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Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar


Postby mrssanta » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:18 pm

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Cairn of Claise, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Carn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Glas Maol, Lochnagar, Tolmount, Tom Buidhe

Date walked: 03/07/2011

Time taken: 40 hours

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I think these must be the easiest 11 munros to bag in one expedition as the plateau rarely drops below 900 metres. Having exhausted ourselves with socialising at the family Golden Wedding celebrations we abandoned small daughter with her grandparents and sneaked off for an adventure. we were blessed with a beautiful evening when we parked up at the Glenshee ski centre at about 8.30pm and we were not the only people setting off to enjoy the sunset, but the chap in front of us got way ahead in moments and set off up Glas Maol.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We started off for Creag Leacach and enjoyed the walk along the ridge which in places felt very much like being in the Dales where I grew up - only higher and bigger views.
towards craig leacach.JPG

Reached the top at 9.40pm and had a bit of a narrow escape - we were just undoing the clothing either side of the cairn to have a celebratory leak on the top when someone appeared in the gloaming coming up the ridge from the south - It was an antipodean gentleman who had navigated up there using Google maps on his iphone and was wondering where we could recommend he go the following day.
Next stop Glas Maol where we passed the gentleman who had set off at the same time as us, settling down in his bivi just off the top. what a fabulous spot.
glas maol (4).JPG

We decided to go a bit further on and camp where we could look into glen Isla and get the sunrise. We watched a great herd of deer browsing on the hillside, and there were loads of hares. not very good at the wildlife photography I'm afraid, you just have to believe me.
campsite.JPG

Next morning sadly there wasnt a sunrise to see for 2 reasons, 1 we were asleep and 2 there was a bit of early morning mist but that didnt take long to burn off and by 9.30am we were on the top of the next munro which was Carn of Claise.
from here the pictures are a bit boring as they are mostly of us on the tops of munros, me with my red embarrassing trousers and jacket (but they are very light and the jacket was very reduced in a sale!)
After Carn of Claise came Carn an Tuirc, then a long trek across the moor to Tom Buidhe then Tolmount where we decided it was time for lunch. we were going a lot faster than we expected and were really pleased with ourselves, the weather was lovely and I was keeping up with himself because of my new shiny walking poles.
lunch (2).JPG

From Tolmount there was a lovely bit of down and up to get to Broad Cairn, where we had an interesting demonstration of different ways to find the top - either use your eyes and the map, or use the pre-entered grid references on the GPS, taken off the map. Here's the OH trying to find the top of broad cairn with the modern technology.
looking for what the gps thinks is the top (2).JPG

I must add here that most of them were pretty close, but this one was quite a way off!!
The circle of munros around the head of Glen Muick was great with dramatic views down to Lock Muick. Next after Broad Cairn was Cairn Bannoch and then Carn an t-sagairt Mor where we were fascinated by all the bits of the old plane that were strewn about the hillside.
the crashed ww2 plane.JPG

From there on to Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach at 4.30pm and by this time we were thinking we might finish our two nighter with only one night out, but having arranged to be met at loch Muick the next evening we had to work out what to do next. Fortunately on the top of Lochnagar we got a phone signal and phoned the folks in Aboyne, where after a bit of discussion we decided we'd stay out the second night and meet them at lunch time for our pick up.
by the time we got to the top of Lochnagar it was starting to close in a bit with some rather sinister dark clouds and strong wind. we decided to go down into the corrie and see if there was a suitable campsite there.
lochnagar cliffs.JPG

Actually there isn't really, but having gone all the way down, we didnt feel like going back up again so we camped on the only flattish spot we could find.
campsite lochnagar (2).JPG

they don't call it dark lochnagar for nothing
dark lochnagar.JPG

So we had another night of camping, with the wind coming from the south, over the top of Lochnagar and eddying round into our tent.
In the morning we decided to take the longer route round to Glas Allt Mor by a very boggy and poorly maintained stalkers path, but enjoyed a lovely walk along the shores of loch Muick to the visitor centre where it wasn't long before our lift back to the car arrived with some lovely filled rolls for a picnic lunch.
sundew.JPG
Last edited by mrssanta on Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mrssanta
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Re: Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Postby ChrisW » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:38 pm

Great report mrssanta and a great effort too, some nice pics there to help the story along - hope you got your celebratory leak undisturbed a little later :lol:
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Re: Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Postby mrssanta » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:58 pm

thanks Chris, yes we did, can be a bit of a problem for us ladies if the hills are busy!
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mrssanta
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Re: Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Postby ChrisW » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:55 pm

mrssanta wrote:thanks Chris, yes we did, can be a bit of a problem for us ladies if the hills are busy!


You know what you need http://www.shewee.com/ :wink:
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Re: Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 11:10 pm

Epic stuff Mrs S!

What an outing, I'm so jealous :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Sounds as if the actual ascents are straightforward, is this true?

As for the wee problem. If you want to summon up company on a hill, start unzipping your trousers and folk will appear from nowhere!!! :lol:
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Re: Cairnwell Pass to Lochnagar

Postby mrssanta » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:03 pm

Yes the walk itself is mostly straightforward tho there are bits where you would need to be able to navigate by map and compass if the clag was down. we were really lucky with the weather and visibility.
We don't get out in the hills that often, as we live in England, so we like to get an overnighter when we can. Thank you Grandparents!
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mrssanta
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Posts: 2864
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Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

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