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Regions - Trip reports, destination advice, recommended routes, etc. => Scotland => Topic started by: troy on 10:03:15, 29/10/11

Title: Lochnagar
Post by: troy on 10:03:15, 29/10/11
Lochnagar – it is quite a funny name when you look into it, for a start, reading it as it is you get the impression that perhaps the name came from an old Giza who once lived in a wee cottage by loch Muick, who was perhaps feared due to having an ability to moan people to death or nag. Whereas if you look at its Gaelic meaning ‘Hill of laughter or noise’  you get the impression of an old Giza who lived in a wee cottage by Loch Muick who was perhaps a bit of a comedian and had the ability to lighten the hardiest of moments.
Lochnagar ridge
I think I’ll go with the Gaelic meaning and that the cottage was within the glas allt shiel because it was the autumn yellows of the firs and that quaint river running through the woods there that cheered me up no end after a day spent amongst the windy clouds.
Didn’t really know what to expect from this mountain as I had never been there before, had driven along the A93 countless of times, and been over the Lecht during all weathers and have even delivered milk to the royal residence. I guess being a constant visitor to Aviemore side of the cairngorms, I was expecting something like that, but this was completely different. From the countless stags that crossed my path on the road to spittal of Muick, seeing my destination from the car park (upon my return that is) and the paths, Oh my god the paths.
From Lochnagar back to the carpark
You might nag about being charged £3.00 for the parking, but wait until you walk upto Lochnagar, on paths that are like red carpet treatment. All nicely laid out and with stepping stones right upto the peaks plateau. Of course, if you head away from that peak, the paths return to their normal rough and ready state but if you just wanna do Lochnagar, then expect paths like those from the ski centre above Glenmore upto cairngorm plateau or round to the winter climbing corrie.
The route I choose to do was gonna be a lot longer then what I actually ended up doing, having to cut it slightly due to a growing wind trying its damn hardest to push me off, and I can take a hint. So instead of walking from Lochnagar round to the ridge along broad cairn, I took a detour down to dubh loch which turned out to be surprisingly nice despite being in cloud to about 500m, but saw a few more stags in the wispy mists and the waterfalls down that way are quite fantastic. Of course, for part of the way, there is no path but then again the ground was not wet either for some reason and the ground was undulated in appearance over flattish ground leading to ridges above both loch giving wonderful views down into them (or would when there is no cloud).
The two cairns of lochnagar
glas allt shiel was an area that most surprised me, a sort of wooden pine and fir oasis amongst the mountains. Most of the other people I met on this route were by this place and the gravel tracks along the loch edge, which from what I could see, allow for great easy walks around it, as well upto the surrounding mountain tops on tracks which ease their way up.
Any way less of the waffles, here is some pictures.
The deep corrie seen along the ridge of lochnagar - a good place to escape the wind
waterfasll above loch dubh
looking back at loch dubh
looking down towards loch muick
the autumn yellows
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: MacAoidh on 11:35:03, 29/10/11
Enjoyed your report and pictures. I looked up my log book to see when I was last on Lochnagar and found it to be 31 years ago; a return visit is long overdue.
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: altirando on 15:03:11, 29/10/11
Must be over 40 years since I was on Lochnagar - Easter, drove up in a little Austin Healey Sprite, I think, or was it the TR4? Obviously memory is fading. Long way for four days.  Wouldn't dream of such a trip now, must be getting old. We climbed the mountain via the corrie, snow most of the way of course with a delicate little rock traverse near the top. Come to think of it, I haven't been to Scotland at all since the early eighties, did the Aonach Eigach in Glencoe with my daughter, and before that it would have been the midseventies, but that was to do a photoshoot of some Mary Quant gear near Fort William. You can tell I am not an enthusiast for rain and midges!
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: ramblingpete on 15:41:12, 29/10/11
Thanks for taking the time to post up a TR - Lovely pics, I enjoyed them all O0
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: Alex Quinn on 19:21:58, 29/10/11
Excellent. Bit of a trek though back to the carpark. It is a great place to see deer/stags O0
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: dibble on 20:02:12, 29/10/11
Absolutely excellent trip report.   
Thank you for posting such exquisite photos.   O0
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: dittzzy on 23:19:38, 29/10/11
These pictures are so atmospheric, they are wonderful, and make me wanna go visit.  Thank you for them and the TR.  I have a new place to add to me list,  with a brilliant name.
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: amnesiacjimmy on 00:06:51, 30/10/11
Dibble got the right adjective, exquisite..... Ta for taking the time to post these great pics....  O0 O0 O0 O0 Very evocative and atmospheric  O0 O0 O0
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: troy on 10:19:49, 30/10/11
cheers for comments guys - was'nt sure how it would go down as really I only saw the mountains for about 1/2 an hour before the cloud came down and blinded out the corries - good compass practise weather but [censored] for great views (of which I gather I could of got). Atmospheric, ye I guess it was that having strong wind billowing up my back side has some sort of poetic justice I guess. A strong wind that followed me down to the lochs - that corrie was really the only place I managed to escape it the whole day - but then again the views of a stag on a skyline backed by haze was great and the many hares gave the dog some good exercise.
View from above the waterfall down to loch dubh - only rain I had the entire day was sort of droplets
The waterfall in the woods at the southern end of loch muick
Looking back down loch muick at the woods - you can also see the nice gradient path going upto the plateau behind it - that side of the loch has two such paths/tracks that remind me of the path above the secret valley in glen coe.
Title: Re: Lochnagar
Post by: troy on 10:23:38, 30/10/11
Oh, I've been censored - does that make me a Veteran now? or just a bad a.....