M42 | 1110 m. | 3642 ft.
Translation: Hill of the beautiful corrie
Pronuncation: kaarn a corrie vawyach

Apart from being a very economical way of adding almost two percent of the total tally of 284 Munros to our tick list this tour is also an interesting and entertaining long plateau walk. Since we wanted to do them all in one go we started our tour at the Spittal of Glen Muick. As described in my tour of spring 2001 we climbed the landrover track beside the Allt-na-giubhsaich in fine weather.

At the col above Glen Gelder we took the well engineered path which within maybe half an hour brought us to the col between the Ladder and Meikle Pap. There Frank and I sat on some rocks and looked at the cliffs of Lochnagar. As said before by many people: Great cliffs and a beautiful Loch. Then we and quite a few other people climbed the boulders of the Ladder, crossed some flatter terrain, climbed the final steepening and reached the wide summit plateau. At the summit tor we took a break and checked the indicator.

After having bagged this first Munro we turned south west, descended form the summit and headed for the rounded lump of the White Mounth aka Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach whose summit is marked by a small cairn. Easy walking but nothing exciting. From the top of this second Munro we descended more steeply to regain the path leading over from the Stuic. It skirts Carn an t-Sagairt Beag and in due time lead us to the path that climbs Carn an t-Sagairt Mor our third Munro. At the cairn we sat in the sunshine and in strong wind and took another well-deserved break.

Soon the wind chill drove us on and we retraced our steps heading south east over the grass and moss to Cairn Bannoch. This summit is not much more than some fairly big rocks in a sea of grass. With another Munro ticked our last top of the day was Braod Cairn visible a few kilometres away. With a little descending and re-ascending this hill was finally reached. Five in one go at an easy pace and on easy terrain. Piece of pie! Only our feet ached since we had already done more than 20 kilometres this day, had spent the previous eight days hill-walking and still needed to get back to our car 8 to 10 kilometreas away. We started the final leg in the company of a nice Englishman who had camped somewhere on the plateau. Soon we met a further, older gentleman who seemed to have problems making his way back to Spittal of Glen Muick since he looked quited shaky and exhausted. Our companion volunteered to accompany the gentleman to the car park so Frank and I headed off.

We took the foot path that leads down to the shore of Loch Muick and then contours 20 metres above the shoreline for a few kilometers until it reconnects with the Landrover track coming down from the plateau in steep zig-zags where a stream flows into the loch forming a little alluvial fan. There we took our last snacks and a cup of tea before starting the seemingly endless last leg of this hike to the car park. Finally, after about 30 kilometres of walking we made it to our car, peeled off our sweaty clothes and drove off to Ballater to buy us a nice curry for dinner. An easy walk, great views of Lochnagar, Loch Muick, waterfalls and cliffs. Space for letting your eyes wander! The last tour of the May 2008 “campaign”.

BTW: Lochnagar is the Munro in our collection which was visited by us most often of all hills in Scotland! We’ll be back but on a different approach route next time.

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Total distance: 29620 m
Max elevation: 1150 m
Min elevation: 337 m
Total climbing: 1456 m
Total descent: -1383 m
Total time: 08:46:31

Description These two mountains are near the north-west corner of the Mounth plateau where it overlooks Glen Callater and the Ballochbuie Forest. Between Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach the plateau narrows to form a col from which one stream flows north to join the Dee and another one flows southwards into the Dubh Loch. Both mountains are rounded and not very distinguished in appearance, and the finest features of this part of the Mounth are the fine north-facing corrie of the Stuic Buttress just north of Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach, and the corrie to its south in which the Dubh Loch lies at the foot of the stupendous cliffs of Creag an Dubh-loch.The shortest approach to these mountains is by Glen Callater, starting from the A93 road in Glen Clunie at Auchallater farm. Go up the rough road for 5 kilometres to Lochcallater Lodge and take the path which climbs up to and then across the west face of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor. Leave the path to reach the summit. Keeping to high ground, go north-east over Carn an t-Sagairt Beag to the edge of the Stuic corrie and then climb south-east across the gently rising plateau to Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach. In summer the return route by the path round the south side of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor is quite clear, however in winter it is quite likely to be buried under snow and you should follow its line as closely as possible to reach Lochcallater Lodge and the road in Glen Clunie.