Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Day 1 - Loch Muick hills

The midges at the Spittal of Glenmuick car park were doing a fair imitation of their western brethern, but vanished as we made our way along the track by the loch.

Broad Cairn from L Muick

Lochnagar was cloud-covered but showed every sign of clearing, Broad Cairn was already clear and  looked inviting so really chose itself as the objective for today.  Shortly we came to the start of the Capel Mounth track which crosses to Glen Clova.

I will attempt the Capel Track,
Old stiff and retrograde,
And set some pal to push me on
Should resolution fade.
For I must see black Meikle Pap
Against a starry sky,
And watch the dawn from Lochnagar
Once more before I die.

Syd Scroggie – First verse, Ante Mortem

It was cool and pleasant as we wandered along the lochside track reflecting on what great backpacking country this was, but a stop at the bridge over the roaring, thundering Black Burn to consider which route of ascent to take brought out the midges once more, so high or windy campsites would have been desirable to escape the torment.


When we’d climbed Broad Cairn back in 1981 (was it really so long ago?) we had gone by Corrie Chash, so today we opted (quickly, to escape the onslaught) for an ascent via the ‘Streak of Lightning’ which would get us high on the plateau above Loch Muick and so to Allan’s Hut, 2km from Broad Cairn.


It might be Allan’s 'Hut' but a sign says it’s Sandy’s 'Seat'. Beyond the hut a path drops south  to Bachnagairn in Glen Clova.

The weather was picking up nicely by now so we decided to push on to the summit rather than stop for lunch, and soon we were crossing the lichen-covered granite boulders leading to the top.



Some rain and cloud had pushed in from the west as far as Cairn Bannoch and since we wanted to visit a ‘Top’, namely Creag an Dubh Loch in good visibility, we postponed lunch yet again. Rising above the Dubh Loch itself the 270m cliffs form the highest continuous face in the Cairngorms.

No adrenaline rush today though, but a pleasant easy walk to the cairn which is well back from the edge of the cold NE cliffs.

The top of Creag an Dubh Loch

Lunch was again postponed and had become ‘afternoon tea’ by the time we had returned to Allan’s Hut!

It was grand to be tramping these hills again with their great feeling of spaciousness and big skies.


I'd even forgotten about the £3 parking fee at the Spittal!


  1. I'd forgotten where i left that hut too! Hope it was in good condition. I must go and collect it if it doesn't come home soon.
    Good day out by all accounts. Black Burn photo looks good and you didn't get blown in.

  2. Alan - your hut was in fair nick and I'm sure it could be dismantled and sent to you in a flat pack no bother. Might cost though.

    Thanks for your comment btw. I'm considering packing in blogging though, so comments might be all one way in the future. Cheers

  3. I like the inclusion of the verse, nice touch. Strangely, I haven't found the midges to be quite so bad this year.


  4. luachmhor - Thanks for visiting and for commenting. I haven't found the midges too bad this year either, and they were only really troublesome low down on the Loch Muick day. High winds ensured their absence for the rest of the holiday!

  5. That would be a shame if you pack blogging in. Your posts are always good to read and you share areas that are not common to us all.
    Is there anything (obviously not personal) that is making you want to stop?

  6. Hi Alan - Sometimes I'm all enthusiastic about blogging, going to buy a Blackberry or whatever, then other times not so. Can't really put my finger on it to be honest, but I guess if there is no real enthusiasm for writing up trips it shows in the posts eventually and I'd hate that to happen.

    Thanks for your interest Alan - and for visiting this blog so regularly. I'll keep going until Christmas and see how I feel then!

  7. A great spot, that pony hut. Last time I was there I was given delicious home-made sandwiches, which were an ideal hang-over cure for the previous night's endeavours at Lochcallater Lodge on the Challenge.
    The time before that I was on my LEJOG, and had it to myself after a chap kindly vacated the seat to nip off into the middle of no-where.

    Don't give up on us Gibson! Yours is a little haven of quality in the morass of the blogosphere!

  8. Alan - it's a grand spot as you say and we had it to ourselves both going and coming.

    Thanks for your words of encouragement re the blog.

  9. Gibson. You have too much insight and passion for the hills to not blog. Keep at it. We will keep reading along. Liked the post by the way.