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A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando


Postby Anne C » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:07 pm

Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar

Date walked: 11/07/2014

Time taken: 17 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 750m

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ImageP1020185 by wanne2337, on Flickr

We were feeling tense and a bit knackered as we set off from the Loch Muick car park at 3.45pm on a Friday afternoon heading for Lochnagar. Growling a bit at each other after a minor fall out on the way up, this was NOT our favourite time to head for the big hills. Planning it just the night before , it had seemed like such a good idea.Now, after Chris had snatched a last minute half day off at the end of a long hard week and we'd driven the 3 hours from Glasgow , it was the last thing we felt like doing. We're getting too old for this... I thought as grim faced we got our gear ready in the noisy,crowded car park.I shouldn't have dragged him here..he's too tired.My capacity for guilt was in overdrive.It was a hot sunny day, but it wasn't to last, the forecast having changed for the Saturday and now promising fog and rain.My brilliant plan had been to camp near the Loch , enjoy an easy evening then the next day do the 30km round taking in as many tops as we could.Now it was in tatters before we even started ! We've got to the stage in life where WE WANT THE VIEWS. Nae views, nae walking.

ImageP1020191 by wanne2337, on Flickr
The superb track

We took off along the track carrying rucksacks which felt heavy - a bit like our mood - but manageable.We still hadn't quite discussed what the plan was but it was now or never for Lochnagar given the glorious weather.Lots of happy walkers passed us smiling and clearly having had a great day out.We still had 5 or 6 hours ahead of us.Ouch.

As we made our way up the open hillside beyond the forest , a little roe deer bounced away from us.A lovely start.My normally easy natured husband even managed a smile.Things were looking up! A couple of handsome stags were grazing on the opposite hillside, another fine sight.

ImageP1020187 by wanne2337, on Flickr
A red deer stag in velvet antlers

With a lot more enthusiasm Chris announced that the plan now was to camp somewhere near water, dump the heavy stuff and carry on that evening to the summit.Sounded good to me.The old legs felt pretty good, the sun was hot but a strong breeze was tempering it.My guilt was evaporating with every step.The plan was working after all.

I loved that track.It takes you in such a gentle way up to the col between the two glens,even with the packs it was pretty easy.The last of the water though was here so we pitched the tent a bit off the path with good views to the Cairngorms.

ImageP1020144 by wanne2337, on Flickr
The trusty tent

It was relief to get rid of the gear and also to know our wee home for the night was all set up with some wine and tasty food to come back to.Plus we'd already walked for about an hour so it wouldn't be too long a trek down on the return.
We were both smiling now, our mood lightened and even more so when a mother grouse and about 6 little chicks raced away from us on the track.We watched them for ages as they hid in and out of the heather.Gorgeous.

ImageP1020054 by wanne2337, on Flickr
A grouse chick..one of 6 or so

In another 40 mins or so we reached the base of The Ladder and the views were just wonderful.

ImageP1020061 by wanne2337, on Flickr
Dark Lochnagar

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The beautiful granite rocks of the mountain

I really loved the terrain.The granite rocks made a lot of the shots a bit of a photographer's dream (not that I'm that but they did add interest).We looked at Meikle Pap and decided to climb it on the way back.The summit beckoned! The ladder turned out to be a beautifully constructed slab path at a good angle winding up through the boulder field. As others have said, the 3 quid car park charge has been put to great use.(that had caused more grumpiness at the start as like numpties we'd managed to arrive without enough change.A scrabble down the car seats finally got us the required amount; incredibly, no-one we spoke to had change either ).

The top was my kind of place....golden empty moorland for miles and miles with distant views down to Ben Lawers and over to Mount Keen and the lovely Angus Glens.Wow.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Towards Dreish and Mayar

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Panorama from the high moorland plateau

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The fearsome cliffs

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Those drops!

What a really beautiful plateau it is,a joy to walk on a first class track.It was about 6.30pm by now and the clarity was improving all the time.My mind was definitely changed about when to walk the hills - this was perfect and there wasn't a soul around.
On Cac Carn Mor we watched a Snow Bunting hiding form us on the cairn.I just got a shot and no more.I imagine he was thinking...b****r off and leave me alone.Everyone else has gone home, why can't you?

