Walk: Dark Lochnagar

[Corrie of Lochnagar - the true summit is on the far right]

Lochnagar (Little loch of the noisy sound) is one of the Cairngorms' great icons - Lord Byron even wrote a poem about it in 1807. This lofty summit's northern side is riven by a magnificent coire, cradling a teardrop-shaped lochan with a series of smaller ones leading away from the cliffs like a string of pearls. The cliffs are renowned for winter ice climbing, with extreme skiing in the intervening gullies. For walkers there's a surprisingly straightforward (in good conditions) path from nearby Glenmuick, with the classic view only revealed at the last minute. Returning along the Glas Allt takes in a majestic waterfall and the peaceful shoreline of Loch Muick; for sheer variety, this must be one of Scotland's very best day walks.

[Lochnagar's broad south face ends abruptly at the corrie cliffs]

Name: Walk: Dark Lochnagar ★★★
Length: 20 km / 12 miles
Ascent: 990 metres
Main summits: Meikle Pap (980 metres); Lochnagar (1156 metres, Munro)
Points of interest: Corrie of Lochnagar; Falls of the Glasallt; Loch Muick
Start / finish: Car park at Spittal of Glenmuick, 8 miles south of Ballater, G.R.: NO 310852 / doing hiked barefoot

Route: Car park - Allt-na-giubhsaich - Clais Rathadan - Meikle Pap - south rim of Lochnagar corrie - Lochnagar - Falls of the Glasallt - Glas-allt-Shiel - Loch Muick - start
Terrain: Good tracks lower down and clear paths higher up; rougher and fainter sections across boulders near the summits.
Wildlife today: Deer near the start; lots of fungi down by Glas-allt-Shiel.
Weather today: Sunny intervals after an initial rain shower; strong winds on the summit plateau.

[Return section along Loch Muick]


Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)

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