Route: Loch Muick Circuit
Date: Saturday 15th September 2012
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Beinn
The forecast today for the North-East was pretty-good. However, the chance of me getting out on the hills was slim, verging on anorexic.
For a family day out, I put it to the vote: a walk up a hill or a low-level walk.
I was out-voted - a low-level walk it was going to be
I therefore come up with the idea of walking the circuit of Loch Muick. I knew this was a good walk having walked it circa ten times previously. Carole had also walked it on a number of occasions. However it was going to be a new walk for Becky
We drove to Ballater and then onto the Spittal of Glenmuick car park.
Grumble time! I really dislike having to pay for parking to access the hills. It is now
£3 to park at the Spittal of Glenmuick car park. I would guess these parking charges are the work of some Access Group/Trust. I don’t think this is the Queen trying to rake-in the pound coins for parking on her land.
From the car park we set out to undertake an anti-clockwise circuit of Loch Muick.
On reaching the visitor centre, we had a look inside. Becky particularly enjoyed hearing a recording of the call of a Capercaillie.
Balmoral Estate Visitor Centre:
Track towards Loch Muick:
The one certainty today was that whenever Beinn saw water he would be straight in it. He adores being in water.
Beinn in the Loch Muick outflow:
The walk from the Boat House to Glas-Allt-Shiel seemed to pass really quickly today. As we walked along the track, we spent plenty of time admiring the flora and fauna.
Becky on the track leading towards Glas-Allt-Shiel:
Approaching the Glas-Allt-Shiel wood:
Becky with Broad Cairn in the background:
On reaching Glas-Allt-Shiel we stopped for circa 20 minutes.
Becky at Glas-Allt-Shiel:
We had a look inside the Glas-Allt-Shiel bothy. This was Becky’s first look inside a bothy. I don’t think she was overly impressed
Becky inside the Glas-Allt-Shiel bothy:
While Carole and Becky had a bite to eat, I spent some time watching Beinn swimming in the loch and even more time trying to get him out of the loch.
The Loch Muick monster:
Beinn refusing to come out of Loch Muick:
While standing at the house, I noticed a dragonfly land on one of the granite blocks. It was kind enough to stay still for long enough to get a few photos.
From Glas-Allt-Shiel, we left the good track and took the path through the wood and then round the far-end of the loch.
The path at the far-end of the loch is much improved compared to the mud-fest that used to be there a number of years ago.
Path skirting round the far end of Loch Muick:
Creag an Dubh-loch (zoom):
Stulan burn waterfall:
The next section of path is the worst of the circuit. Narrow and stony compared with the really good track leading from Spittal of Glenmuick to Glas-Allt-Shiel.
Looking down the length of Loch Muick:
Looking across Loch Muick to Glas-Allt-Shiel:
Looking along Loch Muick towards the Spittal of Glenmuick:
It was good to eventually leave the path and get back onto good track.
Loch Muick from start of good track:
Beinn waiting patiently:
Looking back towards Glas-Allt-Shiel:
The walk back to the car was pleasant.
Carole and Becky heading back towards the Spittal of Glenmuick: