Cairn Bannoch - 1012m
Fafernie - 1000m
Carn an t-Sagairt Mor - 1047m
Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach - 1110m
Lochnagar (Cac Carn Beag) - 1155m
Friday 7th June 2013
Weather/Conditions: The sun pounded down on the long walk by Loch Muick. The air today was hazy and warm, heavy clouds drifted. The sun set, casting hill and moor in intense evening colour. A great day for conditions.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 29km / 1230m / 7h 45m
I'd meant to go over these hills with Andy Brown, but he'd got there on time, I was horrendously late, and he ended up going up by himself - we never met up on the plateau.
I was looking forward to getting this group done, because it would efficively mean I'd climbed all the hills from Blair Atholl to Braemar. I've done a lot of high-tally days recently and this was the last in the region.
A lunchtime start meant that the sun pounded down on the long walk by Loch Muick. I took the high track to Broad Cairn and worked fast to make up time lost by our late arrival. The air today was hazy and warm, heavy clouds drifted. It reminded me of those dramatic oil landscape paintings.
The walk to Broad Cairn felt long, but the next Munros all made up for it. Cairn Bannoch, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach followed in quick succession. They're all Munros, but they're big rounded humps; long distances but little ascent. It's easy to walk with speed but you have to walk quite a long time to get anywhere. The plateaux were brown and orange today, the colour of the sun filtered through hazy air. Surrounding peaks were mostly climbed now, and ranged off into murk. At a stretch, I could see Schiehallion. But the Cairngorms weren't climbed yet, it wouldn't be long now until I was there.
Without a doubt, the most spectacular part of the day was coming over the top of Lochnagar, the cliffs opening up right beneath my feet. It was a real high point of recent days. Dad was a mile away on the opposite side of the coire, standing on Meikle Pap taking photos of me on the summit of Lochnagar and sweetest of all, it was my 100th Munro of the trip. A big moment; finally out of double figures! I spent time on the summit, exploring the tops of the cliffs, then staring in awe down at the huge voids of air as I walked around the coire rim.
Dad was on his way back to the Spittal, and I followed in his tracks as the sun set, casting hill and moor in intense evening colour.
And then my day was made: "Well done Kev. 100th Munro". Andy had written it in the ground for me. I stood for a moment figuring it out and then laughed out loud. Thanks Andy! And sorry I was so late.
Dad and I camped in Glen Cluanie, south of Braemar. I scoffed a couple pf curries and had a late bed. I was even too tired to get a blog done. But the weather conditions were perfect: not too cold, dry and not a midge in sight. I keep having perfect camps with dad. Long may they continue; should the midge hold off.
Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach
Lochnagar (Cac Carn Beag)
(0.00) 1.30pm Spittal of Glenmuick
(2.20) 3.50pm Broad Cairn
(2.50) 4.20pm Cairn Bannoch
(3.40) 5.10pm Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
(4.25) 5.55pm Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach
(5.07) 6.37pm Cac Carn Beag (Lochnagar)
(5.40) c. 7.10pm Cac Carn Beag (left)
(7.45) 9.15pm Spittal of Glenmuick