Hill: Ben Aigan
Date: Friday 4th December 2009
Company: Just me
Time: 1Hr 45Mins
Dog friendly: Yes
I wasn't intending going up a hill today but after shopping in Elgin this morning the sky was nice and blue so I nipped up the Marilyn Ben Aigan on the way home.
I didn't have any hillwalking gear with me. No map, compass, waterproofs, rucksack, food, water, etc. It was a case of make up a route as I went along - basically head up.
I parked at the Ben Aigan Monster Trails car park. From the car park I followed the cycle trail The Hammer - graded Difficult if you are on a bike.
Ben Aigan Cycle Trail Car Park:
Blue skies looking towards Knock More:
Follow the cycle trails (unsurfaced road):
I followed the track until I spotted a firebreak through the trees (which I have marked on the map above in red).
Start of Firebreak:
The firebreak path started off quite good but rapidly deteriorated, however, I stuck to it and soon rejoined the cycle track higher up (having cut off quite a large loop - circa 2km shortcut)
I again followed the cycle track and was soon out of the trees looking towards the summit.
Looking towards summit of Ben Aigan:
Looking back to Knock More:
Looking North towards Bin of Cullen and Knock Hill:
I again left the track taking a direct line towards the summit. This saved a bit more time but it was wet underfoot.
Buck of Cabrach:
The views from the summit were surprisingly good. As well as seeing all the local Marilyns, and several villages, I could also see across the Moray Firth to Morvern and Scaraben and could see a snow-covered Ben Wyvis.
Summit trig point:
A distant snow-covered Ben Wyvis:
Looking across to Knock More:
I decided to stick to the track on the way back to see how much time the shortcuts had saved and to get a closer look at the mast on Knock More.
Mast at Knock More:
On the way back there were a couple of birds singing away at the top of a tree. Not sure what they are?
Birds (type unknown):
Looking back to Ben Aigan:
This is a great hill if you are into mountain biking. There are several cycle
routes including The Hammer (Difficult), The Mast Blast (Severe) and The Pink
Fluffy Bunny (Extreme). However, it is also a good walk with great views.
More info about cycle trails.