Lochnagar weekend. A fantastic weekend staying in Braemar eating amazing food and summiting the 1155m Munro of Lochnagar.
Check out this Lochnagar weekend post for stunning images of Scotland and in particular the Scottish Highlands at their (nearly) very best!
In this recap let Lady Lynne and I will be your guide leading you up one of Scotland’s most famous mountains, Lochnagar.
Just remember to pack your waterproofs!
Right, let’s kick off.
We headed up to Braemar from Glasgow and to Rucksacks Bunkhouse two Friday’s ago.
I’ve already mentioned and featured the great facilities of Rucksacks Bunkhouse previously.
You can see the photographs and read about it in the Braemar hillwalking weekend post.
Once we’d got all our gear into the bunkhouse it was time to get something on to eat.
There are excellent cooking facilities in the bunkhouse. So for me that was an opportunity to quickly put together my easy pasta arrabiata .
I always feel if I don’t cook something it’s a shame not to use those facilities.
Now this is a simple and delicious pasta dish (self promotion!). The carbs provided us with plenty of fuel for our long hike and climb of Lochnagar on Saturday.
Plus it kept in with our theme of keeping everything low cost. All helping us to save up for next years Hawaii trip!
We washed down that pasta meal with a few glasses of wine and then had an early night.
This time in the bunkhouse we were fortunate enough to have it all to ourselves for the whole weekend. So it was a great nights sleep!
Early morning Saturday on our Lochnagar weekend trip saw beautiful clear blue skies.
With no time to waste, both Lady Lynne and I were up and breakfasted early (porridge).
Packed lunches were made (rolls with turkey breast, cheese and tomatoes) and we left the bunkhouse just after 8.00am.
By 9.30am we were parked up at the car park at Glen Muick ready for the hike up Lochnagar.
The view above is Lynne just having left the Spittal of Glen Muick Car Park.
There are vast estates around this area which is situated in royal deeside.
Nearby lies Balmoral Castle, summer home of the Royal Family, which is said to be the queens favourite retreat.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance, nor time to pop in for a cuppa with The Queen. Our invitation probably got lost in the post. 😉
Above is the walk towards Glas-allt-Shiel lodge by the shore of Loch Muick after the Spittal of Glenmuick Visitor Centre.
Above looking south from our walk in.
Those mountains in the distance are Carn an t-Sagairt Mor and Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach.
They were the ones that Mike and I climbed from the other direction last time we were staying in Braemar at Rucksacks.
There was a peaceful forest walk after Glas-allt-Shiel lodge to walk through.
This would be the last sheltered part before we got to the exposed mountain path to begin our ascent.
It was full of plenty of interesting fungi to look. If you’re into that sort of thing!
You can just about make out the top of the cliffs of Lochnagar in the photographs above.
The cliffs are seen clearer in a picture further down.
Some of those grey clouds that were building over the area of the summit were foreboding.
We wondered if perhaps they were a warning sign of what was to come later?
However the view looking over to the east couldn’t have been more different weather wise.
Just lots of little light puffy clouds.
Certainly more blue than grey!
After a long trek up a pretty well made land rover track, we cut off left and joined the main path for Lochnagar.
This path is another one of those that I often talk about having had extensive re-building and stone laying on it.
This helps to prevent further erosion on the hill by making the path the easiest option and people then stick to it!
Here we climbed up towards the gap on the left (the bealach) before a much more steeper climb up the mountain, which Lady Lynne threatened divorce over!
It’s always good to turn round every now and then to see just how far you’ve actually walked.
You can make out the land rover track going up the side of the mountain in the distance.
This was the path we took before the left turn up this main path to Lochangar.
The whole distance we actually covered this day was about 8 miles.
As we came over the bealach we got this stunning view that I mentioned earlier of Lochnagars cliffs and it’s northern corrie.
We didn’t see any climbing taking place there that day, probably because of the conditions that ensued.
However it is a particularly popular hill to rope climb up. Again if you’re into that sort of thing.
For ourselves you can see the stone path to the left that we continued to follow with people on it in the distance.
At this point the path takes a sharp left turn to climb up an area notorious for winter avalanches known as “the ladder”.
After having climbed up “the ladder” and onto the plateau, in the far distance to the right you can just make out the summit which is where where were headed.
The path winding it’s way up there to the left.
Whilst the clouds were getting darker, and lower…..
And then the rain came on!
The photograph above shows where I took the previous photograph from as well as those heavy showers of rain that we were now facing.
But that’s why we carry our rucksacks.
It’s not just for carrying lunch! You need waterproofs, extra layers of clothing, water, maps, compass, emergency survival bag, first aid kit and a whistle!
The sudden rain seemed to spur Lynne on!
Where those walkers are in the distance is the next plateau.
Lynne was striding forth to be the first of us to reach the summit of Lachnagar.
And there she was.
Lady Lynne on the summit of Lochnagar.
Or was it……………..?
No it wasn’t.
It’s a false summit and the actual summit is that one seen in the distance in the picture above.
This was the second time on the climb today that Lady Lynne mentioned divorce. 😉
You can understand here too, how people can easily get lost and disorientated with the lack of visibility.
The picture above was taken as we began our descent back down to the car park at Loch Muick.
I took this one final picture to show just how different the weather is back down in the glen.
From 3000ft up what a difference it looked down there. All nice and sunny!
Anyway we retraced out footsteps back down the same path to continue our Lochnagar weekend in the other ways that we enjoy!
And having started with food, what better way than to end with food!
This particular tasty specimen was my main course of game pie in the Braemar Lodge Hotel restaurant.
I can tell you I ate every last drop of this, and it was utterly delicious!
6 hours of solid hiking equates to about 2000 calories burned. I’d earned this. And that bit of bacon which was part of Lady Lynne’s dinner!
Folks, thanks for getting through all that and joining us for our Lochnagar weekend. If you enjoyed this, then please check out the hillwalking section.
And here I was thinking rucksacks were only for food! Gah – you mean you have all that other stuff to stuff in??? 🙂
Neil, your recount of y’alls trip to Lochnagar and your pictures are breathtaking. Especially stunning is that picture at the very end – just about your meal with Lady Lynne’s piece of bacon on it – gosh- that sky is amazing!
Looking forward to that tasty 15 minute breakfast recipe!
Yep, there’s lot’s more other stuff there Shashi! Ha ha 🙂
Thank you as always for being so complimentary about my photographs, and the recount too. That means a lot.
The sky – yes it’s good to get a reminder every now and then just how beautiful the blue sky is above Scotland, when the grey clouds part and we can actually see it. 😆
I still want to stay at the bunkhouse. That place looked so cool, I remember. I am always mystified by the changing weather around you–one moment you are in sun and it is warm, next you are in rain (or in snow!). I am also totally taken with the incredible light in that picture of Lynne in the forest. So much color and contrast. You and Laura (This Runner’s Recipes) and Jo (Living Mint Green) make me so jealous of your adventures!
Also, glad that you are still married 😀
You’re right about how incredible that light looks in the picture of Lynne.
I only wish I could get a constant light, like that when I’m photographing my recipes. THAT’S a constant battle trying to get photographing done with dull grey light coming in my kitchen windows.
But I’ll be grateful for days like these. And the fact we can get out and have adventures like these. Yes I’m glad I’m married too. Need someone to pay half of the bills 😉