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Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....


Postby munrowalker » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:10 pm

Route description: White Mounth Munros, Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Lochnagar

Date walked: 31/07/2009

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Getting a speeding ticket isn't something I thought I'd EVER have to associate with climbing Munro's....yesterday changed that, and that happened at the end of the day so I'll write that up at end, so needless to say its going to colour the rest of the post.....

Decided to have another day on the hills as part of me holiday and decided to do the Lochnagar circuit (Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar). Knew this was going to be a LONG walk (for me anyway) but warned me wife that I might be a wee bit late home and not to panic.

Left home at 7, and drove up through Glen Shee and knew the hills were just to my right going up through here as they'd teased me when I'd done the Tolmount, Tom Buidhe circuit a month or so back. But it was still a fair bit of a hike round to the car park at Spittal of Glenmuick, especially the last bit which is single track for about six miles.

I'd been warned that you had to pay for the parking, but £3! Hruuumpphh, thought I was in edinburgh city centre for a second at that price! Ah well never mind, as conditions were just perfect. As you can see below in first ever picture in one of my reports....

IMG_0512.JPG
View up the first bit of the path from the car park, with Lochnagar the black hiding bit in the centre.


Two routes you can head up Lochnagar, eitjher head left along the side of Glen Muick or through the trees. I chose the trees route, and glad I did as it felt the most interesting route as I'll explain as I go.

Path is perfect, almost too perfect with not a lot of gradient on the hill at all for the first couple of km, just a case of keep on putting one foot in front of another and crack on. Lots of steps built in on way, all very nice and easy. To my mind route could easily have been a lot shorter but felt like 'flattest' route had been chosen. If I went back I'd probably look to go off the path heading up to make it more interesting.


First peak you see is Meikle Pap and for anyone who hasn't read the map you may think this is going to be the summit, but it aint as Lochnagar hides behind this on the approach. But its a nice way to get the surprise of seeing the beautiful cliffs of Lochnagar as you get up the first biggish rise and they appear in front of you.

IMG_0519.JPG
Lochnagar cliffs


Wind howling away at top here, had been nice and warm till this point as been nice and protected from the wind, so on with the warm hat, gloves and fleece. Skys still nice and blue, with what clouds appearing getting blown away quickly!

Up nice boulder path section, which was good fun to the flat area summit of Cuidhe Crom.

Route to the summit of Lochnagar is pretty obvious still as it follows the edge of the cliffs, with various cairns marking the way, that could be handy in snowy conditions. At one point there was a steep cliff where it looked like it was possible for climbing up. Not for me though!

Then it feels like turning back on yourself almost to head to the summit of Lochnagar and you see a huge cairn looming ahead, which turns out not to the the summit at all, but instead is Cac Carn Mor.
IMG_0525.JPG
Can Carn Mor cairn


get up to this and true summit of Lochnagar is ahead with a quick 10 minute walk across to that in the wind.

Few piccies of this....with the views from the top.

IMG_0526.JPG
summit of Lochnagar


IMG_0528.JPG
views from Lochnagar summit


IMG_0529.JPG
Lochnagar summit trig point



Now its a wee bit of a backtrack and then push along the path to Carn a Choire a Boidhead.

Piccie of the route here. Quite an easy path, but be warned it is dead easy to just walk along the path and miss the summit, remember and take a left to make sure you hit that summit, its flat, its dull but its still the summit!
IMG_0521.JPG
path to Carn a Choire Boadheach



Then its round to Carn t-sagairt Mor, and I'm annoyed at myself here as only found out today that there's wreckage of a Canberra plane up here, and I didn't see it! Maybe someone else has some piccies of that? Moral, find out a bit more before next trip. Two ways of attacking this summit, cut round the front and up the same path you'll take to Cairn Bannoch or up the northerly face of it.

I'd met up with Jose, who wasn't feeling that confident (i could tell as when I met him he had his map spread out on the ground and had no idea where he was) so he tagged alongside me for a while. Wind was whistling away so chat wasn't too great unfortunately but still managed to press on at a nice rate.

Two summit cairns at top of Carn t-sagairt Mor, not sure which was true one, so just as easy to walk to both.

Then its a wee backtrack again to head for Cairn Bannoch which is a nice bouldery summit with some cracking views of cliffs alongside Loch Dubh.
IMG_0535.JPG
path to Cairn Bannoch

IMG_0539.JPG
cliffs along loch dubh


About here Jose had dropped back a fair bit, as he stopped to take some piccies of some deer, I tried to take them as well, but just too far away for me camera, he fell in tow with another couple we'd seen earlier on so didn't feel bad about leaving him behind as I think he was struggling with my pace a bit. I was on a bit of storm as knew this was supposed to be an 8-10 trip and wanted to crack on as I knew it was a good 2 1/2 drive home afterwards!
IMG_0540.JPG
path to Broad Cairn


Forgot to mention that all the ascent has really been done to get to Lochnagar, after that its pretty shallow ascent/descent wise and can be walked along at a nice brisk pace.

Walking along towards Broad Cairn I could see on my right Tolmount & Tom Buidhe, with some cracking cliffs in between them. Didn't see those in the mist when I did them!

