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Munros: Beinn nan Aighenan
Date walked: 11/08/2018
Distance: 15.75km
Ascent: 1320m
Views: 61


Big Fan y in the Brecon Beacons

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Date walked: 09/06/2018
Distance: 34km
Ascent: 1675m
Views: 75


Being Squlaird

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Munros: Beinn Sgulaird
Date walked: 24/02/2018
Distance: 13km
Ascent: 1240m
Views: 104

The Loch Muick Round

Route: Loch Muick Circuit

Munros: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Lochnagar

Date walked: 06/09/2017

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 30.6km

Ascent: 1546m

Pieplough and I had hatched a plan that would see us doing an overnight in Ballater the night before the walk. Arrangements were made to stay at the youth hostel in a private room with bunk beds. Ideal for the anti social like us :lol:

The plan was head up the night before the walk so we didn't have the early start and have a long 3 hour drive that morning. Pieplough was on annual leave but I was working until fairly late so wouldnt make it up north until very late, heigh ho.

Off to work I go and early on I realised that it was going to be a slow day so I asked to leave early. I got out off work 3 hours early (result) and from there I headed straight up the road. The traffic out of Glasgow was terrible of course but once away from the congestion in the centre it was plain sailing, a rather uneventful drive was almost turned into a catastrophe because of a suicidal sheep in Glenshee. The silly mutton stepped into the road from behind a bank. I slammed on my breaks but the car was still heading straight for this now stationary sheep. I was going to hit it was my only thought and as I closer to the stupid thing my car came to a comical stop just centimetres from creature, if it had not been sheared I would have be almost certainly been making contact with its fleece. Afterwards it just strolled off across the road like nothing had happened :crazy:

I arrived in Ballater about 18:45 (about 2 hours and 55 minutes after setting off from Glasgow) and met with Pieplough who'd only just arrived a few minutes before me. We got checked in and dumped our stuff then set off to find food. We didn't go far... 45 seconds from the hostel is the Alexandra Hotel where the hostel staff had recommended to eat if we we're just looking for pub grub. We have a decent meal, a wee cheeky drink then to the co-op for an ice cream :D

Apparently I snored extremely loudly the entire night and the next morning Pieplough was looking a little tired. Funnily enough I had been worried about having a poor nights sleep and Pieplough had ensured me that a lack of sleep doesn't affect 'athletic performance' taking the p*ss out of lack of general fitness. Well I had a great sleep while he suffered so I took great pleasure in reminding him that his athletic performance won't be hindered :lol:

We set off early making our way to the Spittal of Muick, just a stone's throw away. We took both cars, as the plan was to go our separate ways once the walk was done.

Parked up we had to pay, I had no idea about the charge so I couldn't pull the cash together (Pieplough managed) I did leave a fiver on my dash to say I had money but the machines only take coins.

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All parked up

We got going about 07:20, the car park had few cars but we only seen one person, a runner that set off at the same time as us, we wouldn't see him again.

We were walking the route Broad Cairn to Lochnagar and planned to finish with the Corbett. We took the loch path obviously.

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Left or right?

The walk along the road really allows for the leg muscles to warm up, gets the heart going and those lungs billowing. It also helps with getting the first few kilometres covered fast.

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Long road in

Pieplough had learnt a new trick for his camera phone and he showed me how to do it but I couldn't get to grips with the it. What you do is point your Galaxy camera at whatever you are photographing and then you press and hold the touch-screen on a part of the image that's well exposed then the rest of the image should match that exposure or something :crazy:
I tried and failed to make it work properly, I couldn't get the contrast right.

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Loch Muick

The path gradually gains height before getting to a section where it looks like you gain a lot more height pretty fast in a steep series of zig zags. Thankfully this was over much quicker than expected.

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Climbing above the loch

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Zig zaggy bit

Whilst climbing a steep bit I noticed a big fancy looking house across the water.

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Fancy hoose

We took a breather or 3 on the way up this section which allowed for a chance to take in the surroundings.

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looking back to the loch

On reaching the plateau we stopped by a large cairn to chow down on some breakfast. High above the loch this was a fantastic spot to for a rest and soak in the views but alas the wind was fairly subdued just now and this of course meant that those little bugger midges would end up spoiling breakfast :(

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Breakfast spot

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Cracking morning views

We continued along the road that disappointingly moves us out of sight of the loch only to find views of a rather dull moor. The wind picked up now but it was more of an annoyance more than anything however it was threatening to blow my sun hat off so I made a tactical hat switch to helmet liner.

We again stopped but this time I needed to decent my bladder. I went behind a stable/shed thing that looks very much in use but it provided enough cover from the wind without having to worry about blow back.

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Broad Cairn

The going was was good on what looks to be recently redone path. It's steep in parts and the steps are pretty high which is murder on the thighs. In each step up I'm lifting 20 odd stone so I tend to feel it more than most I'd imagine.

