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Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.


Postby Scotjamie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:54 pm

Route description: White Mounth Munros, Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar

Date walked: 26/07/2010

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 29 km

Ascent: 1300m

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Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.
If ever they create a walking trail the length of Glen Muick I shall walk it. Driving through the glen is all right, but only serves to tease with flashing glimpses of rock, river and lovely birchwoods all the way to the wild and empty higher tract that introduces Loch Muick. So wild, however, that a camping spot was difficult to identify. I was about to ignore the no camping sign at the car park picnic area when the stair rods of rain started pounding the car, that promptly substituted as my tent for an unsettled night!! When raining stair rods, the debate about whether tents should pitch inner or outer first is overtaken by the “pitch bugger-all first” strategy, and the “sleep in the car wimp” strategy.
White Mounth & Socach 003.JPG
Glen Muick Glaur

The view out of the car window was dreich and uninspiring as I awoke slowly with cramp on a damp morning feeling shabby, resolved by a quick brew and a weel-kent breakfast of weetabix, midges and banana in warm milk - suddenly splendid…..
Heading for Lochnagar by a leisurely 8.30am, on the well signposted path.
Walking on trying to read the weather and see what wildlife is around when a directional instinct kicked in - I had missed the well signposted turn-off in the path, so retraced embarrassed steps and let’s try that again….
Heading for Lochnagar by a leisurely 8.45am on the well signposted path.
White Mounth & Socach 006.JPG
The clear path to Lochnagar

A little wildlife
White Mounth & Socach 005.JPG
Wee wet winking long legged Lochnagar froglet
and easy walking up to the Bealach between Meikle Pap and Cuidhe Crom
White Mounth & Socach 007.JPG
Cuidhe Crom, Meikle Pap and a peeping Lochnagar
for views of Lochnagar’s cliffs
White Mounth & Socach 009.JPG
Lochnagar cliffs
. Then up the amazing man-made rock ladder that includes huge flat boulders helicoptered in to form some of the steps.
White Mounth & Socach 011.JPG
The 'ladder' from the Meikle Pap bealach
Round the cliffs to Lochnagar with a view back down the path to Glas Allt Shiel.
White Mounth & Socach 013.JPG
The path back down to Glas Allt Sheil
Then on up to the summit .
White Mounth & Socach 015.JPG
The first crazy cairn with the Cac Carn Beag summit beyond
White Mounth & Socach 025.JPG
A little bagger on Cac Carn Beag
The sky hovering seven inches above my head for much of the walk, but as I reached the summit of Cac Carn Beag the sky descended to 7 inches below my feet!
White Mounth & Socach 017.JPG
The summit trig point

White Mounth & Socach 020.JPG
Play Misty
At this point I hesitate. Without Malcolm, my usual companion and expert navigator, I am worried about my fairly average map reading skills should the weather close in on the expanse of the white mounth ahead. I think I am competent enough but being a mountain feartie I assess the risks very thoroughly…. and then again. The sky cleared for a view of the good looking well trod path to Carn a Choire Bhoidheach that I know goes all the way to Carn an Sagairt Mor, so that navigation decision was easy.
White Mounth & Socach 026.JPG
Path to Carn a Choire Bhoidheach - the round lump on the right
I can follow as far as is straightforward, and the worse that can happen is that I have to retrace steps back along the clear path over Lochnagar and down to Loch Muick. A chat with a couple of other walkers, equipped with GPS, revealed they reassuringly planned to do the round, and I was attentive to how far behind me they were.
And so I move on past the Stuic and the corrie that cradles Loch Nan Eun and Sandy Loch,
White Mounth & Socach 027.JPG
The Stuic and Loch Nan Eun
over Carn a Choire Bhoidheach
White Mounth & Socach 034.JPG
Carn a Choire Bhoidheach cairn
to Carn an Sagairt Mor,
White Mounth & Socach 037.JPG
Carn an Sagairt Mor - the next round lump on the right
with views over to Cairn Bannoch and the cliffs of Creag an Dudh Loch
White Mounth & Socach 039.JPG
View from the path towards Creag an Dudh Loch and Cairn Bannoch
.
White Mounth & Socach 041.JPG
Summit of Carn an Sagairt Misty Mor
Then it became mucky, very mucky.
White Mounth & Socach 048.JPG
Carn an Sagairt Mistier Mor
I knew I had taken a good bearing off Carn an Sagairt Mor, and the path would carry me off the mountain, but the tops tended off the main paths, rejoining them later. Cowardice is the better part of valour and I waited till I was caught up by Campbell from Aberdeen and his GPS Glasgow chum. Great decision, not because of the weather, or because of the compass doubts (my bearing proved true enough) but because they were great craik, all the way up to Cairn Bannoch, the summit invisible to all except a GPS reading, and then onto Broad Cairn, with a pic of the very friendly Campbell as the afternoon sun begins to flex a still unimpressive muscle or two
White Mounth & Socach 051.JPG
Campbell atop a clearing Broad Cairn
.
All walkers know two truisms of the hills:
1. the glaur is only there to ensure you better appreciate the nice days, and
2. The glaur is there only as long as you are on the tops – it disappears the minute you leave the last top.
White Mounth & Socach 066.JPG
Clearing view over to Lochnagar on the descent
And so off Broad Cairn, with a choice between the first left turn to the lochside path or continue on the high road that offers easier walking and may help avoid lochside midges. The third way is to mistakenly turn right into Glen Doll. I chose, and recommend, the first path that descends lochside and continues the long length of Loch Muick,
White Mounth & Socach 070.JPG
Path along the east bank of Loch Muick
one of the more satisfying long walks out as it threads through heather, rock and waterfall,
White Mounth & Socach 077.JPG
Into Loch Muick
with super views back up the Allt Dubh Loch
White Mounth & Socach 067.JPG
View back up Allt an Dubh Loch with two outflows
and across to the Glas Allt Shiel.
White Mounth & Socach 072.JPG
Lodge at Glas Allt Shiel - another route to Lochnagar

