Hill: Broad Cairn
Date: Friday 24th October 2014
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 19.9km, Ascent: 915m
Time: 5Hrs 10Mins

I set off today with the intention of ascending Lochnagar from Crathie, via Gelder Shiel. However on arrival in Crathie I had to abandon this plan as the bridge over the Dee is closed for repair. I had no plan B so my options were either to head for Ballater or Braemar. I opted for Ballater with a view to ascending Broad Cairn from the Spittal of Glenmuick.

I first ascended Broad Cairn together with Cairn Bannoch in 1991. I repeated this same walk a few years later. My third ascent of Broad Cairn was in 2003 in a traverse from Glen Clova to Spittal of Glenmuick. My fourth ascent was in 2006 as part of the Lochnagar Horseshoe. Today was therefore ascent No 5. Cuillin accompanied me today.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

On arrival at Spittal of Glenmuick I reluctantly parted with £3 for parking. I have no problem with voluntary parking charges but don't think it should be compulsory to pay to park here.

From the car park, we made our way towards Loch Muick. 

Spittal of Glenmuick Visitor Centre:

On the track towards Loch Muick:

We made fairly fast progress along the track.

Cuillin on the track alongside Loch Muick:

Broad Cairn capped in cloud across Loch Muick (zoom):

On reaching the Black Burn waterfall, I decided to ascend the easy zig-zags rather than continue to the end of Loch Muick and the much steeper ascent via the Streak of Lightning.

Black Burn waterfall:

The ascent via the zig-zags onto the upper track was nice and easy.

Looking back to Loch Muick:

Once onto the upper track we progressed towards Broad Cairn.

Onto the track above Loch Muick:

It was nice to look down to Glas Allt Shiel.

Glas Allt Shiel across Loch Muick:

Glas Allt Shiel (zoom):

Looking back along Loch Muick:

On reaching the small hut below Broad Cairn we had a rest on Sandy's Seat.

Cuillin at Sandy's Seat:

We were now walking in low cloud and getting wet in the process. It was not particularly pleasant as the wind was quite strong.

Ascending Broad Cairn:

On reaching the summit, I decided to just return back the same way. I had originally hoped to ascend some nearby Munro Tops however the weather was poor and I was getting sciatic pain in my hip.

Cuillin at the summit of Broad Cairn:

We returned to the car via the same route.

Coming out of the low cloud:

Loch Muick:

Looking back to Broad Cairn:

Creag an Dubh Loch crag (zoom):

Looking back towards Broad Cairn:

Glas Allt Shiel:

On the way back Cuillin seemed fascinated with the Black Burn waterfall. He stood watching it for some time.

Cuillin watching the waterfall:

A disappointing day out given the MetOffice had forecast a reasonable day in Southern Cairngorms / Deeside.