Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Wild camp - Lochnagar 11th August 2012.

After a leasurely drive through Glenshee and Braemar, where we stopped for a cup of tea, we passed through Ballater and parked at a very busy Lock Muick visitors centre. (Muick pronounced "Mick").  

Our first views of the cliffs of Lochnagar and a chance to scout around for a decent spot to camp for the night. The wind was picking up and it took us ages to find somewhere even slightly sheleterd and not too wet. The cloud was also slowly building and our dream of a picturesque sunset were soon dashed. Finally we found a half decent spot a couple of hundred metres south of the summit of Meikle Pap.  

This would be the first outing of our new Vango Omega 250, which was a bargain at £75 from Decathlon of all places. It has the vango TBS tension system inside, which turned out to be useful as the wind picked up! It also has a detachable, bathtub style groundsheet for the porch area, however we didn't use it on this occaision.       

Despite the glorious views over the royal estate, it was getting a bit wild so after tea we checked the tent over once again before getting cosy inside.

As darkness fell I was hoping to light one or both of the fire logs we had lugged up there for a cozy camp fire. However the strong winds made it difficult, but I was determined not to carry them back. Eventually I found a (slightly) sheltered spot and had something resembling a camp fire going, although Lorna wasn't too impressed as I insisted she brave to cold and wind to sit next to it! 

After a windy , but secure night in the Omega 250, we had breakfast , packed up and headed up to the plateau and followed the rim of the crags round to the first summit of Cac Carn Mor at 1150m.

As we made our way round the mist came and went giving the occasional view down some of the gullies, in this case, back over to Meikle Pap.  

Again, some tantalising glimpses down some big gullies.

This being my first visit here, I wasn't sure of the names of the gullies that are popular in the winter, but hopefully I'll get to return to see them from within! Finally we made it top a very windy and foggy Cac Carn Beag at 1155m; the second summit, from where we turned and headed south east, following the Glas Allt down to Loch Muick. Sadly there was a fair bit of litter around, even the coals of a barbeque someone had had amongst the summit rocks! 

The long path down the Glas Allt get more interesting and scenic as Loch Muick comes into view.

Eventually we came to the Glas Allt Falls, which you can get to by a short detour left off the main path. I don't know if they freeze enough in winter to be climbed, but they do look good. 

Nearly down to the loch with a short section through the trees to Glas Allt Shiel. Another possible wild camping spot?

Once past the north west shore of the loch, we turned east to make for the car park, when I noticed this chap casually crossing the path.

Looking back down Loch Muick as we head for Spittal of Glen Muick, and a short drive to Ballater for a night in the campsite there.

1 comment:

Kellan MacInnes said...

Liked your post about climbing Lochnagar. On a clear day Lochnagar is one of around 20 Scottish mountains that can be seen from Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh..