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Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:28 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Conachcraig

Date walked: 10/10/2014

Time taken: 3.4 hours

Distance: 13.7 km

Ascent: 613m

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The forecast for today seemed to be much better in the east, I decided I would head for the Cairngorms but with all the Munros done with the exception of the Braeriach 4 I looked for a Corbett and this one seemed like a decent choice as it's been years since I've been to Glen Muick.

With the Glenshee road still being shut I set the alarm for 5 rather than 5.30 (don't suppose it makes much odds - it's still too early) and arrived at the large car park at 7.45am to be greeted with the roars of the red deer, the nearest seemed to be in the woods beside the car park but the sounds were coming from all over the glen - what a fantastic sound and a great start to the day.

As I set off the moon was still bright over Lochnagar and the sun wasn't very high in the sky so only the tops had an orange tint to them with the glen quite cool with some mist patches. The weather however was looking good, clear skies and flat calm - perfect for the day ahead.

1.jpg
Following the signs for Lochnagar


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Patchy mist


3.jpg
The view ahead


4.jpg
Moon still high in the sky


With the deer still in good voice I headed up the Lochnagar track. I think I did this hill about ten years ago and it was only as I left the treeline and headed in to the more open glen that I remembered there was a river crossing ahead. Although the water level was higher than I remembered it, it was still possible to cross without getting wet feet (an accomplishment for me this year).

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An orange tint to the early morning light


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Good easy track


7.jpg
Looking back to the misty glen floor


9.jpg
Grouse in no rush to leave it's perch


After the river crossing the gradient steepens but it's still an easy walk up to the cairn where the Lochnagar path heads off to the left and right beside the cairn I took a right turn to start the climb. It was nice to be off the main track but I had my back to Lochnagar so had to keep looking round to look at the unfolding view as I gained height.

10.jpg
I was so tempted at the top of the track to turn left for Lochnagar


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Being watched


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13.jpg
Looking over to Lochnagar


I hadn't checked to see what height I was at when I left the main track so I hadn't appreciated that a lot of the climb had already been done so when I reached the top of the first hill on this new path I was shocked to find that all that was left was a wander along the wide plateau. Some nice tors along the way and it didn't take long to reach the summit of Conachcraig.

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Heading towards Caisteal na Caillich




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Looking north


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Looking north again


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That hill again


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The views west were brilliant in the clear early morning light but there wasn't a lot to see to the east with the still low sun. I wandered over all the tops before retracing my steps back to the main track. There was still a lot of red deer around at this point so I stopped for a few minutes before heading back down the main track. Just as I was leaving some geese went overhead and they tried to compete with the deer but there was to be only one winner today.

23.jpg
Heading back down to the main track with the Lochnagar path in the background


Safely negotiated the river crossing (less elegantly this time) and I was back in the trees before I saw my first human of the day. From the woods back to the car I probably saw about a dozen people so assume the Lochnagar summit would be a busy place.

25.jpg
River crossing


26.jpg
Looking back from River Muick


Back at the car park, absolute silence, anyone starting their walk now would have no idea what this place was like just 3.5 hours earlier - well worth setting the alarm early.

Nice little hill this one but with Lochnagar so close I assume 90% of the people heading up the main track probably don't even know of it's existence (I didn't ten years ago when it was my turn to do the Munro).
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:16 pm

This one been on my radar for a few years now, oneof my nearest Corbetts 'still to do' :) Looks like we'll worn path even after leaving the Lochnagar path! Like you I want to double up with something further North. Early start Gordie :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Bod » Sat Oct 11, 2014 3:59 pm

Very nice report and lovely pictures ..... what a stunning mountain Lochnagar is, all the better to be seen from its neighbour. I think I will following your footsteps one day soon :D :D :D
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby larry groo » Sat Oct 11, 2014 6:58 pm

Great hill and cracking photos!

:clap:
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby litljortindan » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:28 pm

Good pictures of Lochnagar and another hill for us to consider.
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:40 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:This one been on my radar for a few years now, oneof my nearest Corbetts 'still to do' :) Looks like we'll worn path even after leaving the Lochnagar path! Like you I want to double up with something further North. Early start Gordie :crazy: :crazy:


Early hill starts are easy Rod, it's tomorrow morning when the alarm goes off that it gest harder :(.

Looks like your nearest Corbett north of this one is Brown Cow Hill but probably getting a bit late in the year to fit both in on the one trip - maybe a combo wth Carn Mor??
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:42 pm

Bod wrote:Very nice report and lovely pictures ..... what a stunning mountain Lochnagar is, all the better to be seen from its neighbour. I think I will following your footsteps one day soon :D :D :D


Thanks Bod - it's strange picking a hill because of the views to another hill but that's basically what I did and I was lucky to get such good weather at least in the early part of the morning.
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:43 pm

larry groo wrote:Great hill and cracking photos!

:clap:


Thanks larry groo - it's a wonder I didn't hurt my neck the number of times I kept turning round to look at Lochnagar.
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 4:45 pm

litljortindan wrote:Good pictures of Lochnagar and another hill for us to consider.


That lists getting bigger litljortindan - just don't take 10 years to do your report :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Silverhill » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:01 pm

Lovely! Well worth the early start! :D
I have only heard the roaring of deer in the middle of the night whilst wild camping. :shock: It must be great at day time!
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby rockhopper » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:24 pm

That looked very enjoyable :thumbup: Can remember adding this hill on to the Lochnagar round and seeing very little in the mist - tough ascent through long heather but the descent via your route was a much better idea - cheers :)
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby gmr82 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:49 pm

Lovely walk Gordie - cant disagree with the cracking views onto Lochnagar. I added this onto the 5 Munros, on a sunny July Saturday (i.e couldnt have been any busier), yet I detoured up to Conachcraig for 30-40 mins and encountered nobody!

You should try the Graham, Geallaig Hill (N of Conachcraig). Obviously the views arent as good as Conachcraig, but its another shot of the corrie!
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:59 pm

Silverhill wrote:Lovely! Well worth the early start! :D
I have only heard the roaring of deer in the middle of the night whilst wild camping. :shock: It must be great at day time!


Hi Silverhill

It's getting to that time of year where early starts are necessary if driving any distance but to be honest I don't mind them.

This was a good day, combining this hill with a quick drive over to Braemar for another Corbett in the afternoon.
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:01 pm

rockhopper wrote:That looked very enjoyable :thumbup: Can remember adding this hill on to the Lochnagar round and seeing very little in the mist - tough ascent through long heather but the descent via your route was a much better idea - cheers :)


Hi rockhopper - shame you didn't get any views, great hill for photographing Lochnagar even if it is fairly forgettable itself.
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Re: Conachcraig - in the shadow of Lochnagar

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:03 pm

gmr82 wrote:Lovely walk Gordie - cant disagree with the cracking views onto Lochnagar. I added this onto the 5 Munros, on a sunny July Saturday (i.e couldnt have been any busier), yet I detoured up to Conachcraig for 30-40 mins and encountered nobody!

You should try the Graham, Geallaig Hill (N of Conachcraig). Obviously the views arent as good as Conachcraig, but its another shot of the corrie!


Hi Gav - good to hear from you, you've been quiet lately...............

Had a look at Geallaig Hill, looks good for a winter walk.
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