I drove back down Glen Muick and onto Braemar. After two nights wild camping in tent and car, personal hygiene concerns about new forms of evolutionary life in dark and irretrievable parts, persuade me to a 25 minute hot shower at the Braemar campsite. A quick meal, a brew and a large Glenfarclas 105 in the dissolving sun – a great end to a great day and just where I want to be - navigation be damned, as Spike Milligan said, “everybody’s got to be somewhere”.
White Mounth & Socach 084.JPG
everybody's got to be somewhere
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby rogers » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:18 am

enjoyed your walk report, hoping to do lochnagar soon, your photos give a good idea of what to expect, hope the weather is a bit kinder to me, i stopped at loch muick last wednesday evening after our backpacking trip to the central cairngorms, plan was to camp near the loch that night but decided not to bother, the midges in that area were pretty bad compared to our previous 3 nights, although i did notice someone had pitched there tent not far from the parking area.
Last edited by rogers on Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby monty » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:04 pm

Nice report Scotjamie and some nice pictures in the drechit weather :lol: :lol: :lol: Good effort. :D
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:42 pm

Good report. I must get back to Lochnagar sometime - I turned back about 1km from the summit in winter: high winds/icy plateau = fear of getting blown over the cliffs!
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby Scotjamie » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:27 pm

Thanks rogers
Am sure the no camping rule can be flexible near the picnic area particularly since the warden seems to leave after 8pm but don't tell anyone else :? If I go again, a very good low level wild camp site looks to be the other end of Loch Muick where the Allt an Dubh Mor enters the loch. From there, I'd like to walk up the Glas Allt Shiel and then back round to end up at the camp site at the lochside path. Steeper at first but great, easy walking once up top.

monty wrote:Nice report Scotjamie and some nice pictures in the drechit weather Good effort.

Thanks monty - will have to half my time to keep up with your pace and will have to buy something other than my 5 yr old idiot-proof-point-&-shoot to compare with Kinley. On 2nd thoughts I'll just stop comparing

HighlandSC wrote:high winds/icy plateau = fear of getting blown over the cliffs!

Thanks Highland SC - a very wise departure, the Lochnagar corrie would become very scarily close and personal in wind and skating rink.
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby Graeme D » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:49 am

Scotjamie wrote:When raining stair rods, the debate about whether tents should pitch inner or outer first is overtaken by the “pitch bugger-all first” strategy, and the “sleep in the car wimp” strategy.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Myself and a friend are just back from a couple of days in Kintail and we almost succumbed to these alternative strategies as well, but there was a break just in time to allow us to get the tents up. :)

I enjoyed this report - excellent pictures and story with a healthy dose of mountain black humour thrown in for good measure! :lol:
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby tilley hemp th5 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:57 am

good report on a long walking day capturing a good number of munro's on the way.
thanks for sharing. did only the lochnagar summit when i was up that way...but this (long!) route looks a much more interesting day.
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby Blue Bear » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:21 pm

Excellent report with essential dose of humour on our ever changing weather-myself and the usual suspects are doing this circuit on the 18th-we are heading up the afternoon before and hoping to camp overnight - :( to get an early start. Let you know how it compares. :lol:
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Re: Lochnagar, the White Mounth munros and a compass.

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:47 pm

Hills I look forward to returning to - either after compleation or as a winter day out. So much on offer - cliffs, lochans, easy walking, great views :) . Good enjoyable read :) .

Re: the 2 truisms - we all know them :? .
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