After a gruelling (perhaps gruelling is a bit much) climb to the horizon we reached a false summit with the real top some distance away.

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False summit :?

Just shy of the summit before the hopping began I took a quick breather.

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Pieplough

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Glen Clova?

It wasn't long before we reached the top, hooray!

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Broad Cairn summit

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Looking down the loch

A cold wind blowing in from the North West(ish) had almost blown our heads off as we summited so we hunkered down for snacks while the sun baked us, weird.
After a good 20 minutes or so we headed off for our next hill but as we did so the weather started to turn.

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On to Cairn Bannoch

We followed the gritty path as the sky darkened above us. The wind was strong and now we were being 'kinda' rained on, it was just spittles that didn't come to much thankfully.

I was suprised at how easy the walk had been thus far as we'd hardly got going before the next Munro summit just kinda happened. It came around so fast that we actually had to check that it was in fact the right place! :crazy:

What a massive let down was my initial thought, I wasn't even breathing hard :lol:

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Cairn Bannoch summit

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Cairn Bannoch looking to Carn an t-Sagairt Mor

Not wanting to linger on Cairn Bannoch we were going to move straight onto the next hill. We couldn't help notice that the main path totally bypasses the summit tor, do folk just keep walking here rather than stopping?

As we made our way to the third Munro of the day the clag decended and left our intended target shrouded, ach well at least we had decent luck up to this point and to be honest this part of the walk isn't visually spectacular so I didn't really care, head down and follow the path.

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Clag rolling in

There's a bit of a climb up to reach the summit but we were escorted by about 10 or so young Ptarmigan running up along side us, I felt like a giant ship coming into port :lol:

On arriving in port (the summit) we found it to be totally cloud free, what luck! We stood for a minute or so at the top. In that time 4 men appeared from the Glen Callater side, a party of 3 and a single runner you can just see in the below summit picture.

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Clag free Carn an t'Sagairt Mor

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Looking to Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach

The wind, again, was strong so we were keen to get off the top and head for the next hill but rather than retrace our steps to find the official path down and around we opted more of a direct decent. We made our way down steep slippery slope into a boggy area before finding the path again.

As you can see from the photo below it's an absolutely stunning part of the walk...I was thinking about getting this picture printed on canvas to hang on my wall :roll: :lol:

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Featureless approach to the 4th Munro of the day

I was trying to avoid using the word slog because it's not so bad but it's certainly a (insert alternative word to slog). The climb was temporarily interrupted by a moment of excitement (sarcasm) when we had to cross a very minor stream, after that it was head down and try not to break an ankle in the deep furrows carved out by us walker types.

Ah, flat ground was reached and it was time to make our way to the summit that is only distinguished but a man made pile of rocks but again it was cloud free so can't complain.

The group of 3 guys seemed to ignore the summit and made for the North top instead and then disappeared.

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The summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach

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Looking to Lochnagar

Following the path from the summit of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach to join up again with the main path I could feel a little stone or 2 in my boot. The path all the way around had been gritty so I wasn't surprised that this happened given it I was bare legged. It wasn't bothering me so I left be.

Before taking on the final pull up onto the Lochnagar we stopped for a bite to eat, a glug of Lucozade and some chat about how this walk would have been better with a little snow. At this point Pieplough suggested we go back to the Hotel for dinner again, plan made.

I must have sat down for too long because when I got going again the legs were hardly functioning. It took a minute or so to loosen up as we looked to take on the last Munro.

The accent looked much worse than it was even I made it the entire thing without stopping (achievement unlocked :lol:) but a bit slower that my mate to be fair. Before I knew it we were passing the secondary top and heading 'down' to the main summit :crazy:

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The summit of Lochnagar

There were a few folk around, as you might imagine, including a group of German or Austrian folk. I heard them chatting with a couple of guys who were telling them to head West for the best hill walking. A place called Glencoe. He told them about Buachaille Etive Mor, Buachaille Evite Mor and some other one he didn't know the name of, he told the Germans this was called the 3 sisters of Glencoe... it was pretty cringe worthy. He then asked where we had walked from because he'd seen us coming up a different path. I told him we were walking the full circuit and then the Corbett at the end.

Him: What circuit?
Me: All 5 Munros here (pointing)
Him: I didn't know about them

I thought to myself, jeezo, how could not know? Little did I know that Karma was about to take it's toe and firmly wedge it right up my arse for being a complete cocky p*ick. More on that later.

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Coire an Lochan Eun

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Looking back acorss the days hills

The German group lingered for a while and we got chatting about the hills, midges, their plans Etc. They knew about 'Munro Bagging' and made a jokes about how they found it funny we record what hills we've done. "So you keep them in a folder yes and put them away?" It was pretty funny. I didn't want to mention that I had a wee stone from ever summit in my back pocket :shifty:
Inevitably the conversation moved onto the weather and how terrible the wind was (it wasn't that bad really). We gave a by the book Scottish reply... "at least it isn't raining". With that the conversation was over and off they went.

