Busy doing nothing – Glen Clova again. July 2013

Date: Saturday 27th July 2013
Distance: 16km
Ascent: 1000m

A mixed weekend forecast – nice looking Saturday. Decided to revisit Glen Clova. On our camping trip in March we’d noted a good looking ascent from the car park to Cairn Broadlands and we decided to try it out.

Parked up at 0730 – some fog in the glens was in full retreat but had left a coating of dew.

Dew:

The forest track heads right at NO 282 762, opposite the farm buildings and immediately before the private road to Glen Doll Lodge.

At the split in the track (NO 280 765) there’s a small footpath heads uphill from the corner of the junction. Took this and it winds uphill to the edge of the forest up to the coire under Craig Broadlands and Craig Mellon.

Coire under Cairn Broadlands and Craig Mellon:

Started up some Roe deer here – an adult ran headlong downhill into the deer fence to my right before getting up and running uphill. By the sound of the persistent barking from inside the forest I assume there was a fawn or another adult. The uphill adult hung around 100m uphill so I suspect it waited for our departure to return.

We could have headed straight uphill but we knew from view from Craig Mellon in march that a stalkers path emerges from the forest further west so we wandered that way about 500m to the remains of an old style (about NO 273 769).

The old path is not obvious – we didn’t spot it, heading uphill a wee bit before picking it up. It may be grown on with short grass, but it is well-constructed. Followed it all the way to the top of Craig Broadlands.

Across to Dreish:

H with Glen Clova back:

The stalkers path zig-zags to edge of slope erosions on the SE ridge of Cairn Broadlands.

Slope erosion near top of Cairn Broadlands:

The track ends almost at the summit.

On the path near the top:

Wandered over and past the summit to look north over the unseen Loch Muick trench to Lochnagar. Our pitch site from march visible too.

View north to Lochnagar:

Sat around here for 45 minutes – sunshine, no wind, no midge, no clegs. Rather blissful for Scotland.

Having had a snack and a look around we headed across to Craig Mellon with its stunning view of Glen Clova.

Craig Mellon view down Glen Clova (plus winter view):

The old stalkers path, so hard to see on the ground is obvious from above.

Old stalkers path emerging from forest below:

The Corrie Fee looks narrow and on a slope from up here.

Craig Mellon view of Corrie Fee and Mayar:

Wandered NW to Cairn Damff – the ground a bit harder to traverse having defrosted since last time. Some big deer herds up here.

Stags above Glen Doll:

As last time the views over Glen Doll are impressive.

Craig Maud and Mayar:

This time we dropped off Cairn Damff and then ascended Craigs of Loch Esk to have a look. On the way nearly trod on a grouse chick.

Well tucked-in Grouse chick:

A nice view of Loch Esk from here – took another break for a snack and a gander. Lots of people visible on Broad Cairn, Tolmount and Tom Buidhe.

Loch Esk and Broad Cairn:

Another long break then over to Craig Lunkard.

Glen Doll from Cairn Lunkard:

We’d been scattering hare all day but they’d been rather elusive – finally close enough for a piccie.

Cairn Lunkard hare:

We’d wondered about carrying on across to Craig Rennet, but lazy as always we just wandered back down Glen Doll along Jock’s Road.

Glen Doll asphodel:

Jock’s Road:

Upper Glen Doll:

Had another lounge at the foot of Glen Doll at the river, surrounded by peeved pipits. Still no clegs or midge. Quite enjoyable.

Then back down the track to the car – finally starting to see other people as we rejoined the lower paths.

Larch cones:

Craig Rennet:

A stop-start return watching dragonflies and butterflies, swallows and Martins.

Ringlet on ragweed:

Ringlet:

A great wee ascent route – a perfect fast winter start opening views up within 30 minutes or so. Definitely one we’ll return to.

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