Braemar hillwalking weekend. Stunning views of a fantastic weekend staying in Braemar and summiting two Munros Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach.
I’d been looking forward to this Braemar hillwalking weekend for weeks. I wasn’t disappointed.
We had glorious weather and two Munros, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach were summited.
Mike and I normally try and schedule at least one Braemar hillwalking weekend every year just because there’s so many amazing hills to climb and the scenery is amazing.
Not only that, the village of Braemar has some really nice places to eat and drink. It’s a great place to visit or stay for a short break.
There’s plenty to choose from in the way of accommodation.
Hotel’s, guest houses and B&B’s are available, but we always prefer Rucksacks bunk house.
It’s self catering with shared cooking facilities (above), private dorms and excellent facilities.
It took roughly 3 hours to get from Glasgow to Braemar. That included leaving my car at Mike’s in Stirling so we just took one car.
We both managed to get half day’s off from work to be able to drive up on a Friday afternoon avoiding the worst of the traffic.
On arrival at the bunkhouse we unpacked and cooked a typical Scottish traditional supper of stovies giving us plenty of carbs as fuel for our next days planned walk.
Braemar hillwalking weekend
Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach
After a hearty (again typically traditional meal – keeping in the spirit of things 🙂 ) breakfast of porridge on Saturday 4th June we set off for the starting point, arriving at 0930.
The starting point is only a 20 minute drive from the bunkhouse.
A car park across the road from Auchallater Farm.
After enjoying a few glasses of wine the night before and catching up on gossip, it was nice not to have to get up too early!
Incidentally, the starting point for our day is also the West starting point for Jocks Road.
I’ve walked part of the East section of Jocks road previously with our friends Catherine and Liam.
I wrote about that in the Jocks Road to Davy’s Bourach post.
We had a 3 – 4 mile walk along Jocks road to where we would leave the road to start our climb.
This initial part as you can see above is pretty flat but still provides a good “warm-up” for the remaining 10 miles round trip.
It was really sheltered and quite hot and humid already at this point.
Above we stopped for some pictures and I took a short video at a bridge over the Callater Burn.
We took in the magnificent scenery and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
All we could hear was the sound of the flowing water.
At the end of this stretch of Jocks Road just before we reached Callater Loch Lodge, we took a left turn off the road
You can see Mike above enjoying the last piece of flat land!
Here the path began for our
slog climb of the two Munro’s (mountains over 3000 feet) Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach.
Looking back down at Callater Loch Lodge (above) Loch Callater was now also also in view.
The main building of the lodge is for shooting and stalking parties from the estate.
Next to that is Callater stable which is now a walker’s bothy. The bothy is maintained by volunteers from the Mountain Bothy Association.
Jocks Road continues along the near side of the loch for the rest of the 15 miles to Glen Doll. It takes about a day to walk.
We’ve done that walk a couple of times before. You can carry camping gear too, if you wanted to split the walk into two days, camping somewhere in the glen.
This further up view looking back down at Loch Callater shows some of the stalking paths in this area.
These are tracks made for Landrovers to be able to access areas where the grouse would be.
And you can still just make out Callater Loch Lodge.
At this point we had a check of the map and a quick cup of coffee.
I always make us a freshly brewed coffee before leaving and put it in a Thermos flask.
Coffee tastes amazing when you’re on the hills and the views are stunning at this seat halfway up Carn an t-Sagairt Mor.
Even at this time of year looking towards the head of the glen, and this stunning vista there’s still the remnants of the winter snow on the summits.
There used to be places where the snow would never melt in Scotland.
But with global warming all the snow now melts around this time of year, until the winter snow falls start again.
Onwards and upwards.
I often talk in these posts of how many of the most popular paths are now maintained to avoid erosion on the hillside. This is another one of them.
In fact, volunteers now pay, to spend their summers helping to look after these mountains for generations to come.
Rain, hail, snow or shine, AND with no guarantee of what kind of weather you might be working in. Now that’s dedication for you!
Both Mike and I were really hot, and as you can imagine pretty sweaty at this stage.
Not only was it a stunning day with wall to wall sunshine, but there was literally no wind at all to keep us cool.
Compare that to the last hillwalking post, Ben Vorlich where we were battered by stinging hailstones!
The Scottish mountains are filled with all sorts of history.
From Celtic battles amongst the clans to the Jacobite risings, there are many story’s that each mountain could tell you if it had a voice.
Carn an t-Sagairt Mor doesn’t need a voice, just the remains of this RAF English Electric Canberra aircraft.
A sad episode in the mountains history of when in 1956 this aircraft crashed near the summit killing both airmen on board.
The wreckage still lies strewn about the hillside as a permanent memorial to this tragedy.
