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Postby paul2610 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:57 am

Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar

Date walked: 30/10/2011

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Lochnagar – it is quite a funny name when you look into it, for a start, reading it as it is you get the impression that perhaps the name came from an old Giza who once lived in a wee cottage by loch Muick, who was perhaps feared due to having an ability to moan people to death or nag. Whereas if you look at its Gaelic meaning ‘Hill of laughter or noise’ you get the impression of an old Giza who lived in a wee cottage by Loch Muick who was perhaps a bit of a comedian and had the ability to lighten the hardiest of moments.


Lochnagar ridge
I think I’ll go with the Gaelic meaning and that the cottage was within the glas allt shiel because it was the autumn yellows of the firs and that quaint river running through the woods there that cheered me up no end after a day spent amongst the windy clouds.
Didn’t really know what to expect from this mountain as I had never been there before, had driven along the A93 countless of times, and been over the Lecht during all weathers and have even delivered milk to the royal residence. I guess being a constant visitor to Aviemore side of the cairngorms, I was expecting something like that, but this was completely different. From the countless stags that crossed my path on the road to spittal of Muick, seeing my destination from the car park (upon my return that is) and the paths, Oh my god the paths.

From Lochnagar back to the carpark
You might nag about being charged £3.00 for the parking, but wait until you walk upto Lochnagar, on paths that are like red carpet treatment. All nicely laid out and with stepping stones right upto the peaks plateau. Of course, if you head away from that peak, the paths return to their normal rough and ready state but if you just wanna do Lochnagar, then expect paths like those from the ski centre above Glenmore upto cairngorm plateau or round to the winter climbing corrie.
The route I choose to do was gonna be a lot longer then what I actually ended up doing, having to cut it slightly due to a growing wind trying its damn hardest to push me off, and I can take a hint. So instead of walking from Lochnagar round to the ridge along broad cairn, I took a detour down to dubh loch which turned out to be surprisingly nice despite being in cloud to about 500m, but saw a few more stags in the wispy mists and the waterfalls down that way are quite fantastic. Of course, for part of the way, there is no path but then again the ground was not wet either for some reason and the ground was undulated in appearance over flattish ground leading to ridges above both loch giving wonderful views down into them (or would when there is no cloud).

The two cairns of lochnagar
glas allt shiel was an area that most surprised me, a sort of wooden pine and fir oasis amongst the mountains. Most of the other people I met on this route were by this place and the gravel tracks along the loch edge, which from what I could see, allow for great easy walks around it, as well upto the surrounding mountain tops on tracks which ease their way up.
Any way less of the waffles, here is some pictures.

The deep corrie seen along the ridge of lochnagar - a good place to escape the wind

waterfasll above loch dubh

looking back at loch dubh

looking down towards loch muick

the autumn yellows

bridge across the river next to loch mick - its big waves in high winds seem suited to a bit of wave surfing!

Loch dubh from the waterfall

one of may little falls in the woods at the southern end of loch muick

Looking back down loch muick towards woods - can see the low gradient of paths upto plateau - rememicent of path above lost valley in glen coe.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby ChrisW » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:29 pm

Great stuff Paul, it's a cracking hill is this one and you've caught one of it's moods really well here :D love the long exposure shots of the waterfalls :D
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby morag1 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:47 pm

Lovely photos of Dark Lochnagar :thumbup:

I read this report with interest because It's on my list of things to do soon

You may be interested to know that Lochnagar is really Lochin -y-Gair, I dont know what it means but I think its something to do with the Lochan found near the top. Lord Byron wrote a famous poem about the mountain and he called it Lochin - y - gair, but over the years it has become known as Dark Lochnagar. Maybe a search on google will come up with more

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