Creag Choinnich - 538m
Saturday 13th March 2010

Weather/Conditions: Great weather. Just fantastic. Some snow lying on the ground, the sun in the skies, a little wind and beautiful forests.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 2.4km / 200m / 36m
Accompanying: Alone

Second hillwalk of the day.

In reality, this was a short walk and it's a hill that can be climbed very quickly. Braemar is at an altitude of 340m, so it's only 200m vertical metres to the top. But I had a couple of reasons for doing it. First of all, I was still needing energy burnt off after the Carn na Drochaide walk in the afternoon. Secondly, Saturday would be the only walking day on this weekend. Everyone would have to get home on the Sunday, so if there was a chance, it was now. When I came up to Braemar in November 2008, I'd wanted to climb it, but hadn't. This afternoon, the weather was looking fantastic though windy, and the sun was lowering in the sky. This would be the perfect time to go, so I headed off as soon as possible.


Diane gave me a leaflet she'd picked up with marked routes to the summit and on tracks around the forests. This proved far more useful than any OS map and I was on my way in no time, crossing through the centre of Braemar (a small place it is) and up by the church. A road goes up the left hand side of the church and signposts can be followed to Creag Choinnich. I crossed the road, went through a gate and began following the path upwards. No real problems, it was all pleasantly easy.

I was glad to be walking again, and the views were beautiful. I said in the Carn na Drochaide report that I loved the forests of this area, and the walk up Creag Choinnich backed this up. The sun shining trough the trees made nice lighting in the forest and the wind was fairly non-existent inside. I was having a great time.

If all went well I'd be up in no time, but I just focused on gaining height. The walk was so short I knew I could thrash my way to the top, leaving burning muscles. Then I approached the top of the forests and came out the top. The summit followed later, a big cairn among some pine trees. This was more like a Norwegian forest hill, I reminded myself. Not a usual comparison you might make, but I've read so much over the last two and a half years that I've come to make that association.

Anyway, the day was just brilliant, the weather superb. I had the satisfaction of having climbed a new hill and had the pleasure of walking in such a beautiful part of the world. I wished I had such a beautiful hill to walk up in the evenings back home. It really was this attractive.

...and Downwards

Descent was quick. Despite the significant snow cover on the path, I just trusted I wouldn't slip and ran down anyway. I was off in no time and back in Braemar. What a great walk, the perfect conclusion to an equally good day on Carn na Drochaide. I love the forests when the sun shines through, it just gives me a feeling. I'm always in awe at them.

My plan for the next morning had been to climb Morrone behind Braemar. I had the plan worked all worked out, but we sat in the bunkhouse in the evening and I began pouring myself a wine, then another then another. Topped it off with two Guinness's down at the Fife Arms and was well and truly pished by the time I crawled into bed. It had been a brilliant night with everyone, though I was in no fit state the next morning to climb any mountain and took my time getting up. On the way home, I paid a short visit to the lay-by by Finegand Farm where hillwalking pal Michael died a month earlier. I'd stopped by on Friday night too, but it wasn't as harsh an experience as then. Nice to stop for a couple of moments and remember. So overall - big success - it had been all worth it and the weekend had been a massive success.

Can't ask for much more, really.

360° Panorama

Creag Choinnich
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 3.47pm Braemar
(0.21) 4.08pm Creag Choinnich
(0.25) 4.12pm Creag Choinnich (left)
(0.36) 4.23pm Braemar

Written: 2010-03-18