I had stayed overnight in the van in Braemar after walking Carn an Fhidhleir and An Sgorsach (Ally had headed home as had other plans) and I fancied a wee walk the next day. I chose this Corbett – the tops looked like a fun circuit from the Glen Muick approach. The approach from Balmoral is scenic too and I’ll maybe do that another time.
I arrived at the carpark at Spittal of Glenmuick. It was completely stowed out, unlike the Linn of Dee carpark the previous day. I managed to squash the Bongo in a space at the overflow carpark at the back. I always get van envy at this carpark!
It was a fairly warm day so I made several clothes changes before I set off. Initially the path heads towards Loch Muick, then splits off for Lochnagar shortly after. The path through the trees was as lovely as ever.
I made good time climbing up the easy track to Lochnagar.
Almost opposite the cairn to signal where the turn-off is for Lochnagar, there is a faint track that heads up Conachcraig. I have seen it coming down from Lochnagar before so knew it was there – however missed it from the track and walked on for a while looking for it, before eventually realising I’d gone too far.
The path was good and I made good time climbing before I reached the first few rocky tors. This was a surprise – I did not expect such interesting features on this hill. I turned round to look at the view of Lochnagar’s wondrous corrie and noticed several groups of people sheltering underneath the tors out of the wind. I was glad I hadn’t been singing to myself!
There were great views of Lochnagar and Meikle Pap.
I walked along the plateau to the actual summit called Conachcraig. This is not the highest top on these hills – that is Caisteal na Cailleach further along to the NW so I’m not sure why the Corbett is referred to as Conachcraig. The summit of Conachcraig was another rocky little top with good views to the north-east patchwork of Aberdeenshire, the most easterly Munro of Mount Keen and ever-present Bennachie on the horizon. In fact the whole hill reminded me of a larger version of Bennachie, Aberdeenshire’s favourite wee hill, with its array of little tops with rocky tors and paths along the plateaus between.
I then walked along to Caisteal na Cailleach and had an even better view of Lochnagar. My photos all unwittingly have my finger partially smudging the view so this is the only one without.
I walked back to Conachcraig summit again and then turned east to follow the tops down towards Carn am Daimh.
Initially there was a faint path but this faded out. On a steep section I followed a series of deer tracks but they always seemed to veer off in the wrong direction. It was obviously a little-visited approach. I was glad I came this way though – it really showed the character of the hill which seems to be fairly well hidden, especially in the shadow of its more glamourous celebrity neighbour. I got a cracking view of Loch Muick and the glen.
A final steep heather bash and I reached the tree line and the track beyond where I met the outgoing track and yomped back to the van.