Hills: Lochnagar, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn
Date: 7th July 2006
Company: Just me

In July 2006, I decided to walk the classic Lochnagar horseshoe – a circuit of five Munros including Lochnagar, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch and Broad Cairn.

My first ascent of Lochnagar was back in 1982 with my school hillwalking Club. Since then I have ascended Lochnagar on numerous occasions. In 1991 with my pal Steve, in 1994 with ex-work colleagues Scott and Edwin, in 2000 with a group from my old work, in 2002 with the Cairngorm Club, in 2003 on my own along with the Corbett Conachcraig and again in 2003 via an ascent of Eagle Ridge with Kevin, in 2005 with Carole, in 2006 as part of this horseshoe and again in 2007 with Beinn. I am pretty sure I've missed a few other ascents too. I had ascended Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach and Carn an t-Sagairt Mor only once previously and this was to be my third ascent of Cairn Bannoch and fourth ascent of Broad Cairn.

Of the five Munros in this circuit, only Lochnagar qualifies as a Marilyn - insufficient drop between the other hills. I undertook the Lochnagar horseshoe in an anti-clockwise direction – starting with Lochnagar and finishing on Broad Cairn.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I parked at the Spittal of Glenmuick and ascended Lochnagar via the standard route alongside the Allt na-guibhsaich.

View towards Lochnagar:

I passed Meikle Pap during the ascent, a Munro top I am embarrassed to say I have never ascended, before ascending the ladder to reach the top of Lochnagar's fine cliffs.

Lochnagar cliffs:

During the ascent I took a zoomed photo of Eagle Ridge.

Eagle ridge (zoomed):

The two photos below are from an ascent of Eagle Ridge undertaken in 2003. Myself and Kevin ascended the ridge in 10 pitches - I led pitches 1,3,5,7 and 9.

Ascending Eagle ridge (June 2003):

Reaching the top of Eagle Ridge (June 2003):

However, back to the Lochnagar horseshoe .

I then followed the edge of the cliffs to Cac carn mor and then onto the summit Cac carn beag.

Cac carn mor:

Looking towards summit of Lochnagar – Cac carn beag:

Looking down Black Spout:

At the summit there is a trig point and a granite toposcope. This toposcope, and the topgraph on Ben Macdui, were erected by the Cairngorm Club in the 1920s.

Summit toposcope:

Summit trig point and the Stuic:

From the summit of Lochnagar I made for Carn a'Choire Boidheach round the top of the Stuic. I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to get from Lochnagar to Carn a'Choire Boidheach.

Summit of Carn a'Choire Boidheach:

From Carn a'Choire Boidheach I made for Carn an t-Saigart Mor via Carn an t-Saigart Beag. These hill names are a bit of a mouthful – also both known as the 'White mounth'.

Summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor:

The next section of the walk out to Cairn Bannoch was mainly over quite flat ground with only around 70m re-ascent to reach the summit.

View towards the Dubh Loch:

Summit of Cairn Bannoch:

Eagle rocks and Creag an Dubh Loch both look quite impressive.

Eagle rocks from summit of Cairn Bannoch:

Creag an Dubh Loch cliffs:

The walk to the final Munro of the day was also quite straight-forward. Broad cairn has a really broad cairn!
The traverse from Glen Doll to Glen Muick via Broad Cairn is a nice walk too.

Summit of Broad Cairn:

Loch Muick from Broad Cairn:

From Broad Cairn I descended steeply to Loch Muick and then walked back out along the lochside to Spittal of Glen Muick.

An enjoyable circuit of five Munros. If only it were this easy to bag five Corbetts or five Grahams .