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Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby PeteR » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:24 pm

Route description: Creag nan Gabhar circuit

Corbetts included on this walk: Creag nan Gabhar

Grahams included on this walk: Mount Blair

Date walked: 09/11/2014

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The second on my flurry of four reports to catch up on recent walks.

If my previous walk over the two Lochearnhead Corbetts was a bit damp and overcast, then this was quite a contrast. All full sun just south of Braemar, as I enjoyed another Corbett; Creag nan Gabhar 8)

Although I knew the Corbett and the WH circuit wouldn’t take me too long I was still keen to get an early start and get as much out of the day as I could. If I had the time then I was planning a quick “splash-n-dash” up the Graham of Mount Blair on the road home :wink:

It was dark as I pulled into the car park at Auchallater. A quick wander outside confirmed a snooze in my still warm car might be in order (I think I’d managed about an hour’s kip before leaving my house at around 3.45 a.m. that morning, so was shattered :shock:)

It’s amazing how quickly the temperature in the car can drop on a crisp, cold autumnal night :crazy: As knackered as I was the cold was feeling like it would be worse, so after another quick wander I was finally awake and suitably booted and suited for about an 8.30 start.
ImageP1120571 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120572 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120574 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

It was noticeably cold in the shade :shock: Brrrrrr, there was definitely a nip in the air as I set off along the excellent landrover track that is signposted to Glen Clova. This section of the walk is easy (well, the whole walk is really) and I was soon at the junction with the stalkers path that was to take me up to Sron Dubh, Sron nan Gabhar and then on to the ridge to the Corbett’s summit.

ImageP1120578 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120583 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
My destination

Again it was easy going, although now I was heading up which inevitably means I slow down :lol: The views were really starting to open up nicely; firstly toward the Mounth and then eventually back toward Braemar and the magnificent Munros of the Cairngorms :D

ImageP1120587 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The climbing started

ImageP1120589 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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Gaining height I started to get the benefit of the sun, which despite the time of the year was still strong enough in the cloudless sky to warm my bones :D :D

Layers were soon being removed as a result.

In terms of the walk to the summit, it was remarkably uneventful really. There’s a good track to follow and so that’s just what I did. But Creag nan Gabhar isn’t a hill where it itself is necessarily the main event. It’s what it is surrounded by that drew my eye 8)

ImageP1120610 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120613 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120617 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

The hills round these parts can often get a bad press as being boring. True, they are not scrambly, pointy things and given the height from which you start there’s many an easy multi-hill day to be had. But I quite like the area, with its picturesque ski development at Glenshee :lol:

As it was, as I headed up Greag nan Gabhar, the views back to the Cairngorms expanded as height was gained. As did views to the west looking over toward An Socach et al. And then I got my first real view of Loch Callater. I had read that this was a spectacular view and I was not being disappointed 8) 8) It certainly looked special looking down on it as I made my way up from Sron nan Gabhar to the summit :D

ImageP1120626 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120631 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120632 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120651 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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ImageP1120669 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

And then, soon enough, I was on the summit of Corbett #70 for me :D

ImageP1120683 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

At this point I was caught by a fellow walker who was clearly putting more a shift on than I was :lol: Said hello to them, but they didn’t seem too chatty, so I left them to their thoughts. I also let them head off ahead of me as I wandered around the summit area just soaking up the views :D

ImageP1120692 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120695 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120700 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120705 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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ImageP1120719 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

I vaguely followed the WH route off the hill, heading down toward the boggy looking saddle before the final drop down to the landrover track back out.

ImageP1120721 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120724 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120725 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

I was mindful of keeping an eye on the time at this point, given it was Remembrance Sunday and I was wanting to spend a few moments around 11.00 for a moment of quiet contemplation. Of course the clock struck eleven just as I was in the heart of the bog land :crazy: But never mind that, a few moments reflection was had no matter where I was standing.

