Hills: Clachnaben and Mount Battock
Date: Sunday 20th August 2017
Company: Myself, Dianne, Brent, Lianne, Heavy, John, Malcolm and many more
Distance: 27.6km, Ascent: 1020m
Time: 6Hrs 55Mins
In March this year, I repeated a walk that I had
previously undertaken back in November 2003, an ascent of Clachnaben and
Mount Battock. Subsequent to the walk in March, I had suggested to the Moray
Mountaineering Club that this walk could feature as a new trip location for
one of their monthly Bus Meets. The Club agreed and scheduled the trip into
their meet calendar. Well done MMC.
Previous trip report from March
2017 can be found here.
the bus would be heading east instead of west, this meant I could get a long
lie and picked up in nearby Huntly instead of having to travel to Elgin at
the crack of dawn
. I was therefore
last to get onto the bus, instead of first, the bus having already picked up members in
Inverness, Nairn, Forres, Elgin and Keith en-route to Huntly. From Huntly,
we made our way cross-country via Rhynie, Lumsden, Lumphanan, Kincardine
o'Neil and then on to the start of the walk at Glen Dye where we arrived at
We knew we had limited time available to undertake this walk so there
was no messing about. With a number of athletes / former athletes in the
Club, a fast pace was set to attain the summit of Clachnaben. While I was not
up-front, I was not too far behind
This is a great time of year to be out on the hills to see the bonny purple
heather at its best. The summit tor of Clachnaben can be seen from miles
around. It is one of the most distinctive summits in Aberdeenshire. A large
lump of weathered granite similar to the tors which can be found on Ben
Avon, Beinn Mheadhoin, Ben Rinnes, Bynack More and nearby Bennachie.
Clachnaben during ascent:
During the fast walk up to Clachnaben, I did stop to photograph an early Fly
Agaric (poisonous). Is autumn already here?
Looking back during ascent:
It is always a pleasure to reach the summit tor of Clachnaben. I have
climbed on the tor only once previously back in 2004. I have also taken
friends there previously to provide some abseil practice for the In Pin. I
found the climbing on Clachnaben really hard. The Cairngorm Club, a club of
which I am a former member, put up a route here way back in 1901 - Cairngorm
Approaching Clachnaben's summit tor:
Clachnaben's summit tor:
On reaching the tor, I scrambled-up to the top took some pics and then went
back down. I then went back up again to take more pics.
View from atop the summit tor:
Malcolm and Brent:
At the summit I met a nice lass who was on her first outing with the Club.
We spent a bit of time at the summit and were soon joined by my friend Heavy
who kindly took some pics of us at the summit.
From the summit tor, most had stopped at the trig point for some elevenses.
We continued on without stopping on the long trudge out to Mount Battock.
Elevenses at the trig point:
The route out to Mount Battock is far from picturesque. It is a barren
wasteland of grouse butts and devastation caused by intensive grouse moor
management. There is little in the way of wildlife to be found as the estate
would appear to kill most of it - lots of snap traps to be found with dead
rabbits, etc. in them. This is a prime example of how Scottish land should
not be managed. On top of the mess that is already there, there is a
proposal for a vast windfarm to be sited here
En-route to Mount Battock:
Along with the devastation, there are two large huts to be found en-route to
Mount Battock. As one was unlocked, we decided to make use of it. Glad I was
in here with walking friends and not numerous tweed-clad Hooray Henrys bragging
about shooting everything that moves. By now you probably have an idea on my views of
grouse shooting and deer shooting
A brief stop in the private bothy:
Looking back to now distant Clachnaben during ascent of Mount Battock:
We soon reached the summit of Mount Battock where we had a good
fifteen-minute break. To the west we could see nearby Mount Keen, Lochnagar
and beyond to Ben Avon. To the east, lots of farmland.
At the summit of Mount Battock:
Malcolm and Heavy approaching the summit of Mount Battock:
View towards Lochnagar and Mount Keen from the summit:
Circa fifteen minutes after leaving the summit, we met one of our members
still making their way towards the summit. Rather than abandoning this
member, because we are a nice friendly Club, myself and Brent stayed
behind returning up Mount Battock and then accompanying the member back to
the bus via a short visit to Charr Bothy.
A quick visit to Charr Bothy on the way back to the start:
We got back to the bus pretty-much on time before making our way back via
Alford for a pub stop at the Haughton Arms Hotel - a really nice pub. It was
great to be dropped off first on the way back, instead of normally last, and
thus get home by 20:00 instead
of the more usual 23:00.
A good day out but I won't be repeating this
same walk for a third time this year
friend Heavy's account of the walk can be found