It was the Jubilee holiday on the Tuesday, so what could be more appropriate than celebrating (or avoiding the crowds depending on your views of the Monarchy) by heading to Royal Deeside for a couple of days Munro-bagging ?
Our chosen hike for the Monday was Lochnagar. Picking up people on route, we drove through Braemar (very little in the way of bunting) and had to drive around Ballater (street party ?). Up to the Lochnagar car-park, I was amazed at how quiet it was. We decided to do the route anti-clockwise and headed off on a fine track. The track heads to some houses, from where a path takes over. The group got into a good rhythm and Lochnagar's cliffs and dark corries gradually came into view. Cloud threatened, but remained high and wwe were treated to some fine views from the summit, Cac Carn Beag - some of the group still not believing what this translated as (check it out yourself !).
Some posing for photos and some lunch in, then we headed off over a pleasant grassy trudge to Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach - debatable whether this is worthy of Munro status ! The wreckage on the next Munro, Carn an t-Saigart Mor and the views from its summit cairn were of more interest. I found the scribe scratched into the section of wing I put there 20 years ago - seems like yesterday !
3 down, 2 to go ! Cairn Bannoch was another grassy hike away, its summit boulders needing clambered up. And finally Broad Cairn - 5 done ! Being slightly chilly and with a breeze blowing, I suggested we got down to the pony shelter we could see below for our break. We had to cope with some boulderfield on the descent from the summit, some tired legs finding the terrain testing. After a stop at the shelter in sunshine, we enjoyed a lovely 2 hour walk dropping to Loch Muick and back to the car-park.
More photos on our Flickr page.