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Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Postby wandering_mills » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:49 pm

Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar

Date walked: 22/10/2012

Time taken: 6.25 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 930m

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I walked this puppy with my friend Alex today. We had some slight reservations last night due to the '4 walking boot' rating on walkhighlands, but it turned out to be fine, and we were lucky enough to have some awesome weather.

We started from the Glen Muick car park. There were some guys out heading for some stalking action, so we hoped we weren't going to get shot. We didn't. We headed across to the river bed, and went through the light woods near the buildings, which we commented looked a bit like where Boromir gets killed in Lord of the Rings. For those who haven't seen it, he basically dies in a wood.
Just at the beginning - cold!

Out the other side of the wood the path heads up steadily, but it's quite a nice easy start: not too strenuous. We had some minor issues where you have to ford a stream. Despite it not exactly being the Ganges, we were worried about getting out feet wet, but felt a bit bad when a more elderly lady powered through it in about 2 seconds.

After that trauma, we continued to head upwards. The path is very clear the whole way, but sometimes the rough rocks are rather annoying to walk on, it's a shame they couldn't pave it. When we got to the top we saw a couple who had bravely taken three dogs with them on the walk that weren't theirs, and they had lost one of them. They all looked the same colour to me, so I wasn't much help finding the third one.

We went up the ladder, which we thought was why this esteemed website gave it 4 walking boots, but it was actually a walk in the park. I had to pretend to take the odd photo en route to get my breath back, but the steps are very clear and it was actually easier to walk up than some of the earlier bits. After that we headed along the ridge to the summit which was easy, although there's one bit where you think you're at the top but you're not, which was annoying.
from the summit looking back
summit again

Once we hit the summit, we nailed some haribos and chocolate and relaxed for a bit. Absolutely beautiful views. I'd put some photos on here, but I've walked 20km today and I don't have the energy. Anyway, the way down was lovely (we went the long route down to the loch). Some routes back can be dull, with a I've-hit-the-summit-now-where's-the-car-park kind of vibe, but this one was good. There was a cool waterfall half way down too. The only negative is the path can be a bit brutal on tired legs, with some rocks and big steps in places. Having said that, we saw two nutters running down, so maybe we were just out of shape.
the waterfall

Once we got the loch it's a bit of a slog back to the car, about 5km at least. The weather was amazing so it wasn't really a chore, but our legs were feeling it towards the end. Afterwards we went for a nice ale in Ballater, which felt very well deserved.

In summary I definitely recommend climbing this one. As long as you are reasonably fit (it is quite long), have good (ish) weather, can navigate and have some warm clothes and waterproofs, you should be ok. The main danger is at the top there are some very steep cliffs if the weather is bad, so if not so experienced much better (and more pleasant) to go when there's good visibility.

Postscript: I put some photos in.
Last edited by wandering_mills on Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Postby ScottishLeaf » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:39 pm

Glad you got a good day on Lochnagar, the walk up knackered me as well. But when you climb into the bealach below the ladder and see the loch and corrie... Awesome!
You'll need to go back to get the other 4 ;) and get those views again too :)
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