Date: Monday 3rd March 2008
As a mere lad at this game I’m still drawn first to the high tops, but I’m learning that the lower hills can be very rewarding for very little effort.
Overnight snow in Braemar had dumped some unstable pack onto the tops and the roads so we decided to walk from Braemar to Creag Bhalg.
Braemar is at 340m elevation so Grahams are not substantial challenges but this one would make for a great half day direct, or worked into something longer with the Glens of Quoich and Lui and the glacial meltwater cleft of Clais Fhearnaig.
About 3-4km through mixed woods takes you to the road near the Linn of Corriemulzie then 15mins along the road to the Coronation Bridge at Mar Lodge. Cross the bridge and wander through the (NTS) estate to the road to Linn of Quoich from where a track heads NW from NO 096 901 on an easy slope to Doire Bhraghad. Views develop south towards Glen Ey and Carn Bhac.
Withtin 1.5km the W of the hill is reached and suddenly the Cairngorm massif is visible over the pine woods.
You could turn, we headed for the 657m summit above Linn of Quoich. From here it would be feasible to head SE then E to Linn of Quoich. We headed N on a zigzag through heather slopes to reach the Glen Quoich woods below. These are mature Caledonian pine so easy to walk through to the track.
Walked back along the road cutting off into the Mar Lodge Estate at NO 111 903 to reach the bridge through the woods.
The return to Braemar followed Morrone birkwoods again.
In general Creag Bhalg is a short hop for a short day but there’s so much in the area it could be worked in to a good walk. A great viewpoint for laughable effort.