Footprints Across Scotland
Why not make a few of your own!
7th October 2012
A quick daunder up an old favourite and popular hill by way of the "tourist" route. Dark Lochnagar was not so dark today, at least outwith the shadows.
The good weather had obviously encouraged a good number of people out to enjoy Glen Muick and the surrounds.
I arrived to find the car park almost full and a little surprised to see an attendant in situe.
She requested that I should park my van back up at the coach park but advised me that I would still only have to pay the normal charge of £3!
She also helpfully suggested that I should pay at the meter before moving on to the coach park as there was no pay station there!
Most of my recent trips out had concentrated on some of the remoter hills of Scotland; over varied but essentially quite rough terrain with fellow walkers few and far between. It was somewhat of a contrast therefore to be climbing a very popular hill by the “tourist route”. Landrover tracks lead from the car park up to a high bealach between Lochnagar and Conachcraig before dropping off to the queens summer residence at Balmoral. Meikle Pap is the dominant feature while climbing the track but the upper cliff face of Lochnagar can also be seen giving a tempting glimpse of what lies in store.
At the bealach a path branches off to snake up through the rocky hillside to a col between Meikle Pap and the “staircase” leading onto the Lochnagar plateau. I continued on, turning slightly down, to gain better views of the immense and impressive cliffs and buttresses that rise vertically from the dark Loch.
Returning to the path I headed upward and onto the “staircase”, this was until fairly recently a jumble of large rocks that needed to be clambered over. However some very clever path builders have created a excellent route up through the boulder field. The path blends in superbly, so well indeed that some times a second look is required to discover its direction. As I normally tend to do, I followed the corries edge enjoying the grandstand views down into the depths of the corrie and face to face views of the rugged walls of rock.
The cliffs of Lochnagar
There was a steady stream of walkers coming and going from the summit as I took time over my lunch enjoying the grandstand views of royal Deeside.
The Stuic from Lochnagar
Having made quite a late start time was moving on and seeing as I wanted to pop in on some friends near Ballater I decided to return by the quickest route, which happened to back along my outward path.
Corrie's edge; Lochnagar
As I made my way off the plateau I was a little surprised to see people still coming up but nice to find that many seemed happy to stop a while for a little chat. Back on the main track the traffic stopped and after passing through a small wood there was a final section of landrover track to follow, it cut cross the moorland at the head of Loch Muick before turning by the visitor centre and onto the parking area.
Top Of Page
© 2007-2008 Paul Sammonds. Template Design by Andreas Viklund.