First walk of 2022! Lochnagar (Meikle Pap)

January 5th 2022


Steady, sleety rain was being driven into the windscreen as we headed west but eased on arriving at Ballater and we were pleased to note that the access road was still mainly black. Surprisingly there was only one other vehicle in the Muick car-park as our group arrived (in separate cars). The numbers had been up and down in the preceding days and now we were settled on a group of six who deemed themselves to be 'in condition' for a winter hill day.




The woods sheltered us from the wind but found us as we started climbing up the frozen main track and a tricky crossing of the river. We found some shelter for a snack stop at the turning off the main track and onto the Lochnagar path. There was the option here to turn south and take the path under Little Pap to pick up the Glass Allt descent route but we all agreed to climb higher. The path was snow covered but not deep so good conditions for a first winter outing of the season. We met the sole occupant of the other car coming down; he had turned back due to the high winds.


As we approached the rim of the Lochnagar corrie the snow started and reduced visibility considerably and with no-one keen to climb into the cloud, snow and wind we were going to simply return but Alison suggested a short detour up Meikle Pap, a Munro top at 980m. We were rewarded with clearing skies and views of the loch and the tops after disturbing a pair of ptarmigan.



The return back down the track was enjoyed as the weather improved with sunshine and lessening winds.






It was great to have been out and to get familiar again with carrying more gear and walking on snow and ice.



Irene, Alison, James, Graham N, Chris & Sandy


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