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Snow bunting

It was a short walk along the plateau and up to the main summit, balanced on Cyclopean rocks and bathed in early evening sunshine.A really wonderful spot.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The summit at 7pm.Me with my Benny Hill hat.

I especially loved the view to Loch nan Eun nestled below Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach.
ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Towards Braemar and the Cairngorms

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
West and south

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Towards the East

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
I couldn't get enough of the cliff views

But we were getting a bit tired now and the tent beckoned so reluctantly we headed back, keen too to go up Meikle Pap.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Heading down

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The shadows were deepening all the time.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The view from the 'little peak'.

It was a bit of a slog, if a short one, up to the top of MP and if I'm honest, I didn't think the views were much better than on the lip of the corrie itself.But maybe I was just getting tired and thinking too much about the tumbler of sparkling wine chilling at the tent. Philistine that I am.

So with weary legs we began the walk back,our little blue tent just visible in the empty moorland below.Home!
The walk was still so interesting, with mountain hares popping up all around though my skills weren't up to capturing them very well on camera.

ImageP1020138 by wanne2337, on Flickr
Mountain hare

Another grouse family kuk-kuk-kukked ahead of us again , this time all in flight after I got too close.

ImageP1020137 by wanne2337, on Flickr
Mr Grouse

We'd hoped to see our very favourite, Ptarmigan but no luck.However,the tent was getting nearer....

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The tent gradually gets closer

Oh...the relief to throw the rucksacks down, get the wine from the burn and relax,knowing we'd done it and our bad-start afternoon had finally turned around into a quiet success! AND we were still on the hill, amidst the heather and the grasses and with the sun beginning to do wondrous things as it dropped ever further down behind the Cairngorm giants to the west.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The Tors of Ben Mheadhoin

Crisps and olives, hot chicken curry and rice.Nectarines.We had a meal fit for the mountain gods (well,maybe not but it always tastes brilliant outdoors).We were very happy indeed in our silent mountain home with the prospect of a clear, calm night ahead but just enough of a breeze to keep the dreaded midges down.

And still the sky got more spectacular.Who needs the aurora borealis when you get this on many a decent night?

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Sun going down...

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
And down.....

And then a big full moon rose behind us...

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
The moon rises...

I love wild camping.Knowing you are still amidst the beauty of the hill, the absolute peace of a lovely camp.We had started out in such poor fettle but the hills had worked their magic, the sheer beauty of Scotland and of Lochnagar had revived our tired urban souls. Solvitur Ambulando. It is solved by walking.It is so true.

The grouse were calling incessantly during the night (hmm...peace and quiet?) but it was no matter.Gallons of tea for breakfast as usual and then we packed up to return to civilisation.It had been a gorgeous dawn, the hillside turning pink as the sun rose higher around 4.45am.One of the advantages of having to 'relieve oneself' during the night - starry skies and rosy dawns.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
Sunrise.

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr


The hour's walk down was a busy one.There were hunners of people heading up quite early, some of whom were, they told us, trying to fit in the whole round.I hoped the forecast was wrong and they would get a fair bit of it done.Part of me also regretted that we didn't manage to do that ourselves,as planned.Never happy! (In fact the mist and rain came in late morning).
But in all honesty, it had worked out pretty perfectly and, in fact, memorably.We left the hill with a new found affection for this little corner of Deeside though the stony tracks had taken it out of our ancient legs a bit.Ah..age doesn't come alone!
We popped into the excellent visitor centre and I noticed this quote from Lord Byron , clearly as impressed with the area as we were.It's not quite in focus and apologies to any English Walkhighlanders.It wisnae me said it , it was him....

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr

There are so many other hills that still beckon - Broad Cairn among them - that, in the words of Arnie - we will be back and with the tent (AND with change for the car park next time).
Last edited by Anne C on Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Anne C
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Anne C » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:40 pm

Replying to my own post -is that a first? Sorry...my numptie computer skills mean I've not posted the photos as I thought I had.Back to the drawing board.
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:04 pm

Hope you manage to. If they're anything like the text they'll be worth waiting for! 8)
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby mrssanta » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:16 am

Yes, please do post the photos!
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Bruno » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:47 am

"Solvitur Ambulando"
The motto of The Glasgow School of Chiropody.
I`m intrigued - I studied there from 1976-1979......

