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A great day out up Lochnagar

A great day out up Lochnagar


Postby neilfowlie » Fri May 06, 2011 10:44 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Lochnagar

Date walked: 10/04/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 24 km

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After a conversation with my brother expressing an interest in coming with me on my next Munro conquest a date was soon thrashed out when we could both manage (this basically means when the wives would let us) :D . The only problem being was which Munro to conquer. My brother, Lee, said he really fancied Mount Keen or Lochnagar but since I had done Mount Keen we settled for Lochnagar.
Now, I had been up to Loch Muick on several occasions but never to scale the hills and on each occasion the weather was never great and I wondered if you could actually see the tops of Lochnagar from the car park so you can imagine my delight when we parked up :) . It was about 10.30am and the car park was full. The sun was out with almost clear blue skies. Only a sandy haze was on the horizon.
CIMG3452.JPG
Lochnagar from the carpark

So with our boots on and our rucksacks packed we headed off.
Our plan of attack was to head straight up towards Lochnagar with the possibility of coming down past the waterfall at Glas-Allt then back along Loch Muick towards the car. This was subject to change though as Lee hadn't been on a walk like this for years and as we headed down the path towards Allt-na-giubhsaich with Lee saying to me, "I've brushed my teeth twice this morning in case you have to give me mouth to mouth" didn't fill me with confidence :Lil: .
CIMG3454.JPG
The path towards Allt-na-giubhsaich

Like I've said before, I love a wee "warm up" before the ascent begins so the kilometre or so of walking without a hint of climbing suits me just fine. Only really once you pass through the trees at Allt-na-giubhsaich does the path start to ascend and some great views of Cuidhe Crom and Little Pap opens up.
CIMG3457.JPG
Lee with the side of Lochnagar and Cuidhe Crom in he distance

After a wee stop for a breather (there was no mouth to mouth I might add :lol: ) and some water we were off again. Things were heating up now but with a slight breeze taking the edge of the suns heat and the opening scenery in front as well as behind us all was good. After tackling the small ford and a slight walk later Meikle Pap came into view.
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The small ford

CIMG3460.JPG
Cuidhe Crom - Lochnagar - Meikle Pap

There was talk between us of climbing Conachcraig to which the track we were on curves around but we had to make sure that Lochnagars Cac Carn Beag was achieved first. This was another possibility for our decent so at the "crossroads" at NO 273 861 we headed west towards Meikle Pap
CIMG3466.JPG
The "crossroads" at NO273861

Half way up this path I could see past conquests come into sight and there really is no better feeling when walking.
To the east you have Mount Keen and Mount Battock
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Mount Keen and a faint Mount Battock behind

To the northeast there was Morven just peering round the side of Conachcraig
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Morven

We agreed to stop once we had reached the end of the path and have for a bite overlooking the loch. As we approached the far end of Lochnagar came into sight. Superb was the only thing I could think of at the time.
CIMG3478.JPG
The sides of Lochnagar

As we reached the next crossroads the views from here were beautiful and breathtaking, After taking several snaps and finding a fine place to sit we had a bite and soaked up the scenery and the rays.
CIMG3479.JPG
Conachcraig, 865mtrs

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Meikle Pap, 980mtrs

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No intro needed

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West Buttress with Cac Carn Beag to the side

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Lochnagar and me

We started off again. Next stop - Cac Carn Beag, 1155mtrs.
It was amazing to see what I can only describe as "ants" on the top of the corrie rim and thinking we'll be them shortly. And soon enough there we were looking down into the bowl and the loch below.
CIMG3499.JPG
Lee on the edge - zoomed

I think I speak for both of us when I say that we were quite knackered before the sight of Lochnagar came into view. With the heat of the day and the climb I started to feel drained sooner than I would normally but with this new found energy it didn't seem to take long before we were at Cac Carn Mor.
I always find it funny that. The worlds against you and you don't think its worth it then something inspires you whether it be the views or the loch or the shear cliff face drop that is in front of you this burst of energy comes from nowhere and you can carry on or is that just me that happens to?????
CIMG3503.JPG
Cac Carn Mor, 1150mtrs with Cac Carn Beag behind

By now the look on Lee's face, and to be fair mine too, this walk wasn't going to end once we reached Cac Carn Beag. Looking over our shoulder as we approached the summit we could see Loch nan Eun and The Stuic with Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach when we both thought the same thing and we hadn't reached our first goal yet although it was only a mere 300 feet away.
CIMG3512.JPG
Loch nan Eun and The Stuic

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Cac Carn Beag, 1155mtrs

CIMG3515.JPG
Which way to the bar I wonder????

