Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 8 September 2017

Saturday 2 September- Braemar Gathering. Tuesday 5 September - Mona Gowan, Graham 749m, NJ335085. Map 37

It was a perfect day for the Gathering and we joined others following the Ballater and District Pipe Band through the village around 9am. We watched band after band as they marched to the games field, the whole village being completely taken over by this annual event.

As usual the Braemar MRT had their stand set up and we chatted to a couple of team members for a while and said 'hello' from Allison Todd a former member.

We'd met Allison and her SARDA collie Midge last March on Innerdownie in the Ochils and remembered reading about them both in the team's book 'Mostly Happy Returns'.

2017 has been a relatively quiet year for the team because of the lack of substantial snowfall, although the rescue of a climber who'd fallen and broken his pelvis while climbing on Shelter Stone Crag was a highly technical affair. This was a joint rescue effort - and what an effort - with the Cairngorm and Aberdeen MRTs. 

Tuesday 5 September.

Mona Gowan lies east of the A939 in the rolling hills between Glen Gairn and Strath Don. No sweeping slabs of granite or wild lochs here.

A sign told us that this was adder country. It is also grouse shooting country which we'd completely forgotten - thankfully. The guns we could hear seemed to be coming from the hills to the west of the road so we wasted no time setting off from the car in case other shooting parties arrived on our patch and ruined our day.

It's all easy walking using narrow tracks through the heather or on grass with Morven dominating the view. Our route went over Scraulac and Craigangour Hill, a Graham Top, and so to Mona Gowan's huge summit cairn erected in 1887 for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubiliee.

Cloud and rain threatened, Morven being briefly lost. We departed and walked towards sunnier skies with Lochnagar and Mount Keen, obscured by thick cloud all morning, eventually coming into view.We arrived back at the road in time for a drive to Corgarff and some photos of the castle. In 1998 we'd had the guided tour after an ascent of Brown Cow Hill. Time flies.


Mona Gowan; Morven in distance; descending from Scraulac.


  1. Wish I was up there enjoying the heather.

    1. Sir Hugh - the heather is looking rather fine this September although some sunshine would improve it's appearance further.

      A large chunk of today was spent in thick mist and driving rain before we were allowed a clear dry summit. We loved it all,

      I can't get photos of a decent file size to upload except with Blog Manager so no enlargement is possible.