Thursday, September 29, 2011

22nd Sept - Not as steep as we'd hoped Glories of Dark Lochnagar

With Dave the prodigal moderators return from the land of the free via the land of the leiderhosen just to get a place on the Applecross meet, we decided a midweek wheech up lochnagar was in order. The forecast of gusting winds, showers, cloudy summits and freezing levels just above the top comfirmed it - just the scotland he'd been missing!

As we drove down Deeside to the Keiloch carpark, we cursed not taking our climbing gear as clear blue skies abound and the morning sun lit up the main buttresses of lochnagar. Setting off from Keiloch, we were (on this occasion) greatly cheered by the appearance of both the wind and rain forecast and the clouds swooping in around the summits. The plan for a scramble up An Stuic seemed a good one once again!

After the obligitory getting lost in the woods, and find an enormous and massively impressive spiders web strung out between two trees about 10' apart we eventually got above the treeline and broke away from the path - only to be recalled shortly later by an excitable figure waving. Stalking parties were up in the corrie apparently working their way back down to dinner, and we were asked to find another way up to the tops. We decided on agree (not least as we didn't fancy the thought of walking up into the firing line descending from the corrie!) and followed the path up onto the summit. Which turned out almost as hazzardous with the below resident resolutely guarding the way!

After a brief de-tour we went via various sections of downed aircraft to Carn an t-saigart mor, then beag (where we met a bedraggled looking if cheery Norwegian (we thought) lady doing the summits in the opposite direction to us) and hence on to lochnagar.

The clound generously opened up giving us great views of the corrie, and after reminiscing about the "fun" winter days we'd had there we headed over the summit and back down to the car via the princes stone and a good hack through the heather. The big adder we'd seen on the track up never too far from our rather paranoid minds!

Dave's re-aquaintence with the Scottish way was completed by a fish supper and single white pudding washed down with a couple of bottles.