CIMG3525.JPG
As close to the edge as I would like to go

After admiring the view whilst having a sandwich it was time to get moving if we were going to get another Munro in.
The Stuic was next port of call and then onto Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach and come down via Glas-allt-Shiel back to the car.
CIMG3529.JPG
On our way to Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach

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A view from The Stuic

The view from The Stuic looking back from where we had just come back from was quite stunning with the "ice-bergs" floating on the edge of Loch nan Eun.
Looking at Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach on the way over from Lochnagar and from The Stuic you just knew it was going to be nothing like approaching our first Munro of the day. There was nothing really to Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach. Just a round hill with a cairn on top. After seeing the dramatic scenery of Lochnagar, Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach didn't really measure up to much but it was still another Munro nether the less.
CIMG3544.JPG
Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, 1110mtrs

We headed east towards Glas Allt to pick up the path that would lead us to Loch Muick. Maybe we should have stuck to the track we had taken up but this meant doubling back and time was now starting to tick on. Once we'd picked up the path it was a fine steady stroll down towards the falls. There was a wee bridge at NO 267 835 were Lee decided it was time to dip ones feet into the water. At the time I didn't think about it but maybe I should have done the same or at least took my boots of to let my feet breath. This would come back to haunt me later :x .
The waterfall itself was quite impressive. Don't get me wrong, it was no Victory Falls but a stunning sight towards the end of the walk :thumbup: .
CIMG3567.JPG
Falls of the Glasallt

I think it was the route down the side of the falls which did it. My first blister on the hills. What I can only describe as large steps all the down from the top of the falls to pretty much to Glas-allt-Shiel. The constant banging and movement of my left boot, a blister started to form on the back of my heel. By the time we reached the loch I could feel my heel starting to ache which put a slight dampener the the final 6kms :( . I could only think afterwards on the way home that is was the new pair of socks that I hadn't worn before. Key factors as well as the heat that day and the distance maybe didn't help either I think.
After reading up on it I'm going to try a few things next time I'm out:
1)Fresh pair of socks half way through a walk.
2)Let my feet breath for a good 5-10 minutes when changing socks.
3)The first "tingle" of a blister forming get the boots of and protect area with a blister plaster
If anyone knows of any other hints, tips or treatments they use please let me know!!!!!
Well, apart from the last couple of miles I think this must be my favourite walk so far. The sight of Lochnagar with it sheer drop cliff face into the loch below, with stunning views all around from Cac Carn Beag and of course the good crack I had with my brother made this a great day out :thumbup: .

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neilfowlie
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby ChrisW » Fri May 06, 2011 11:20 pm

A fine report with some cracking pics neil, it's a fantastic place - did this one myself recently (same route) but only managed lochnagar before calling it a day and heading home :D
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby rockhopper » Fri May 06, 2011 11:39 pm

Great stuff - especially like "Lee on the edge - zoomed". Haven't been here yet but really must try sometime. :D

On the feet subject, I always wear 2 pairs of socks; heavy cushioned bridgedales on the outside with thin coolmax on the inside.
Also, you could try taking a large self sealing food bag containing some talcum powder - every so often, remove boots & socks and put each foot in turn into the bag to coat it in talc.
Lastly ensure your lacing is correct - I have broad feet so tend to keep the lower lacing sections not too tight but then triple twist at the point where the laces start to go up the ankle to stop the laces from loosening then tie up round the ankle very tightly (stops feet moving forwards etc).
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby The-Big-Grey-Man » Sat May 07, 2011 12:06 am

Really great pictures, particuarly the one of the west buttress, it looks really imposing.
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby jwramsay » Sat May 07, 2011 12:40 am

Great report - love that mountain!
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby neilfowlie » Sat May 07, 2011 5:40 pm

ChrisW wrote:A fine report with some cracking pics neil, it's a fantastic place - did this one myself recently (same route) but only managed lochnagar before calling it a day and heading home :D

Yeah I know what you mean. By far the best Munro I've done so far. Next time I'm going up ( hopefully sometime soon ) I really fancy spending a day just climbing all the tops and if it is possible walk around the loch itself. I reckon that would be another great day out.

rockhopper wrote:Great stuff - especially like "Lee on the edge - zoomed". Haven't been here yet but really must try sometime. :D
On the feet subject, I always wear 2 pairs of socks; heavy cushioned bridgedales on the outside with thin coolmax on the inside.
Also, you could try taking a large self sealing food bag containing some talcum powder - every so often, remove boots & socks and put each foot in turn into the bag to coat it in talc.
Lastly ensure your lacing is correct - I have broad feet so tend to keep the lower lacing sections not too tight but then triple twist at the point where the laces start to go up the ankle to stop the laces from loosening then tie up round the ankle very tightly (stops feet moving forwards etc).

Thanks for the advise rockhopper. I'll try your tips out the next walk I'm on :thumbup:.
Now if you don't mind and take some advise from me when you can make some time and see Lochnagar. It really is a great place.

The-Big-Grey-Man wrote:Really great pictures, particuarly the one of the west buttress, it looks really imposing.

It does that pal. I think that photo was my favourite of the day.

jwramsay wrote:Great report - love that mountain!

Thanks jwramsay. I share that comment. :)
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Re: A great day out up Lochnagar

Postby rockhopper » Sat May 07, 2011 6:36 pm

neilfowlie wrote:Now if you don't mind and take some advise from me when you can make some time and see Lochnagar. It really is a great place. :)

cheers - oddly enough I had 2 days up that way last weekend round Glenshee and Glen Ey for my first wild camp - Lochnagar certainly looks interesting......need to factor it into the plans :D
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