A group of 8 DHC members, including a couple of members not seen for a while, met on Sunday for a relatively gentle local walk to climb the Graham Mona Gowan, to the west of Morven. The party comprised Chris, Susan, Tim, Moira, Jane, Ali, Peter, Gillie and Tim’s friend Les with dog Marley. It would have been a much larger group but various bugs seem to have struck down a few keen members who were unable to join us.
Sadly for them they missed a wonderful day with clear 360 degree views, dry all day but a biting cold southerly wind along the ridge walk.
We set off from the car park on the A939 near Glenfenzie and headed directly north for a gentle climb up to the first rounded summit of Scraulac. Turning east we crossed Cairnagour Hill to then reach the summit of Mona Gowan with it’s magnificent cairn providing welcome shelter from the cold wind.
We continued east along the ridge past the Slacks of Glencarvie offering the only steep, yet short, climb of the day, then onto Mullachdubh (well nearly!).
The group was keen to get down out of the wind so we headed due south over the rough, pathless, tussocky terrain on the western foothills of Morven. After bemoaning the lack of hares due to keeper activities we did end up seeing a couple still in their brown coats.
I think a few ankles were nearly turned after 2 km of tough going before we finally reached the very welcome landrover track with the buildings of Morven Lodge finally in sight.
We reached the cars after a journey of about 15 km and retired for some top class tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cakes in the Brown Sugar café in Ballater – would highly recommend this establishment.