South Loch Muick and Dubh Loch. July 2016.

Date: Saturday 31st July 2016
Distance: 24.1km
Ascent: 930m

Another day with the best of any brightness in the east. We decided to visit Loch Muick and ascend at least a few of the 5 surrounding Munros.

Parked up at 0700 – the car park was already quite busy, presumably folks camping here and there. A £4 parking charge is steep…although a bottle of Cairngorm beer in Ballater had been £4.95 the night before!

Headed off on the south shore of the loch towards Broad Cairn.

Loch Muick:

Spotted some antlers over a rise and crept up on a group of stags…needn’t have bothered as they looked up at us and then carried on unperturbed.

Loch Muick stags:

At NO 288 821 there’s a choice of a slow rising path or the quick ascending vehicle track. We took the latter to get high quicker.

Loch Muick from track ascent:

The high ground gives a view of Victoria’s lodge and the looming munros.

Glas-allt Shiel and Lochnagar:

Over to the south the now familiar uplands of Cairn Broadlands over the Glen Doll car park were getting some brightness.

Cairn Broadlands:

The track ends at the stables at NO 256 808 and thereafter it’s a hill path. Quick progress up the munro. Spotted a number of hares and ptarmigan shifting around ahead of us.

Broad Cairn Ptarmigan:

Arrived on Broad Cairn with a rather perky and very parky wind from the NW.

H on Broad Cairn:

Sheltered behind the summit, donned more layers before heading on. Cold fingers arrived early this year.

Heading to Cairn Bannoch:

Cairn of Cairn Bannoch:

Sat for a while at Cairn Bannoch, had some food and considered our options. The tops were intermittently clagged and the day was windy and cold. We decided that rather than complete the munro circuit we’d drop down via Allt an Dubh Loch and Dubh Loch as we’d never visited these before.

Dropped down the stream between Creag an Dubh Loch and Cairn Bannoch (on reflection we should probably have descended the ridge of Creag an Dubh Loch for better views).

Crossed the Allt an Dubh Loch and then picked our way down to meet the path at Dubh Loch.

This area is quite impressive. The rock looks reminiscent of bits of Arran.

Eagle’s Rock:

Allt an Dubh Loch falls:

Dubh Loch:

Creag an Dubh Loch:

The path along the north shore of Dubh Loch is initially rather rough and muddy but improves substantially by the east end of Dubh Loch.

Dubh Loch and Creag an Dubh Loch:

The sun was out a few times as we descended to Loch Muick and Glas-allt Shiel. It had jumped from rather parky to rather hot. No clegs or midges though.

Descent to Loch Muick:

Looking back to Broad Cairn:

Dropped down to Glas-allt Shiel and then a quick march back to the car for the drive south.

Another rather grey day but well worth the walk. Will certainly try to work Dubh Loch into a route again.

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