Broad Cairn is nice and bouldery as well at the top, met in with a german family who asked me if I knew which mountains were round about this one, got the dad to dig out his map and showed him where they were at. Their kid was super fit, as he must have reached the summit a good 10 minutes before them. They were doing the opposite route in heading alongside Loc Muick to Broad Cairn, whereas I was heading that way.

And this is the best reason for doing these hills in this route. The view along Loch Muick is spectacular!
IMG_0541.JPG
views along Loch Muick


Photos really dinnae dae it justice, with the wind whipping along the surface of the water, gourgeous. Path can be seen all the way along back to the start, and I reckon it was going to be about 8-9 km of walking along an easy path.

Drop down to what I assume is a farmers hut, with a nice seat outside with a sign "Sandy Seat", nice one as it was a nice shaded bit to grab some lunch. Saw a guy here in an england football strip asking another walker for directions. Looked a bit lost! He'd no map, water or anything with him, not prepared at all.

Path split in two about here and route I took was higher route alongside the Loch to keep the views, but other route dropped down to Loch and if I was doing these hills again would take that for a bit of variety.

Wee twisty bit downhill, with some horrid metal drainage slots in path, really ugly buggers of things.
IMG_0548.JPG
views back to Broad Cairn


Then its a straight line at full speed back to the car park, with feet feeling like a pound of mince by this point after 29.5km!

But it was worth it as had managed to keep up a good pace all the way with total route taking 6hrs 52mins, including breaks! Methinks the guide of 8-10 hrs in good conditions is maybe a bit off!

Really having a fantastic time till now, couldn't wait to get home to tell wife all about it. And naturally decided to well...speed...a wee bit, as you do....

For some daft reason rather than backtracking through glenshee decided to head for Aboyne and down to Dundee. Bad decision. I'm sure we all know about the DOZENS of speed cameras on that road, but I know the road well so know when to slow down for them. Little did I expect a cop car parked right next to one to catch people who slow down at the cameras and then speed up again! Flashing lights and he stops me.

No point arguing, and another 3 points & £60 on my licence, thats me on 10 points, so no more speeding for me until they've dropped off, which is another 5 months, grrrrr!

Won't say it ruined my day as was a brilliant trip, just going to take me longer to get to hills and back from now on!
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munrowalker
 
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:00 am

Ugh - sorry about the ticket... of course, coming up from England, we don't have much choice but to speed a bit or we'd never get there!! Last time I drove back from Ullapool it was 10 hours drive! And parking in the Lakes is far worse than that (although that is pretty steep for Scotland) - more like £6!! :o

Lovely pic of the view back down to Loch Muick... I'm going to do Lochnagar separate (with The Stuic) and then Broad Cairn and its top separate as I want to walk up past the Dubh Loch.
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby sloosh » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:43 am

Nice report. Took me back... :)

Bummer about the speeding ticket though. :(
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby kevsbald » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:51 pm

I am always flabbergasted at folk on the hill who are 'lost' with no materials/maps with them. In summer they'll get away with it but in Winter, it's the mountain rescue who'll need to pick their foolish butts off the hill.

Looks like a great route and wondered about reversing this, apart from Lochnagar, as I've done that.
You may see your route in reverse soon enough! Hopefully without the speeding ticket - oocha! :evil:
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:28 pm

kevsbald wrote:Looks like a great route and wondered about reversing this, apart from Lochnagar, as I've done that.
You may see your route in reverse soon enough! Hopefully without the speeding ticket - oocha! :evil:


Can't usually go fast enough in reverse! :D :lol:
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby HighlandSC » Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:10 pm

Good report Munro walker :D

munrowalker wrote:No point arguing, and another 3 points & £60 on my licence, thats me on 10 points, so no more speeding for me until they've dropped off, which is another 5 months, grrrrr!


Ouch! You have my sympathies!
I ran on 11 points for 3 years! - not a good position to be in! All clear now though :D

Mind and take it easy on the right foot for the next 5 months :lol:
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:00 pm

My last shifty leader was on about 10 points and had already offloaded another 10 points or so onto his missus... so his next offence would have had them tossing up to see who stopped driving!! He needed to drive a long way to work anyway and I think she could have got the bus so I'm guessing he'd have won that one!
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby munrowalker » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:26 pm

mountain coward wrote:My last shifty leader was on about 10 points and had already offloaded another 10 points or so onto his missus... so his next offence would have had them tossing up to see who stopped driving!! He needed to drive a long way to work anyway and I think she could have got the bus so I'm guessing he'd have won that one!


Wife refused point blank to take ANY of my points off me. She says her licence is clean and has never had any points and isnt taking any of mine. Fair enough but if I lose my licence she'll be running me everywhere, and at weekends when she likes to a for a runny in the car, she'll be driving.

And yes my right foot is slackened off now I've to take care. Feels like I'm hardly moving driving at 70 now! Have to concentrate so much keeping it at EXACTY 70!
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Re: Lochnagar Circuit & ticket....

Postby mountain coward » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:51 pm

I suppose in a way, that's saving you money her not taking points as it would no doubt put your motor insurance up somewhere down the line if you both had points...
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