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Mona Gowan - A Day Walk

Saturday 9th March 2024

A chilly easterly wind was blowing as Ken Craig, Gail Pritchard, Alison Paterson & Iain Wright set off for an ascent of Cairnagour Hill & Mona Gowan with a return via Morven Lodge. Gail's Bedlington Terrier 'Midge' accompanied us.

The start was the layby off the A939 Gairnshiel Road near the ruin of Glenfenzie. An excellent, now extended track led directly to the mist covered summit of Cairnagour Hill. A dusting of snow covered the ground, We then headed east following a fence & dropping about 75m, then climbed to the fine summit cairn on Mona Gowan. The cairn afforded some shelter from the brisk wind for a short break.

The walk then continued south, again following a fence before reaching a track that led  below the mist line to Morven Lodge. Numerous grouse butts were present over the two tops.

At Morven Lodge we sheltered under one of the ruined buildings for a longer, more comfortable break. We then headed over to Glen Fenzie and, after a river crossing, returned to the car a little over 4 hours after we started.

Not surprisingly, given the number of shooting butts, numerous grouse were flushed up, but very little other wildlife was seen. 

We stopped for a cuppa / coffee in Ballater, which appeared quite busy for a cold, grey, slightly dreich day.

South ridge of Cairnagour Hill

Cairnagour Hill summit

Ciarnagour Hill/Mona Gowan col

Mona Gowan summit!

A fine grouse butt to shelter from the elements

Descent track from Mona Gowan

Ken Craig


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