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Trig and stone marker

We left the summit and made our way to Cac Carn Mor then the decent path.

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Cac Carn Mor's walnut Whip

Pieplough asked which path we take when we reached a split and I told him to keep going without checking my map.

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The decent path

Remember what I said about Karma?

We had been decending for ages down the stepped path thinking nothing of it but when Pieplough stopped for a pee I had a check on the map, I ckecked and double checked but there we were on the wrong path, the wrong bloody path. If only I had bothered to do my double checks before :roll: now who's the idiot?

There was no way we were going to walk back up all those steps, I was furious with myself. I was furious that I hadn't checked when asked, I was furious because I hadn't researched properly. What a total plonker.

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Where I realised my mistake

The next 10 minutes or so I was simmering, we walked in an awkward silence along a rough stretch path that looked like it was being worked on.

After a while I chilled out a bit but I was still very disappointed, I really wanted to nab that Corbett. It's not just missing the Corbett that upset me, we didn't even get to see the best views of Lochnagar. I know folk will say you can always go back or the hills going nowhere but we were there then, a day that the weather held, a day I was feeling good, a day that we had plenty of time and given the previous confidence shattering last out of mine (I can't bring myself to finish the report) I really wanted this walk to be perfect.

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High above the falls

They say every cloud has a silver lining and I guess the lower stretch of path was mine today. A wonderful snaking path makes it's way down the gully by a burn with crisp clear water. It's a nice geological feature that we would have missed if we'd went the other way.

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The Falls

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Loch Muick

As we walked through the woods toward the house Pieplough commented that 200 years ago we'd probably been shot for being here. We didn't bother with the house.

The road along the loch was flat with no accent mercifully. I was starting to feel the days exploits in my legs and I had already developed my famous post walk cough.

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The long road back to the car

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Once we reached the old boat house we knew the walk was effectively over, it was just a short distance back to the car park from here.

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Moody skies above the loch

When I reached the car I could feel the midges almost straight away. So it was straight to the passenger seat to get changed. I removed my boots and poured out the wee bits of grit, more than I thought.

I had also received a wee note from a car park attendant(?) detailing other ways to pay which is fair enough.

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A wee note from the O.A.T.S

Once ready it was off back to the town for food... Battered fish with chunky chips 'n' peas followed by a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream (of course) accompanied with a pot of tea yum yum yum.

As we sat with our glowing red faces from the wind burn a news report came on the telly detailing a hurricane with winds up to 180mph that was currently ripping it's way through the Caribbean destroying property, killing the poorest people and worst of all mildly up setting the billionaire Richard Branson.

I guess the wind we experienced today was a mild zepher by compression and it was firmly put in it's place.

On that sour note Pieplough and I departed and went our separate ways. He was heading for Newtonmore and me for Glasgow. It was a long lonely 3 hours driving in the dark.


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Comments: 3



Ben Starav & Glas Bheinn Mhor reversed.

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mhor
Date walked: 20/08/2017
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 1457m
Views: 193


Ben Lui and that other one.

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn a'Chleibh, Ben Lui
Date walked: 24/07/2017
Distance: 22.3km
Ascent: 1529m
Comments: 1
Views: 885


Brain fart on the Bookle

Attachment(s) Munros: Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor), Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)
Date walked: 21/06/2017
Distance: 21.4km
Ascent: 1806m
Comments: 3
Views: 1458


Meikle Bin

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Sub 2000s: Meikle Bin
Date walked: 07/06/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 397m
Views: 329


Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Munros: Beinn Fhionnlaidh
Date walked: 14/05/2017
Distance: 14.5km
Ascent: 980m
Views: 596


Bluebird, Black Mount and Secret Identities!

Attachment(s) Munros: Stob a'Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabhar
Date walked: 03/05/2017
Distance: 17.4km
Ascent: 1355m
Views: 637

teaandpies


Location: Glasgow
Interests: Hill walking...
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Old Bridge Inn Aviemore
Gear: sunglasses
Member: Instagram@teaandpies
Camera: My phone

Munros: 94
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 8
Hewitts: 6
Sub 2000: 7



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Statistics

2018

Trips: 3
Distance: 62.75 km
Ascent: 4235m
Munros: 2

2017

Trips: 15
Distance: 250.7 km
Ascent: 17998m
Munros: 29
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 2

2016

Trips: 25
Distance: 333.95 km
Ascent: 26411m
Munros: 28
Corbetts: 11
Grahams: 8
Sub2000s: 3

2015

Trips: 12
Distance: 198 km
Ascent: 11510m
Munros: 24
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1

2014

Trips: 5
Distance: 108 km
Ascent: 6758m
Munros: 7

2009

Trips: 2
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 1889m
Munros: 2


Joined: Mar 19, 2014
Last visited: Mar 04, 2019
Total posts: 925 | Search posts