Sunday, 8 October 2017


The Northern Corrie of Lochnagar
Warm sun and Autumn colours on the walk in to Lochnagar
The cliffs of Lochnagar from the West ridge

High altitude Field Mouse
West Buttress Lochnagar
Cliffs of Lochnagar
The many cliffs and gullies of Lochnagar
No signs of  settled weather anytime soon, unfortunately. We usually get a two or three day spell of fine weather in Autumn but we are still in a cycle of Atlantic lows across the Scottish Highlands. Sunday was looking half decent in the Eastern Highlands so Ian and I headed in that direction in hope of sunshine on Lochnagar. This is a fine mountain  and one I have not been on for at least 10 years. Like much of the Cairngorm mountains it has a big plateau with huge cliffs which have a wealth of  hard winter climbing routes. One of the best mountain in The Cairngorms. We had a late morning start in lovely warm sunshine and it was looking hopeful for a clear, sunny day with little wind. By the time we reached the bealach below Meikle Pap the cloud had come across the tops and plateau . Most folk who walk up Lochnagar head up the well constructed 'Ladder' path, the easiest, most straightforward route in summer with little navigation required. There is an amazing line of cairns higher up on the plateau (is there really a need for so many cairns on a obvious path?). We avoided the crowds on this route and headed down to Lochnagar (The name given to the mountain from this loch that sits below the cliffs). You get fine views from here and we were out of the wind. There is a nice, pathless route up the West ridge of the mountain to the summit plateau from here. Great views into the corrie. All the way up we could hear the stags roaring down below. We reached the plateau and into cloud for the final stroll to the Munro summit, Cac Carn Beag. Despite the claggy weather on top we had atmospheric views of the cliffs plunging down the corrie.  I forgot how easy a day this hill is in summer conditions. A bit different in winter!

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