Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
3rd April 2011
Broad Cairn and Cairn Bannoch via Glen Clova
Leaving the Glen Doll car park at the top of Glen Clova we followed the yellow marker posts that lead onto a path running alongside the west bank of the river South Esk. It was a pleasant and sheltered start to the walk as the path followed the tree lined river bank before crossing over by a foot bridge.
Broom hill and Dog Hillock
A short way further on and we were taking a left turn to follow the landrover track that heads up to the farm at Moulzie. The grassy moorland after the farm is framed by the steep slopes of Cairn Broadlands to the west and Capel month to the east. After following the path along the side of another pine plantation we re-crossed the South Esk by another wooden bridge. The track now bends westward to start a long but easy ascent to the wood at Bachnagairn. The rain showers were becoming a little more persistent so we stopped briefly to get our waterproofs on. The river was running swiftly with snow melt giving rise to some impressive cascades below the crag's of Juanjorge.
River South Esk
A couple of cyclists had been making steady progress ahead of us but slowed as the landrover track turned to a rougher path on entering the trees at Bachnagairn. We crossed the deep gorge by a small bridge onto the good stalkers path that winds up onto Sandy hillock. It is round about now that the rocky top of Broad Cairn comes into view, looking deceivingly close. The path steepens for a while before reaching a broad level ridge from which if you wander to the right gives views toward the impressive cliffs of Creag an Dubh-loch. The odd rain drop was now turning to snow building to steadily develop into white wet sheets. After working our way up the final boulder strewn slopes we reached the granite slabs that mark the summit to be hit by the full force of the strong wind. The blizzard conditions meant that some of our fellow walkers soon turned and headed back down from whence we had come. However it wasn't too long before the snowy shroud blanketing the vast open plateau started to break up.
White Month from Broad Cairn
The air was now clearing and views soon became extensive all the way out toward the Cairngorms in the north west. We soon pressed on making our way across granite boulders encased in the grit covered ground. After crossing the top 991 north of Cairn of Gowal we arrived at the knobbly top of Cairn Bannoch. The sun was now shining but making little impression to the cold temperature enforced by the strong wind.
Walkers head down to Dubh Loch under Eagles Rock
After a bite to eat and a mug of tea we were soon ready for the long trek back to the car park. I always enjoy the stroll back along the ridge running from Fafernie to the Knaps of Fafernie. There is always a feeling of remoteness and invariably you get to see a scattering of mountain hare and Ptarmigan and today we were not to be disappointed. Crossing over to Crow Craigies we picked up Jocks road as its wound it way through a few crag's before starting its descent toward Glen Doll.
Cairn Bannoch from Crow Craigies
Loch Esk from Crow Craigies
Nat decided she would give Enzo a test as we reached the edge of the Forest by not opening the gate. We hoped he would get some practice traversing the high stepped style but he opted for the easy route and sneaked under a gap under the gate. A final three K through the trees soon saw us back at the van and at the end of a varied round on a day of very varied weather.
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