Hills: Creag a' Ghlas-uillt and Top of Eagle's Rock
Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Company: Myself and Cuillin
Distance: 22.7km, Ascent: 1070m
It was a late start yesterday and last-minute decision to head out. I left home at 10:00 but with no particular hills or route in mind. On working out rough timings, I reckoned it would be 23:00 by the time I got home if I undertook one of my nearest unclimbed Grahams. I therefore needed a plan closer to home.
I decided to head to Ballater, and beyond to the Spital of Glenmuick, to ascend my final two Munro Tops in the area, Creag a' Ghlas-uillt and Top of Eagle's Rock.
On arriving at the Spital of Glenmuick, I was not amused to find the parking charges have gone up in price yet again. In recent years, car park charges have went up from £2 to £2.50 to £3 and now £4. Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust are apparently responsible for these charges. I think they have lost the plot as this must now be the highest car parking charge in Scotland for hill access; a real deterrent to people getting outdoors and enjoying walking. It wouldn't be so bad if some of the tracks they are alleged to maintain
with these car parking charges were in better condition; the track up Lochnagar from the Spital of Glenmuick is currently in a really bad state
After getting suited and booted, we set off walking towards Loch Muick.
I undertook a similar walk in March this year to ascend Little Pap and Cuidhe Crom, two Munro Tops of Lochnagar. I don't know if I will ever finish the Munro Tops but it good to keep chipping away at them. I still have 83 Munro Tops to ascend and 24 remaining Grahams. 107 hills still to do for an SMC "full-house" having already completed the Munros, Corbetts, Donalds and Furths.
Approaching Loch Muick:
On reaching the bridge over the River Muick outflow, I decided to let Cuillin off his lead. As suspected he went straight into the water.
Having a wee swim at the River Muick outflow:
Approaching the boat shed:
On the Loch Muick track leading to Glas-allt Shiel:
As we made our way round Loch Muick, the only wildlife of note was a number of Greylag geese at the edge of the loch.
Greylags on Loch Muick:
On approaching Glas-allt Shiel, Cuillin ventured into the loch for another wee swim.
Loch Muick at Glas-allt Shiel:
As it was already early afternoon, with most of the walk still ahead of us, we didn't visit the Glas-allt Shiel bothy. I have visited it numerous times previously.
It didn't take long to head up into the clouds as we progressed towards the Glas-allt waterfall. We would be walking in low cloud for most of the walk.
Very low cloud:
On the Glas-allt Shiel path leading to Lochnagar:
At a height of circa 1000m, we left the Glas-allt path to head towards the White Mounth tops. The terrain was fairly pleasant; mostly nice short grass.
Leaving the main track to head for the White Mounth tops:
We initially made our way out to Creag a' Ghlas-uillt only stopping at its summit to take a couple of photos.
Cuillin at the summit of Creag a' Ghlas-uillt:
Remains of a stone shelter near summit of Creag a' Ghlas-uillt:
From Creag a' Ghlas-uillt, we next made our way towards Top of Eagle's Rocks.
Visibility momentarily improving:
Creag a' Ghlas-uillt and Top of Eagle's Rocks only have drops of 16m and 17m respectively. Neither are Murdos.
Cuillin at the summit of Top of Eagle's Rock:
While on the White Mounth tops, we saw Mountain Hare and two Dotterel. Thankfully I had Cuillin back on his lead otherwise he would have given chase. Trying to photograph willife with a dog trying to pull away to give chase is fairly impossible. I did however somehow manage to get him to stay still while I photographed some Ptarmigan.
Ptarmigan near the summit of Top of Eagle's Rock:
From the Top of Eagle's Rock, I decided to return back via the same route.
Heading back to the Glas-allt path:
The descent back down to Glas-allt Shiel was somewhat painful as my knee has not yet recovered from an injury I sustained five weeks previous.
Back onto the path leading down to the Glas-allt waterfall and Glas-allt Shiel:
Slabs next to the Glas-allt path:
On reaching the waterfall, I took a few photos as the low-cloud was not as dense as it had been during our ascent.
It was a relief to my knee to get back onto the fairly level track leading round Loch Muick.