We followed the old fence posts up the rest of the mountain.
Victorian land owners were so obsessed with marking out their land boundaries that fence posts like these are found all over the Scottish Mountains, even in the most bizarre places.
Can you imagine trying to hammer those posts into this stone ground?
At around 12.30 we finally we reached the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, our first Munro.
Someone has sought to decorate the cairn with parts of old fence post as you can see behind me in this photograph above!
I guess at least it helps to clear up any dangerous debris around the top of the mountain, and have it all safely in one place.
Looking North from the summit you can see the summit of Lochnagar.
There will be another Braemar hillwalking weekend this year and it will be with Lady Lynne in early August!
It could be that we climb that Munro then. We’ll have to wait and see.
Weather permitting and all that!
From the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor we set out walking over the top of the extensive White Mounth plateau to the next summit of Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach.
Fortunately there wasn’t any more climbing to be done.
There was just a drop off Carn an t-Sagairt Mor then a more gentle rising walk to our next Munro.
And so finally at about 1.30pm we reached the summit of Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach.
Looking Northwards from here are the steep crags of “The Stuic” overlooking Loch nan Eun, an area popular with many rock climbers.
We hadn’t met anybody else when we were climbing our first Munro of the day.
However this second Munro was busier mainly because it’s one of the 5 White Mounth Munros, of Glen Muick.
You can do those 5 Munros in a row if you get a good day, plenty of daylight and have between 9 – 11 hours to spare!
I’d have quite happily have taken a little nap in the sun at the top.
However, seeing as I was pretty much through all my water and hadn’t brought nearly enough for the day (me bad 😳 ) it was time to take the next 3 hours descending.
I desperately needed to get down to the cool waters of the Callater Burn for a fresh as you can get it cold drink of water.
And when we got there. I needed that water. I must have drunk about 3 litres in total!
WE made it back to Rucksacks bunkhouse for about 5.00pm.
That gave us plenty of time to get cleaned up, showered and ready to head out for an evening meal at the Braemar Lodge.
Now don’t judge me, but I had those haggis balls deep fried with potato mash and whisky sauce above, for starters.
Then game pie for mains and to top it all off Ferrero Rocher cheesecake for pudding.
Seeing as I’d walked 7 hours, burning an average of 430 calories per hour I think on this braemar hillwalking weekend I’d earned that don’t you? 😉
Well folks, thanks for your time in reading this. If you’d like to read more hillwalking adventures, then check out my other hillwalking posts.
Ah, those views are all stunning!! What a wonderful “hillwalking” adventure to take!
Such an amazing day it just had to be shared. So many photos taken, it took me ages to decide on which were the best ones to tell the story because I loved them all.
Thanks Rebecca. 🙂
You didn’t lie when you said those views are stunning! I am making it my aim to go on more walks like this next year, taking baby with us of course.
The accommodation looks great too and I wish that was my kitchen at home haha
Oh that sounds like a plan Dannii. I remember my mum used to walk my brother and I everywhere. That’s probably why I love it so much myself!
Isn’t the kitchen amazing! I love it too. It reminds me of the hotel I used to work in, when I was a student, in my kitchen porter days. Ah, those easy fun days……. 😉
Good gravy, that place is amazing. And I love the Bunkhouse! I would totally want to stay at a place like that!
I know I say it every time, but the terrain and topography that you encounter is just so incredible to me. And I love that little farm and house! Having read the memoirs of the nurse in the Hebrides, this just helps me picture her adventures. Thank you!
You are welcome my friend. I love to share the beauty that Scotland has to offer with everyone! And I know that you especially feel a personal kind of connection to the place.
Hopefully we’ll see you guys here one day eh? And I could even take you to the Rucksacks Bunkhouse to stay and we’d have a glass of local beer (or two 😉 ) in the Lodge! 🙂
Wow Neil, I feel like I am looking in a National Geographic magazine – our photos are fantastic! And wow – those views! So surreal! So stunning! Those pictures of Callater Loch Lodge and Loch Callater and of and from the summit of Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach are gorgeous! Y’all sure covered a lot of miles and I don’t judge you for enjoying a treat for dinner – any chance you will recreate that Ferrero Rocher cheesecake here? 🙂
Thank you Shashi! I’m so glad you like the photographs, and if National Geographic are reading and wish to commission me to add some more, then I wouldn’t turn them down. 😉
Mike and I have done a lot of hillwalking together and we have certain days that have very special memories of because of the weather and just how fabulous the day was. This has become one of those days.
Yes, funny that. The Ferrero Rocher cheesecake idea has been added to my “Recipes to make?” list. Maybe one day…… 🙂