In the end we had 12 people and 3 dogs with us on Saturday! Ali plus her dog walking friend Maggie, Moira, Tim, Robert, Graham N, Anna, Tim’s friend Les, Susan, Jeff, Alan and Gillie. The weather was cold and bright and stayed that way all day.
We met at Gillie and Alan’s new home in Dinnet and took three cars to the start of the walk - Dalmocheil on the South Deeside Road near Ballater. The aim was to walk back to the house over the nearest tops, beginning with Pannanich Hill, which had a good track up to it from the car park. Here there was a wall to sit behind and have coffee/lunch away from the wind. After that we headed more or less due west to Craigrae Beg, slightly north to Black Craig, where we had lunch just off the top, and then NW to Slai na Gour.
From there we cut diagonally across to Wester Newton! The going was quite rough in places with long heather and many large rocks hiding difficult dips in the ground!
Once back at the Gillie and Alan’s house we all had coffee/tea and a slice of ginger cake and fruit cake.
It was a lovely day with bright sunshine, lovely frost crystals on the ground...
....and gorgeous views of Lochnagar, Loch Kinord and east down the Dee Valley.