Pottering around Deeside

Route: Ben Gulabin, Glen Shee

Corbetts: Ben Gulabin
Sub 2000s: Craigendarroch, Creag Ghiubhais, The Coyles of Muick

Date walked: 01/09/2018

Time taken: 8.15 hours

Distance: 32.85km

Ascent: 1800m

Saturday 1st September 2018
863m ascent
3 hours 50 mins

A late gig on Friday and a mixed forecast meant a later start…I arrived at the parking area just past Spittal of Glenshee, put my boots on and headed off up the track. It was good underfoot but hot work….

Looking back down the track

The track rose steeply through some zig zags….

Approaching the bealach I crossed a pretty wee burn….

The path leading up Ben Gulabin from the track disappeared into a big cloud… :roll:

This track was a wee bit boggy underfoot initially before becoming more peaty and then rocky. It was steep and there was a wee bit of moisture in the air but the rain was still holding off…

The worst of the climb over, the path veered to the right and a short distance later brought me to the summit of Ben Gulabin. The views were amazing…. 8)

It felt pretty pea-soupy and windy up there so decided to carry on. Heading back down the path I came back out of the cloud…

Back on the track, I turned left and continued…it’s me afterall; I was never going to climb Ben Gulabin the easy way :roll: :lol:

As the track contoured around Creagan Bheithe I looked backwards. Typically Ben Gulabin was clear now… :roll:

The path continued to climb over Carn Mor before dropping down towards Carn a’ Gheoidh. I passed a wee hut, unmarked on the map.

Ahead towards Carn a’ Gheoidh

This was decision time…. I had thought that I could continue onto Carn a’ Gheoidh to get the views that I’d missed last time I was up there. However….it wasn’t looking good :lol:

I also had something of a deadline so I took the track heading back down the ridge heading for Glen Shee. Ben Gulabin was still clear :roll:

As I reached the 788 top the track disappeared, but I also spotted a huge herd of deer

Looking down the ridge

Peat hags ahoy! And also, more deer

Looking back, Carn a’ Gheoidh was almost clear….typical :lol:

I had picked up something of a path which was bypassing the summit of Creag Lamhaich, so obviously I had to climb up it :lol:


Looking back up the ridge towards Carn a’ Gheoidh

Time for another stupid pose :lol:

I dropped off the end of Creag Lamhaich; very steeply initially through heather….

…before becoming grassier and more slippy as I headed down into Glen Shee

Whoops…a dead sheep :shock:

I followed the burn downwards, crossed a wall and ended up on the track down Glen Shee

Glen Shee was really pretty, especially when the sun came out



After an easy march down the glen I reached the bridge at Spittal – initially I’d thought it was the one on the front of the OS map but after a closer look, I was wrong :lol:

I followed the road around to the A9 junction before jumping a fence in order to walk through the field instead of along the A9. More ascent but far nicer :lol:

Looking towards the Ski Centre hills

I made it back to the car in time to get my boots off just before the heavens opened 8) :lol:

Gulabin.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Sunday 2nd September
I woke up after a good night’s sleep and was initially keen to get going but was very reluctant to get out of my lovely comfy sleeping bag. I was also still excited to be sleeping in the Vango Palace – my new tent which is big enough for a rave :lol: The prospect of nutella filled hot cross buns delayed me further :lol:

The Coyles of Muick
493m ascent
2 hours 17 minutes

Eventually breakfasted and ready to go (much easier to get changed when you can stand up :lol: ) I drove a short distance down the Loch Muick road and found a parking spot. The Keds were out so boots were on quickly and I was off, across the river and left onto the road. This soon turned into a track before I turned off again as I attempted to follow the spaghetti of forestry tracks… :roll:

It was an impossible maze as the map didn’t match what was in front of me and eventually I just gave up and off-roaded through some trees where I found plenty of mushrooms!

Eventually I reached another track and could see my target ahead

Rather than bash my way through more forest I decided to make for the section with no trees, which turned out to be much easier to walk on although it was infested with keds :shock:

Looking back towards Ballater

When I reached the ridge and the end of the trees I was rewarded with views to Loch Muick and where Lochnagar should have been. I was entirely correct – it was a lovely day for small hills 8)

I continued up the steep cone of the Coyles of Muick and was presented with a choice of two summits – heading to the west one first I was able to see towards Lochnagar; slightly clearer but it was still in the clag

Towards the cairn

As I headed towards what is marked as the summit (in terms of height they looked pretty similar) I noticed that there was a path coming up the ridge….typical, I’d come up the stupid way :lol:

Balmoral “forest” and towards Braemar

The sun hitting Morven in the distance

A few spots of rain created a wee rainbow

Reaching the top I discovered this rock with “21” marked on it….a mile marker possibly?

