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Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!

Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!


Postby KatTai » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:41 pm

Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar

Corbetts included on this walk: Conachcraig

Date walked: 21/07/2020

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 23.6 km

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It was Zena's 2nd birthday and I decided for her birthday we'd go for a nice walk up one of my favourite Munro's that I've yet to repeat with my current girls having done this one with Millie 5 years ago. Why this one hasn't been repeated I don't know, but that has now been corrected!

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The birthday girl


Having heard about the parking choas at Glen Muick I opted for an early start, a very early start. We were walking by 5am! There was some distractions along the road leading to the car park in the shape of several large herds of deer first a couple of groups of hinds and then several groups of stags who were well on their way to growing back their antlers ready for the autumn rut.

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Stags in the mist


There were a good dozen or so vehicles already parked, most I'm guessing belonging to wild campers there were a number of tents in the grassy area and woods near to the car park and I suspect a few more people may well have decided to camp at Glas-allt-Shiel. My car joined them, one ticket machine was out of order and the other decided it didn't want to take my money though I have bought a season pass the last couple of years and never used it so I think that's a fair deal :lol: We followed the track down passed the visitor centre taking the signposted turning to the right to head towards Lochnagar.

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Mist over the river


Dogs have to be on the lead or at heel in this section, I just used the lead, but once out dogs can be off-lead as long as they stick to the path and are under control. Good news for Moss, not such good news for Zena because there were yet more deer on the hillsides and the last thing I wanted was her taking off after deer! Moss on the other hand couldn't care less about deer and decided to take sticking to the path a bit too literally...

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Sticking to the path


It's an easy track to follow, even if it does get a bit stony in places, with a ford crossing which gave me trouble the first time, this time a bit less trouble. I've improved quite a bit with regards to crossing water without a bridge over the last 5 years :lol: As a bonus, the midges which launched an attack at this point the previous time were absent - phew!

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Deer spotting


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Hinds and fawns


Lochnagar came into view and shortly after we reached the cairn that marked the point to take a path towards Lochnagar, but we opted for a little detour up the Corbett Conachcraig first - Zena bagging her first Corbett. It added 40 minutes and 2.5km to the walk, so not a huger detour and we did have some fun playing around the tors at the summit. So many choices of posing spots for the dogs!

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Blinded by the light


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Zena on a tor


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Moss on a tor


We headed back down to the cairn on the track and this time took the clear, well-made path that headed towards Lochnagar, some pools providing some refreshment for the dogs. Having done Conachcraig I was going to skip Meikle Pap, we did actually go passed the first path that led up to it but looking at the corrie persuaded me to ad on Meikle Pap as well. A short detour, but great views if a bit breezy though.

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Following the path up


Back to the bealach and back on the path to climb up onto the plateau. The path through the boulders is mostly clear and makes the ascent so much easier with the views across to Lochnagar which still looked so far away.

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Lochnagar


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Path through the boulders


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Nice cairn but not the summit


The clear path continued to lead the way with lots of stone steps, so many steps! We reached the cairn at Cac Carn Mor where we met the first other walkers and the summit of Lochnagar suddenly looked so much closer than expected! It was an easy walk down into a dip before up to reach the summit that had kept hiding in the cloud but was clear when we reached it.

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That's the summit!


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Munro 11 for Zena and 47 for Moss!


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View from the summit


Time for the descent, Zena allowed some free-time off-lead to stretch her legs and as she seemed to have got some of the energy out of her plus we hadn't seen any deer around, she remained off-lead as we followed the path alongside the Glas Alt.

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Well-made path by the Glas alt


There was a notice at the start about the bridge being replaced and might not be passable, I did already know about that as I'd seen a post on twitter, and I did worry a bit about what to do if there was no bridge but there was a bridge there! A bit of clambering to get up onto it with the aid of a handy boulder and a careful drop down at the other side while the dogs - who normally charge through bogs and streams without a problem and had already practically crossed this steam several times when they went down for a drink - tried to figure out how they could get across the bridge too :eh: But when I called them across they did the simple thing and paddled through the water to the other side.

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New bridge


There is some repair work being done on the path along here and we stopped to chat to one of the guys working while Moss decided another clearly wanted to give her belly rubs. There are some bags of rocks and gravel and it took a bit of clambering around to get across but was mostly fine and we reached the steeper part of the descent alongside the falls.

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Clear water


Eventually the going eased and the view of the beach on the shore of Loch Muick came into view. Cutting through the woodland we headed there where we stopped for lunch, including mini cakes and doggy biscuits for the dogs to celebrate Zena's birthday followed by a splash around in the loch.

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Not far to the beach now!


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Mini-cake for the birthday girl!


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Doggy bourbon creams


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Fun in the loch


There were a fair few people passing, and I could see more people walking along the path around the loch. The more I looked, the more people I saw. Following the track there were more and more people and in the distance I saw cars which had parked up at the side of the road. Setting off early had been a good idea! The car park was full when I got back and there were cars parked along the road including in passing spaces - there was no where to pull aside if a vehicle was coming the other way. Fortunately I made it passed the cars without coming across anyone heading towards the loch and we were on our way home after a fantastic day.

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Deer at the start of the walk, and there was deer at the end of the walk!
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KatTai
Wanderer
 
Posts: 826
Munros:52   Corbetts:15
Grahams:8   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:26   
Islands:25
Joined: Feb 12, 2015

Re: Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:47 pm

Was it as busy as today???

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-53608672

Conachcraig is an enjoyable walk but the views over to Lochnagar meant that when I got home and checked my photos there weren't very many of the Corbett.

Great photos of your dogs (as always).
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Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1879
Munros:112   Corbetts:63
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
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Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!

Postby KatTai » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:15 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Was it as busy as today???

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-53608672

Conachcraig is an enjoyable walk but the views over to Lochnagar meant that when I got home and checked my photos there weren't very many of the Corbett.

Great photos of your dogs (as always).


That is mental! No not quite that bad, there was a bit of rain in the afternoon when we were there which I guess put some people off :lol: I don't understand how so many people find parking like that acceptable.
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KatTai
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Posts: 826
Munros:52   Corbetts:15
Grahams:8   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:26   
Islands:25
Joined: Feb 12, 2015

Re: Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:32 am

Cracking pictures Kat. I was on Lochnagar myself a couple of weeks ago. :D
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Re: Lochnagar and Conachcraig for Zena's 2nd birthday!

Postby KatTai » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:49 am

Sunset tripper wrote:Cracking pictures Kat. I was on Lochnagar myself a couple of weeks ago. :D


Thank you :D It was a great day, though both myself and Moss were feeling it afterwards! Zena was still zooming...
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KatTai
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Posts: 826
Munros:52   Corbetts:15
Grahams:8   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:26   
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Joined: Feb 12, 2015

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