Iain
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Bruno » Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:47 am

"Solvitur Ambulando"
The motto of The Glasgow School of Chiropody.
I`m intrigued - I studied there from 1976-1979......

Iain
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby rockhopper » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:47 pm

Anne - just in case you don't know, I think you're picking up the HTML code or something similar from flickr. On the share tab you have "Link", "HTML" and "BBCode". Click the BBCode instead, select the image size and this then selects the code which you can copy/paste into your report. I think WH resizes to a mximum anyway.

Example below using Medium 800x600

ImageUntitled by wanne2337, on Flickr
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby litljortindan » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:25 am

A great advert for hillwalking. Nothing better than planning and travel frustrations giving way to or being trumped by a bit of the outdoors. I was on Lochnagar last week myself so it was extra interesting to read your report. I probably experienced the same range of emotions too but in a different recipe. Did a bit of hunt the car too for those three pounds...
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby AnnieMacD » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:43 pm

Really enjoyed reading your report. I had a look at your photos and they will be the icing-on-the-cake of your story. What Rockhopper said re how to post them. Look forward to seeing them in context!
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Anne C » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:47 am

Hi Rockhopper - many thanks for that tip - and to all who decided to read it anyway and still quite enjoyed it!
I'll have a go at it over the next day or so. Just to check - when you do the link and then preview it -should the photos appear at that stage or do they stay hidden until it's actually published? I don't want to do the same daft thing all over again,entirely possible for me.I got a new computer two months ago , an Apple Mac Mini - a complete change of system so I'm re learning things too.
Many thanks again.
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:47 pm

Anne - I tend to go through my photos first and upload those I want to use to flickr (after reducing the size etc) - then draft the report in a word doc with flickr open at the same time to copy/paste in links saving as I go. The end result is a separate word doc which can be copy/pasted into the WH page without the risk of losing it as you go. You should be able to see the photos when you click preview - you could try writing a few lines in word, adding in a flickr link or two, pasting into WH page and click preview. You can then see what it looks like and can just delete as it's not published - cheers :)
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:31 pm

Anne, What Rockhopper says is spot on but as you have already written your report you don't need to save it in Word. Try this:

Go to Flickr and pull up the first photo.
Click on the "Share this Photo" icon - it's at the bottom right and comprises an arrow pointing right. A white box will pop up with the title "Share".
Under "Code" you have three choices: Link, HTML and BBCode. Select BBCode.
Immediately below that there is a drop-down box listing different picture sizes. Select Medium 800 x 534 or something approximate to that.
You will see some gobbledygook in the box below. Make sure it's highlighted ie coloured blue. If not, select the contents of the box and make sure every single character is included.
Right-click with your cursor hovering over the blue and a pop-up box will appear. Select Copy
Go to your report on the WalkHighlands site (in edit mode) and click where you would like to insert the photo so the cursor is in the correct place.
Right-click with your cursor and select Paste.
You will then see some more gobbledygook in your document.
Click on Preview and you should see your picture in the correct place in your document.
Click on Save Draft and then go back and repeat with all your photos.

These are instructions for Windows users - not sure about copy and paste in Apple IOS but you probably know how to do that bit anyway. Hope this helps.
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Anne C » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:46 pm

Many thanks Rockhopper, that's really helpful too.Thank you for taking the time both of you.Am working on it -again! - now.
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby Anne C » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:56 pm

Hi Annie and Rockhopper - THINK I've managed it.Did a draft and previewed it and lo and behold photo appeared! No idea why it didn't do that when I copied and pasted before because the share /link came up highlighted .The mysteries of it all! (nothing to do with me not doing it properly first time round of course).I'll keep plugging away.
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Re: A Night on Lochnagar; Solvitur Ambulando

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:05 pm

Fantastic, Anne. Now you can edit this report and replace the html links with the BBCode - so you don't need to rewrite the whole thing!
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