My route down

The forbidden forest and Morven

The other summit and a stormy looking Glen Muick

The summit was adorned with two large cairns. Despite being pretty windy this turned into “challenge accepted” :lol:

However, wind and a ladder that may not have been intended as a ladder (certainly not for short people :lol: ) made a ten-second-timer Jaxter pose pretty tricky :lol:

I eventually gave up and went for a slightly safer option :lol:

I could see the weather approaching so figured it was time to go – I headed down the path along the ridge which would create a nice circular route back to the car

Wee Meall Dubh looked like an attractive wee detour…. The views were lovely but it filled my boots up with heather. Another pair of socks to add to the pile needing heather picked off :roll: :lol:

Looking back to the Coyles of Muick

Ballater and Morven from Meall Dubh

Glen Girnock and beyond

I ploughed through more heather to get back to the path before heading through the trees; allegedly there was a track here, but there really wasn’t :lol:

I picked my way through the undergrowth down to a track which did exist which I followed all the way back to the road. It was raining along this section so I didn’t bother taking any photos :roll: A short section along the road brought me back the bridge across the river….

And a few minutes later I was back at the car – yet another example of small hills having great views 8)

Coyles of Muick.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Creag Ghiubhais
218m ascent
50 minutes

A few miles up the road I parked up and headed for hill number two of the day – I followed the track for a few metres before deciding to just go the direct route :roll:

I found the odd wee bit of path as I picked my way through the trees, but they always seemed to disappear or head in the wrong direction :lol:

Coming to the end of the forest I could see the heather covered route ahead….what fresh hell is this :shock:

Looking back towards Crathie

Creag nam Ban – higher but yet my summit was the tickable Marilyn :crazy: It looked a nice hill right enough, one for another day!


Nearly fell over this :lol:

In the shelter of the trees again the keds were out in force

I was at the summit of Creag Ghiubhais after 25 minutes….

…and the swarms of keds and lack of views didn’t make me want to hang about :lol:

I headed off the summit in a more southerly direction and soon was out of the trees and into the breeze. Thank goodness :crazy: :crazy:

Looking towards the Coyles of Muick

Creag nam Ban again

It was a steep heathery descent with hidden rocks providing lots of opportunities for broken ankles (fortunately avoided :lol: )


Looking back up my descent

Reaching the track it was an easy few minutes walk back to the car – an enjoyable leg stretcher but probably not a hill I would rush back to :lol:

Creag Ghiubhais.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

226m ascent
1 hour 18 mins

Although the forecast had suggested showers in the afternoon, it had fair brightened up and Ballater was heaving as I searched for a parking spot. A few metres walk along the road and I located the path up Craigendarroch. The wind was creating enough of a breeze to keep the bugs at bay and it was a gorgeous, if steep, wooded path

The path made the climb easy and before long I reached the summit and was out of the trees. The trig point itself was hidden in the trees and the best views looked out over Ballater.

Of course I climbed the giant cairn :lol: But the 10 second timer wasn’t quite long enough :lol:



Towards Lochnagar – still in cloud


I sat and enjoyed the sun and the views for a while before a big group of people arrived and shattered my solitude :lol: I decided to leave them to it and headed off the back of Craigendarroch, dropping steeply down to the circular path.

I passed a giant ant nest

Soon I met my outward route and found my way back to the car where it was time for a change of clothes, tea and cake and some sitting in the sun in Ballater.

Sometimes the little hills are where it’s at 8) :D

Craigendarroch.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Comments: 3

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Corbetts: Beinn Luibhean, The Cobbler
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Distance: 14.46km
Ascent: 1637m
Comments: 11
Views: 790

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Musician, adrenaline junkie and baker
Interests: Walking, running, skiing, playing good music with good people, baking cakes and snuggling.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Star Wars Cantina
Mountain: Garbh Bheinn
Place: Anywhere with a view
Gear: Rab jacket

Munros: 198
Corbetts: 93
Grahams: 36
Donalds: 45
Wainwrights: 53
Hewitts: 39
Sub 2000: 22

Filter reports



Trips: 22
Distance: 652.55 km
Ascent: 41271m
Munros: 20
Corbetts: 22
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 5
Sub2000s: 4


Trips: 57
Distance: 3300.44 km
Ascent: 73828m
Munros: 46
Corbetts: 48
Grahams: 23
Donalds: 36
Sub2000s: 9
Hewitts: 9
Wainwrights 12


Trips: 46
Distance: 756.5 km
Ascent: 51428m
Munros: 100
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 4
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 12
Distance: 203.15 km
Ascent: 12086m
Munros: 27

Joined: Aug 08, 2011
Last visited: Sep 21, 2018
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