the tops.

My only regret about doing this round was that we never did Meikle Pap. We did do the Corbett though.

Great report Dave.
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby davechristie1972 » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:58 pm

Great report, Redrock! I'm hoping to do a similar route this time home. I must confess, I'll be bagging a few of the Tops as well, time permitting. You're not the only one!
Just getting into hill-walking (as demonstrated by my numbers) but looking to bag whatever I can (the lists on here, Graham Tops, HuMPs, I'm not fussy!)
Regarding the mystery at Cairn of Gowal, the 983m point is a deleted Munro Top, the 991m point is the new Munro Top. They must have resurveyed the area at some point and changed it.
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Bod » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:42 am

:D very nice report Redrock, particularly like your pics around the Stuic and love the one of you chilled out on Meikle Pap. Lochnagar was a great choice for your 90th Munro and well done getting round the others.... :D
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:43 pm

monty wrote:Nice report Redrock. Thats a good walk. Hated the walkout though :lol: :lol: Some excellent photos too. :D


Thanks Monty. I usually hate long walkouts - but I din't find this too bad. Maybe it's the cheese roll I had on top of Broad Cairn that helped :lol: :lol: Once over the boulder field there was a good path all the way and I just got rolling along! :D I'm glad it wasn't much further though! :)

I didn't have room for the picture from Broad Cairn - here it is now:

P1060954.JPG
From Broad Cairn to Loch Muick


It really was a looooong way!
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:49 pm

davetherave wrote:Really enjoyed that report redrock. Thats a big day without doing the tops.

My only regret about doing this round was that we never did Meikle Pap. We did do the Corbett though.

Great report Dave.


Thanks Dave. Miekle Pap was definitely worth the effort - the views are great from there! :D I'm going to have to do the Corbett another day! 8)
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:55 pm

davechristie1972 wrote:Regarding the mystery at Cairn of Gowal, the 983m point is a deleted Munro Top, the 991m point is the new Munro Top. They must have resurveyed the area at some point and changed it.


Thanks for the info on Cairn of Gowal, Dave. I suspect Tops are less well sorted in the order of things. My guess is that point 983m is what you see from below and hence it got the name in the past! I wish you well in your bagging of Munros, Tops, HuMPs and all! :D
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:59 pm

Bod wrote::D very nice report Redrock, particularly like your pics around the Stuic and love the one of you chilled out on Meikle Pap. Lochnagar was a great choice for your 90th Munro and well done getting round the others.... :D


Aye Bod, it takes some doing to look chilled out when you only have 10 seconds on the timer to hop over the rocks and get settled! :lol: Fancy a scramble up the prow of the Stuic sometime? :D
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby PeteR » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:18 pm

Just discovered your report Redrock. This is a trip I quite fancy myself and so your description is really useful reference. And some great photos too all through your trip :D Here's hoping I have your good fortune shine on me when I 'm up there :lol:
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby gagfax » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:06 pm

Whats the parking ticket setup there, is it per day or per visit? I intend to overnight up there at some point.

Oh and the tops are like a magnet aren't they :lol:
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:17 pm

gagfax wrote:Whats the parking ticket setup there, is it per day or per visit? I intend to overnight up there at some point.

Oh and the tops are like a magnet aren't they :lol:


I didn't notice - but I don't think they have parking wardens to check them! :D I like the tops - just a bit different. And I seem to remember hearing that Hugh Munro set out to do them all - summits and tops - so I'm following our leader! 8)
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Re: The White Mounth Five - and a few tops!

Postby Redrock » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:35 pm

PeteR wrote:Just discovered your report Redrock. This is a trip I quite fancy myself and so your description is really useful reference. And some great photos too all through your trip :D Here's hoping I have your good fortune shine on me when I 'm up there :lol:


It's definitely one for clear weather, Pete. I image it could be quite dreary up there on the White Mounth in the cloud - and navigation would be a challenge too! Hope you get the sunshine for yours! 8)
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