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Postby KatTai » Thu May 04, 2017 12:33 pm

Route description: Conachcraig and Gelder Shiel, from Balmoral

Corbetts included on this walk: Conachcraig

Date walked: 04/05/2017

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 22.25 km

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Over the Cairn 'o' Mount we go, across to Crathie where we park in the Balmoral car park. As an added bonus...


Across the bridge, passed the entrance to the castle and following the road across part of the golf course and up the turning to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery before turning onto the estate and following the road up passed the guard point - no royals in residence so there was no one there - and into the forest.


It was a simple case of following the track through the forest and up onto the open moorland where Lochnagar dominated the view - would have been a great day to be up there!


Despite the track being bone-dry, there was still water around for Moss to get a drink (and have a play in the drainage tunnels, she loves going through them!). Didn't need to bring extra water for her, but better safe than sorry!


We could see Gelder Shiel below us hidden in a tiny patch of trees, and took the fork down towards it where we soon came alongside the river where Moss had a bit of a paddle and splash around after whatever little sticky bits I could find to throw for her. Should always have a toy handy...


We went straight passed Gelder Shiel and the bothy and left the landrover track to follow a narrow path alongside the river. Most of the time it was a clear path, though there were a couple of places where the original path had gone and a new path was forming and a few boggy bits where the path was less obvious. Moss was kept behind me just in case there were any adders about. Much as I would like to have spotted one, I would rather avoid a close encounter on the path. The most I heard though was a snake-like sounding rustle of something moving away very quickly as we were heading back up towards the main track.

Moss is very good at posing for the camera!

As is this grouse!

Believe it or not though, we actually managed to miss the first turning up to Conachcraig! Mainly because we were distracted by patches of this white stuff we found, been a bit of a rarity this winter...


Not a problem though, we found another path up to head towards the summit of Conachcraig spotting a couple of moulting hares on the way up.


And then there was the summit!


From here there was a path leading to the other two summits, and then the fun descent began. Moss went off to my right and started bouncing about, went over and it turned out she had found a bit of a path. It was heading downhill so we followed, but it soon disappeared but Moss found another bit of path and we followed that...her nose was to the ground but whether she was following the scent of people who had came up or down that way, or whether it was deer or hare she was following the scent of I have no idea. But whatever she was following seemed to be on a faint path, so I followed. We ended up on a green boggy patch, but it was solid enough to walk on and very much like one of the ski runs at the Cairnwell, it also led pretty much straight down to the track so we just followed it down coming out a bit sooner than on the WH route, not a problem though with the drainage ditch dry.

On the main track again DISASTER! Moss started limping on her back leg. I tried to look at her paws but she kept sitting on them, then jumping up and standing on her back legs for a cuddle...hmmm...eventually I managed to get a look at her paws and legs but couldn't find anything. As I was checking her feet there was a loud rumble like thunder, Moss leapt up and onto the bank to try and see what it was.


Miraculously, she came down cured (or having forgotten about whatever it was that was the problem). The thunder gods had cured her! So we continued on out way following the track back to where we started, passing this little lizard on the way down.


We got back to the car, Moss seemed tired out so I was thinking she would maybe miss training that evening but nope, half hour nap at home and she was raring to go again!

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Re: Conachcraig

Postby Mal Grey » Sat May 06, 2017 7:55 pm

Lovely images, looks like a wonderful way to spend a day.
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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