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.

As 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 10:00.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

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 .

Clachnaben:


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.

[Rant]As Clachnaben is one of the most distinctive hills and summits in Aberdeenshire, it is appalling that there is a proposal for an extensive windfarm to be constrcuted right next to this fine hill. The Scottish Government really need to wake up and realise that green energy should not be at the expense of Scottish scenery![/Rant]

Clachnaben during ascent:


During the fast walk up to Clachnaben, I did stop to photograph an early Fly Agaric (poisonous). Is autumn already here?

Fly Agaric:


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 Club Crack.

Approaching Clachnaben's summit tor:


Looking back:


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 .

My friend Heavy's account of the walk can be found here.