Hill: Craiglich (nr. Tarland)
Date: Friday 26th March 2010
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: c.1 hour
Dog friendly: 2 locked gates (Beinn jumped the first and got under the fence at the second)

I set off today for a second attempt of this hill, having failed miserably to ascend it in February due to thigh-deep snow. Nice large parking area directly opposite the start of the track.

Car park at start:

After passing the gate, it is just a case of following the track up through a grassy field until reaching a second gate at the start of the trees.

Looking towards Craiglich from start:

Track towards trees:

Last month it took me 45 minutes to reach the gate at the start of the trees. Today it took 5 minutes. Interesting that 2-3 feet of snow can slow you down to one-ninth speed! Once in the trees, follow the track for around 800m before taking a left at the junction marked by a cairn.

Cairn marking track towards summit:

The summit is just under 1km from the junction.

Beinn enjoying the deep heather (having just rolled in something dead):

The large cairn at the summit would be difficult to miss, even in mist like today.

Summit trig point and cairn:

Summit cairn:

I returned to the car via the same route. Caught a fleeting glimpse of Morven during the descent and saw the odd bit of blue sky above. No views of neighbouring Pressendye. Hopefully the mist would lift by the time I drove to the start of another Marilyn.

Fleeting glimpse of Morven:

Craigievar castle is just a few miles from the starting point of this hill. Worth a quick look if you haven't seen it before.

Craigievar Castle:

After reaching the car, I then drove to Ballater where I parked just off the main street.

Hill: Craigendarroch
Date: Friday 26th March 2010
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 1 hour
Dog friendly: Yes

Craigendarroch from Ballater:

The streetname gives a bit of a clue that the walk starts from here.

Craigendarroch Walk:

After walking a short distance along Craigendarroch Walk take a left onto a footpath. Just follow the UDAT markers and you shouldn't go wrong. (Ignore the sign about Blue and Yellow markers)

Follow the UDAT marker posts:

The circular walk to the summit of Craigendarroch and back is a lovely walk. Initially, up through oak trees then pine and on the way back through birch wood.

Ascent through oak wood:

Follow the track through the trees:

Man-made steps on approach to summit:

It didn't take long to reach the summit area as the ascent was quite steep. Just below the summit is a large viewpoint cairn and sign. The views of Ballater were terrific. I will however be coming back to do this hill again on a good clear day to see the surrounding hills.

Large viewpoint cairn:

Viewpoint sign:

Ballater from viewpoint:

Ballater and River Dee from viewpoint:

Ballater from top of viewpoint cairn:

View towards Lochnagar:

There is a small toposcope/indicator at the summit and a bench to have a wee rest.

Summit toposcope:

Beinn having a seat:

From the summit, we continued the circular walk descending initially towards the Pass of Ballater crag, which was just visible through the trees, and then skirting below the main crag of Craigendarroch.

Lichen-covered birch wood:

There is quite a steep drop to your left during this descent with lots of tree roots under foot.

Passing below the crags:

Looking back to crags:

Wasn't overly impressed with Craiglich but thought Craigendarroch was a fantastic wee hill.