Having spent those few moments in quiet reflection it was time to move on. The grouse had already been very vocal that day, flying out from almost underneath me and squawking loudly as they do :lol: I’ve become quite immune to the noise they make now. On this walk thought I was enjoying another wildlife obstacle, which was doing its best to give me the willies. Mountain Hare, in their white camouflage, were darting about all over the place. On more than one occasion I was practically on top of them and hadn’t even clocked them when they flew out in front of me :shock: :lol: Strange how after the initial shock you can end up completely un-phased by great lolloping Hare springing up in front of you all over the place :lol:

In the initial descent there appeared to be a reasonable path to follow, but this had been abandoned in the bog land, as I had taken a detour round the worst of that mess :shock: It was then a pathless descent for me back to the landrover track, but never difficult at any point.

A word of warning for those who might be tempted to put head down and follow the track home, as I did until I realised the error of my ways :lol: WH suggest following the landrover track for a while, but then taking a sketchy path down to Loch Callater and the Lochcallater lodge bothy.

ImageP1120737 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120743 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Well this “detour” is a must 8) 8)

Loch Callater is stunning 8) 8) 8) 8)

ImageP1120753 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120755 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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ImageP1120773 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

What more is there to say. I was spellbound standing on the “beach”, lost in the utter stillness of the water and the surrounding area :D Absolutely magical :D :D It’s in these moments I realise just how lucky I am to be able to get out and appreciate such grandeur.

I spent a little while just enjoying the scene. I think I want to buy the bothy and make it my home, as it really does enjoy a superb setting (well, on a sunny day for sure :wink:). As I went for a nosey I got talking to a chap who had stayed there the night with his wife and friends having “enjoyed” a less than enjoyable end to their walk up onto Lochnagar the day before; where they had all got a bit of a soaking and a walk back off the hill in the dark by all accounts.

From the bothy it was a simple walk back to the car along the landrover track. Can’t recall how long it is in miles, but I was now setting a good pace as there was time for me to do the splash-n-dash up Mount Blair on the way home.

ImageP1120784 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

But first I had to enjoy a five star an la carte rehydrated meal before setting off for Mount Blair :D Rice Satay……….yummy :D

ImageP1120786 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Where Creag nan Gabhar had been all blue sky and autumnal sunshine, just a few short miles along the road and the cloud had taken over, the ground looked damp and my splash-n-dash a bit less appealing as I parked up in a small, rough parking area just before the gate where the walk starts.

Still, it would be an hour and a half, hour forty five tops, there and back.

I dispensed with the rucksack for this mini adventure, taking just my jacket, woolly hat and a couple of snacks.

ImageP1120788 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120794 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Fair to say it was a bit boggy at the start :shock: As I’d cooled down from my earlier walk I was initially struggling to get any warmth going as I set off, leaving me feeling a little shivery for some reason. I was beginning to worry I might struggle up this easy Graham :lol:

ImageP1120802 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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ImageP1120834 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

As it was, I was making better progress than I perhaps thought and was soon at the top. Although a tiddler of a hill Mount Blair does offer some nice views north toward Glenshee and beyond. It was enjoyable picking out the hills I recognised and had previously climbed.

ImageP1120837 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120839 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120841 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120846 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1120849 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

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ImageP1120854 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

The summit itself doesn’t necessarily inspire you with all the junk up there, but there are still some nice 360 degree views to be had :shock: As with Creag nan Gabhar I spent a little while on the top taking them all in. Then it was a quick descent back to the car. There and back again in one forty five :D :D
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Re: Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:28 am

Great weather you had and superb photos :clap:
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Re: Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby dogplodder » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:37 am

Nice long shot of Cairn Toul. :D You're fairly racking up the Corbetts! I regret not giving them more attention during my Dundee days as it's a long drive to them now. :wink:
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Re: Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby kev_russ » Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:13 pm

Lovely pics pete :)
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Re: Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:47 pm

Enjoyed reading that Pete, some great photo's :clap: :clap:

Might pop up that way over the next few months, doubt if the weather will be that good though :lol: :lol:
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Re: Creag nan Gabhar, Loch Callater and a sneaky Wee Wan

Postby razzah » Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:42 pm

I did this walk the same day with my partner. You started earlier than us though and we didn't see you. It was a lovely walk indeed, especially on a day like that.
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