Hills: The Coyles of Muick and Creag Ghiubhais
Date: Saturday 9th October 2010
Company: Myself and Beinn
Time: 4Hrs 45Mins


Set off today to ascend the Coyles of Muick and Creag Ghiubhais.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

The track through the forest, which passes Loch Ullachie, is pretty good.

While walking through the forest I noticed a beastie land on me. A quick check confirmed it was a deer ked. I then turned round to look at Beinn to discover that he had circa 12 deer keds on his back. As we continued we were plagued by them. At one point I had around 10 on my head at one time. Throughout the walk I reckon I removed at least 100 from my head and probably double that from Beinn!!! I have never seen deer keds previously in the Cairngorms - disgusting beasties.

Track through forest, near Loch Ullachie:

On leaving the forest it was nice to see numerous Scot's pine. I also noticed that we were being watched by a couple of deer.

Scot's pine just beyond forest:

Being watched:

Track alongside edge of forest:

As I walked along the edge of the forest, I could see a couple of guys with spades alongside what looked like a dead deer. I assume they were about to bury it?

Distant summit of Coyles of Muick above trees:

Wide ridge alongside forest:

We made very fast progress along the track. Any time we stopped within seconds we were covered in keds.
Looking back along edge of forest:

Approaching Meall Dubh:

On first seeing the Coyles of Muick, I thought I could see a tor near the summit. However, as we got closer I could see that it wasn't a tor but was a really large cairn.

The Coyles of Muick:

The Coyles of Muick and leaning pine:

We visited the actual summit first – the top with the small cairn.

Beinn at the summit of the Coyles of Muick:

We then visited the much larger cairn on the adjacent top.

Looking across to large cairn from the summit of the Coyles of Muick:

“A” boundary stone?:

Large cairn:

Looking back to summit from large cairn:

From the Coyles of Muick we returned via the same route as far as Meall Dubh. We then went for a bit of heather-bashing down to the Girnock burn.

Looking down to Girnock burn and Glen Girnock:

Looking back at descent from Meall Dubh:

Beinn crossing the Girnock burn:

We then ascended up onto the good track that runs alongside the Girnock burn. We made fast progress out along this good track.

Track alongside Girnock burn:


Balmoral Estate Stalking advice:

On reaching a gate, we took a left to begin the ascent of Creag Ghiubhais. To begin with, I followed a faint path alongside the forest. After that it was just a case of trudge through really deep heather.

Looking up Creag Ghiubhais:

Looking down to Glen Girnock from lower slopes of Creag Ghiubhais:

The ascent of Creag Ghiubhais is pretty steep and pretty awful underfoot.

Very steep ascent of Creag Ghiubhais:

Looking back towards the Coyles of Muick from Creag Ghiubhais:

There are a couple of small outcrops during the ascent, which were a bit wet and needed hands on rock. Beinn managed up ok, thanks to his in-built crampons. I kicked a stone but thankfully Beinn decided not to chase it. The stone bounced down at least 100m before stopping.

Steep hill, deep heather and rocky outcrops:

Looking back towards the Coyles of Muick from Creag Ghiubhais:

I managed to find a faint overgrown path through the trees to the summit cairn.

Final walk through trees towards summit:

Beinn at summit of Creag Ghiubhais:

I noticed two tupperware containers hidden within the cairn. I had a look in them but there wasn't anything exciting in there. A ruler and a Christmas Meal menu! Anyone out there recognise the menu – I assume from a Club trip?

Sheet from tupperware container hidden in cairn:

We descended via the same route, taking care at the short outcrops. On reaching the track we followed it out to the road and then walked along the road for circa 2km back to the car. I think this would be a fine walk at any other time of year. The deer keds reduced my enjoyment of the walk.