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Glen Tanar Exploration

Glen Tanar Exploration


Postby RicKamila » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:32 pm

Date walked: 28/08/2012

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 15.2 km

Ascent: 406m

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With such a lovely day forecast, I (Rick) decided to head out on my own for the first time and chose to explore the wonderful Glen Tanar. I sat down the night before on the GPS planner and decided that I would head in the direction of Clachan Yell. Arriving at Glen Tanar car park at 1050am, I paid my parking fee and was off at 11am.

The cows and sheep were grazing in the warm sun as I walked towards St Lesmo's Church. I decided I would make this my last stop on the way back and look at the headstones more closely, so walked past and at the junction I turned right as if heading to the Knockie viewpoint. Keeping straight on the track where it breaks off to reach the viewpoint, I carried on at a brisk pace, stopping only for photos.

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The landscape was a sea of purple heather and ferns and I stopped for a drink and admired the view. The water looked very inviting as it rushed alongside me. This part of Glen Tanar I know extremely well as its where we started our walking back in 2010.

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Stunning colours

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Eventually I reached the bridge that takes you on a loop back to the carpark, but I decided to carry on along the track. I hadn't been down this far before and was taking everything in and taking lots of photos. It was a stunning area, with some rapids and lots of ferns and trees.

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Stone Bridge

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Rapids

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How can you tire of this??


I passed by a hut, it looked like a salmon bothy but I never entered to have a look, and reached a crossing. There was a path to my left climbing uphill, and not wanting to get my feet wet, I took that. If I carried on over the crossing, I would have reached Clachan Yell, but as I wasn't fussed where I was going, I decided to get some height into the walk.

The track narrowed and reached a t-junction, which would have been my path back from Clachan Yell. It took me downhill through a landscape of heather and trees and eventually I reached a man-made loch with a small waterfall under a bridge.

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Small waterfall near man-made loch


I carried on along the path and stopped at some ferns where I had disturbed numerous small birds. I saw my first ever wild Blue Tit, which flew away as I was changing my lens on the camera to zoom in. Also saw a couple of finches and lots of sparrows. I spent a good 10 minutes just watching the birds dart around. One even responded to my whistling.

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Where the birds were


As I carried on, I soon came to a familiar marker which meant I had reached Firmounth Road. I had a choice of going straight ahead to Knockie Viewpoint or turning right and going past the Haunted Stag memorial. I chose the latter. The path took me slightly uphill before it turns sharply to the left and becomes very steep. I counted my steps from the turn up the bit where it starts to flatten out next to a white pole and my step count was 627 (or 750 normal person footsteps). I stopped halfway along to admire more colourful scenery.

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As I was climbing, the cloud rolled in from the west and the breeze picked up and it cooled down quickly. Reaching the top, I got a good view of Mount Battock and Mount Keen. I walked past the Haunted Stag memorials which were erected by the Laird after he shot a Red Deer Stag from a great distance with a primitive gun (1800's I think).

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Two memorial boulders on the moor


I could hear RAF jets in the distance and was ready to shoot (pardon the expression) if they passed by with my camera. The only things I ended up seeing were two gliders from the nearby gliding club. The views to the North were superb, with the Buck and Bennachie clearly visible from this side of the hill. Morven and Loch Kinord looked splendid too.

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Bennachie

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Morven and Loch Kinord

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The Buck of Cabrach


The track winds downhill from this bit as I went right at the t-junction and then left again at the next path. The trees and ferns give this bit a wild feel.

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As I walked down this path, a beautiful butterfly took off from a fern and I stalked it for around 100m waiting for it to settle before I managed to get an amazing photo of it. Later identified as a Small Tortoiseshell (thanks Gythral).

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Simply beautiful. Well worth the 100m stalking


Shortly afterwards it started raining lightly, but stopped once I reached the main track near the Fairy Lochan. As I was walking towards the lochan, a deer scared the you-know-what out of me as it bolted from the ferns and then stopped and looked at me from a distance. I stopped and grabbed my camera and caught it just as it ran again.

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Spot the deer


I sat at the bench at the Fairy Lochan and had my lunch before carrying on to St Lesmo's again and having a good look around it before crossing the main bridge back to the car and heading off home. What a wonderful day I had!!

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St Lesmo's Church

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St Lesmo's entrance
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RicKamila
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby Ranger » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:06 pm

The heather is beautiful at the moment. Went for a wander up Scolty hill recently and, when the sun shines on it, it just looks amazing 8)
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby RicKamila » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:14 pm

Im just waiting for the Thistle's to come out now. Lots of them starting to shoot up out of the ground, but nothing worth capturing on film yet.

Scolty Hill is a great wee hill. Might head up there next week I think.
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RicKamila
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:21 pm

Lovely lovely lovely :D

Hope you're submitting one of those photos for the competition, they are all superb :clap:
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pollyh33
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby RicKamila » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:27 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Lovely lovely lovely :D

Hope you're submitting one of those photos for the competition, they are all superb :clap:


Thanks Polly :thumbup:

Its a toss up between one from Glen Tanar or a castle this time around. Hopefully something that gets me more votes this time!! :lol:
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RicKamila
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby Andrew Wilson » Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:18 am

When you look at these photographs it makes you think "Scotland is such a beautiful place"
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby ChrisW » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:26 pm

Love this RK, when I lived in Banchory this was a local stomping ground for me and I made the most of it, great to see it again now. You got perfect conditions too by the look of it with visibility as far as you wanted to see, lovely photos of a familiar place :clap:
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby RicKamila » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:39 pm

Andrew Wilson wrote:When you look at these photographs it makes you think "Scotland is such a beautiful place"


Indeed you do.
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RicKamila
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby RicKamila » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:40 pm

ChrisW wrote:Love this RK, when I lived in Banchory this was a local stomping ground for me and I made the most of it, great to see it again now. You got perfect conditions too by the look of it with visibility as far as you wanted to see, lovely photos of a familiar place :clap:


Cheers Chris. I did think of you when I was there. I love the place.
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Re: Glen Tanar Exploration

Postby Bod » Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:36 pm

Glen Tanar is a beautiful place and I enjoyed living there for a couple of years. The estate forester was a close friend of mine and it was joy to be part of the community and enjoy the area :D :D :D
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