Inspired by Warren’s post, we set off to do the four cp tour of lower Glen Muick.
Parked at Mill of Sterin and up via the tracks as far as possible on the Coyles, then into the trees to reach the Cairn/Coyles themselves.
Took a bit of time to decide on a route to Craig Megan and finally decided on south-west from the Coyles to reach the ridge up Craig Megan (we were initially tempted to go down to the deer fence and up the face of Craig Megan but decided it looked too rocky). On the way over we spotted this adder, first we’ve ever seen in the wild. After Craig Megan it was a good run down to the river and a cold crossing in fairly fast moving water. On to the Cairns and back before making our way along to the Linn of Muick and back to the car.
1 – Coyles looking back to Cairn
2 – Adder
3 – From Craig Megan looking into Glen Muick
4 – Cul nan Gad looking back to Coyles
5 – Linn of Muick
Sun 19th April
Excellent run up Coyles of Muick, through the woods – great views from the top.
Then onward to Craig Megan with the snow on Lochnagar peeking out of the cloud. Massive herd of red deer cleared out of the way for me….
Then down towards Inchnabobart, following the many deer tracks. Wade across the river, in the shallows just downstream from Inchnabobart.
On up the track to Cul nan Gad for a brief look back up to Loch Muick
Descending off the hill onto the road, down to the waterfall at Linn of Muick
Finishing off down the road back to the car at Mill of Stern.
Marie and I set off from the gate by Loch Ulachie through the forest and onto the path that skirts the ridge up to the Coyles. Still some fresh snow from last night, but it was quickly melting leaving a lovely wet slush. From the Coyles we headed south west making a pretty straight line down then back up through deep rocky heather onto Craig Megan. From here we headed North (more deep rocky heather) to cross the Girnock river which has some convenient stepping stones just where the track meets the river on the other side. We followed the track to the disused farmhouse at Camlet before a sharp ascent onto Sgor an h-lolaire. Skies had cleared and we had a lovely decent along the ridge towards Creag nam Ban. At the col we descended through more deep rocky heather, crossing the bog and then up more deep rocky heather onto Creag Ghiubhais. This was finished by, guess what, even more deep rocky heather as we dropped back down to the Girnock river. The final mile on the road was somewhat of a relief.
I think we can definitely say that we have had sufficient heather bashing training for the Mountain Marathon, I might be quite disappointed if there is none!
We parked at the bridge over the Girnock and set off up Creag Ghiubhais from the east. I knew this would be a tough wee climb and it was, up through steep man-eating heather and rocky stuff, and I rapidly realised this was not the best day to have chosen for my first shorts outing of the year as blood started dripping down my shins. The stunted old pines at the top almost made up for it – this is one of our favouritist spots in Deeside. We then dropped off the west side down broken rock and across the bog (bubbling with amorous frogs) to climb towards the gap between Creag nam Ban and the next cp on Sgor an h-Iolaire. It’s a few years since I’ve been up here but I’m sure there were far more deer tracks at the time, now it’s just lots more man-eating heather in amongst one or two magical ancient trees. We finally picked up a path once we got onto the ridge proper and broke into a trot for the first time, but sadly this petered out again soon after the high point. Jon mutterred about turning left once we hit the track, but I (foolishly) told him to man up and we crossed the next bog towards the foot of the Coyles of Muick and our 3rd cp. The one good thing about this hill is that it is mostly grassy, but we were both tired and it was a slow climb to the top. Then it was just a long slow run back along the ridge, but a run at least. We found a decent line off the north west end back down to the gate in Glen Girnock.
All in all this was a bit of a beast made a lot worse by us starting tired and low on energy.
I had a quick ice bath in the Girnock after, to help speed up recovery.
Well a pleasant morning going twice to The”Forrest”, as the Vat has been named by the superstar. Not climbing just clearing stuff up near the cliffs and hard to beleive I came home and went back. Of course weather was ok and I had forgotten something I needed.
Alas the weather did not Hold . I have probably been up to the Spittal of Glen Muick more than 50 times enroute to the Dubh Loch and Lochnagar, but never stopped to spy the falls, and must say they were impressive today.The Coyles could best be described as cold and wet so little time was speant on the tops.
After being out in a t-shirt yesterday, it was back to the hat and gloves for a trip up to the Coyles of Muick in the afternoon. The wind was getting up and the temperature falling. I approached from the track beside Loch Ullachie on the South Deeside Road. The map doesn’t show it, but there is a narrow but clear path all the way to the summit from the end of the forest track. The cairn on the top is amazing and the views fabulous, but I didn’t hang about too long as it started to snow! I saw a pair of capercaillie and some bullfinches, plus another crossbill.