The weather had looked a bit temperamental but we decided since we were on holiday in Braemar to head back to Lochnager anyway and complete the 4 Munros we didn't manage to do on our last visit.
As we drove along the road to Glen Muick we saw the sign for the car park fees. Oops, it is now £4 and I only had £2 in change. Oh, well, need to risk a sticky note on my car window.
We charged up the eroded path towards Lochnager and emerged out on to the bealach in front of the stunning cliffs of Lochnager right in front of you. Then it was a quick turn left up the Ladder which proved a bit of a challenge to Meg, our border terrier, but she mapped out a pretty decent route.
Once at the top of the Ladder, it is a pleasant stroll along a decent track up to Cac Carn Mor. As we had been up Lochnager last year, we swung left at the junction of an obvious path and raced down the excellent path which stretched into the distance. The is a minor path to the left marked by a cairn which takes you about 300 metres to our first Munro of the day, Carn a' Choire Bhoideach. A pretty unassuming summit, we didn't linger long and headed back to the main path and branched left down the stalker's path. At the low point of the path, you cross a burn which is a good place to fill up your water bottles if you need to.
When you cross over a second smaller burn, head northwest up to the top of Carn an t-Sagairt Beag. No need to go to the second cairn as the first one is the top.
Head back the way you came and follow the really obvious path across the bealach towards Munro number 3, Cairn Bannoch, my favourite of the day. A good few ptarmigans were seen on the traverse and we heard, but didn't see an eagle. Plenty of hares though.
After a bit of Battenberg cake to recharge the batteries, we looked at the sky and, stunned that we still hadn't been soaked, marched off towards our last Munro of the day, Broad Cairn. The views from up here were pretty impressive with great views to Loch Muick. Looking around it was good to know we had climbed every Munro we could see in the Braemar/Glenshee area. I exclude those at Lin of Dee!
The boulder fireld in front of us was a bit of a chellnege to descend so we followed Meg for the most part until we got to the bulldoser track. A gentle descent to the sheep pen where we rested on the bench for a cup of tea. Heading left, we followed the track and ignored the small track off to the left, choosing to follow the main track until it descended in zigzags down to Loch Muick. This is a bit of a long trudge along the cliff top and Loch Muick can be pretty bleak on a wet day but the light drizzle at this stage did little to dampen our spirits but I was now thinking about the sticky note on my car window.
8 hours to the minute, and 29.3km later, we arrived back to the car park. With no sticker in sight on the window, we high fived it, threw Meg in the car, and high tailed it before the midges could ruin an amazing day. I promise next time I am up, I will buy 2 car park tickets.
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