by GariochTom » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:49 pm
Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick
Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar
Date walked: 31/03/2013
Time taken: 7.5 hours
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 904m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Lochnagar from the Queen's View near Tarland by GariochT, on Flickr
Sunday came, and the skies were blue again, so we headed out for the Spittal of Glenmuick (a little later than planned, as one of us had forgotten that the clocks went forward the night before...! )
The car park at the Spittal was already almost full, and we were lucky to get a space.
We headed up the icy track from the car park, across the base of Glen Muick and into the forest, following the helpful sign 'Lochnagar Path', up through the trees then out into the open hillside. By now the sky was grey - hardly any blue sky to be seen, which was a bit disappointing considering the promising start to the day.
Cloudy by GariochT, on Flickr
Up the track, we shortly had to cross the Allt na Giubhsaich and as usual I paddled across rather than hopping on stepping stones.
Ford by GariochT, on Flickr
A nervous skiier descended past us, frequently stopping as the slope was a bit too steep and slippery for his liking.
Eventually we reached the turn off to the left, initially descending before starting the main ascent. The combination of grey light and white snow meant that the edges of the snowy banks were very difficult to see, which was slightly disconcerting.
The ascent was quite slow-going in the snow. Near the foot of Meikle Pap a few ptarmigans flew past us before landing on the eastern slopes of that hill. Leaving the track, we approached them and I blindly pointed and clicked my camera towards them (why did I choose a camera without a viewfinder...?). I was pleased with the results!
P1090655 by GariochT, on Flickr
P1090655 - Version 2 by GariochT, on Flickr
P1090657 by GariochT, on Flickr
We then headed back to the track and then slowly up to the bealach, catching up with a couple of other walkers. The buttresses of Lochnagar looked very impressive, caked in snow.
After a short rest we started to ascend the steeper slopes towards the plateau - slow progress again, but eventually we reached the top of the corrie. We gingerly walked a bit closer to the edge of the corrie to have an elevenses stop, then continued skirting around the corrie on much easier ground, frequently stopping to take photographs...
Ascending by GariochT, on Flickr
Cac Carn Beag by GariochT, on Flickr
Above the buttresses of Lochnagar by GariochT, on Flickr
The plateau by GariochT, on Flickr
There were a few people already at the summit when we arrived, including some cross country skiiers.
At the summit by GariochT, on Flickr
After taking more photographs from the top we found a good sheltered lunch spot, looking across to the central Cairngorms. Through binoculars we could see the corries of Cairn Toul above the plunging depths of the Lairig Ghru, the tors on Ben Avon, and of course plenty of other mountains too.
View from the top by GariochT, on Flickr
The northeast slopes by GariochT, on Flickr
Across to the central Cairngorms by GariochT, on Flickr
The view northeast by GariochT, on Flickr
Rather than risking the steep Glas Allt glen, we opted to return the same way that we had come, but we weren't bored by the repeat views!
Lochnagar Panorama by GariochT, on Flickr
Overlooking the corrie by GariochT, on Flickr
A group of people with sleds passed us on their way up to the summit... earlier we had seen someone with snowshoes. Both quicker ways of getting across the deep snow!
Walking party skirting the corrie by GariochT, on Flickr
Once at the bealach, we decided to head up Meikle Pap, and then down the other side.
Ptarmigan tracks by GariochT, on Flickr
The descent back to the car didn't take long, although I did delay things a bit by deciding to put my crampons on for the slightly slippery compacted path - they really weren't necessary but I do want to get my money's worth from them...
Looking back by GariochT, on Flickr
Through the forest by GariochT, on Flickr
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