Bare foot hiking & slippery nipples in the south Cairmgorms
by Mountainlove » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:24 pm
Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick
Munros included on this walk: Cairn of Claise, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an Tuirc, Lochnagar, Tolmount, Tom Buidhe
Date walked: 06/07/2013
Time taken: 15.5 hours
Distance: 39.7 km
Ascent: 2029m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
With a warm and sunny weekend in the forecast hill walking was the only option and I had arranged to meet up with my friend Colin to return to the southern Cairngorms to complete a few more Munros over the period of 2 days.
During Saturday we had planned to climb up Lochnagar and Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach to finally complete the White Mount .We started the walk at 14:00h - rather late due to heavy traffic, but with the long days neither of us was worried. Lochnagar has such a hype about it, but personally I always liked the story of the old man who in search of piece and quiet (and a hot bath) moved into a cave and dragged a bathtub inside (most logical thing to do up any mountain)
As it was late we aimed for the normal path from Glen Muick. Grumpily paying the 3 Pound parking fee , we parked the car at the overflowing car park and made our way up the mountain.
The sheer amount of people who we passed, was incredible and unexpected. From walk descriptions I expected a long drag, but even though it takes a while to reach the summit, the path was pretty easy and not too steep. The further we got to the top, the more people passed us on the way down and our hopes were high to have the summit to ourself.
The lovely start of the walk
The corrie...nice, but not as spectacular as I thought they would be
The first view of the corrie was a disappointment. There is such a hype about it and my expectations were skyhigh, but in reality it did not impress me as much as some places in Torridon. I guess discovering places by mistake are always better! The path started to climb steeply and shortly after we stood at the top and the Cairngorm platform lay in front of us. The wind had also picked up and I was soon wrapped in my jacket. We moved on and passing the next group of people I realized that one of them was Michael, who I had last met in 2011 up a hill in Glencoe. Funny how you meet some people only up hills. Michael if you read this hello again and good luck with your climb up the Matterhorn!!
Walking along we soon came into view of what we thought was the top cairn. Climbing to the top we took some photos, sharing a 'well done to us' and while scanning the surroundings, we suddenly realized that the real top was quite a distance away- ups!! Looking around in embarrassment , we moved along until we reached the correct top.
We later found out that the top we climbed first is called 'The nipple' (from far away you realize why) and had discussions if it would be called the hard nipple in winter, or the slippery nipple in the rain???
Colin on the 'nipple'
Me windswept and interesting???
Looking down from the real top...steep!
Views from the top
On the real top we took some more pictures, but yet again I failed to see how this hill could be so special. We soon moved on towards the next Munro, but on the way Colin pointed towards the edge of the cliff we had skipped on the way up. When we reached the edge a huge drop with some of the most stunning views I have seen lay ahead...ok now I get it I thought...this was spectacular.
After what seemed like ages we dragged ourself away and continued towards Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach
Walking along the grassy ground was easy. So easy that I decided to tick one item off my bucket list 'To walk up a Munro with bare feet', The ground was ideal (I am not hardcore enough to try it over sharp rocks) So after taking my boots off, I continued to the top. Colin who was used to my strange ideas, declined when I asked if he wants to try a barefooted walk ...maybe just as well , as by the time I reached the top I got some strange looks from 2 other walkers we met at the top.
As we had plenty of time to spare we decided to make it a round and take the path down to Glen Muick. It is slightly longer, but it's a beautiful route right down to the shores of the loch and into a ancient forest. One of the many highlight was seeing a huge herd of stags and deer which unfortunately moved on by the time we reached the spot were they have been grazing.
The start of the walk back.
The start of the forest
Not even I can get lost here
Having spend the night at a wild camping spot in out tents, we returned to the public 'bathropom' close to the main parking area. Having warm water to wash in the morning is blissful and I decided that the 3 Pounds (for 24h) we had to pay the previous day were well worth it!! Feeling fresh again we drove towards Glenshee to do some more tidy up work. Looking at the map of the remaining 6 Munros we decided to aim for the group of 4 and keep the remaining 2 for short winter days.
River Dee on the drive to Glenshee
The day was glorious and hot (the start of one of the best July's in history)Setting off we followed the path up Carn an Tuirc. Grassy and thankfully bog free it was a pleasure with lovely views towards the northern Cairngorms (which I yet have to visit!!) When we reached the first top we could see Lochnagar and Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach in the distance and the walk to complete the 4 Munros is pretty easy and flat ( just love that kind of walking after the hardship of some other mountains)
On the way up to the first Munro
Flower of a cloud berry
Panorama from the top towards Glenshee
Under the snow
Last bit of winter
Colin found a bed..
Last Munro of the day
On the way back...
by The Rodmiester » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:23 pm
by weaselmaster » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:40 pm
The Rodmiester wrote:Love the 'Under the Snow Photographs'!
Yes, particularly surreal
Great report MountainLove - have still to do the Lochnagar hills and am looking forward to this.
I remember barefoot walking in the Cairngorms being recommended by Nan Shepherd in her Living Mountain book - good on you for giving it a go
by londonwalker » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:17 pm
by andyroog » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:02 pm
by mgmt! » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:53 pm
training going well for the matterhorn, fingers crossed for weather window, will post up report if i manage to complete.
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- Joined: Oct 18, 2010
by Sunny Speyside » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:02 pm
Lovely camera shots under the snow - hope you didn't wet taking them!
by Sabbathstevie » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:32 am
by ChrisW » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:21 pm