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Sunday 3rd December 2023

On Sunday 3rd December, under clear blue skies, seven of us rendezvoused at the Braemar Car Park -  John, Gail, Sandy, Bob, Gillie, Alan and Ken. Six of us set off toward Morrone, while Ken who had recently climbed Morrone, drove further up Glen Clunie to bag Creag nan Gabhar.

Morrone 859

Despite readings of -7C and -6C in two cars, the Morrone group walked optimistically south towards the caravan park where a footbridge crosses the Clunie river above Ravens Craig Lodge. From the lodge we picked our way through farmyard ducks to follow a track uphill past several other lodges to find the well worn, occasionally icy, footpath that heads straight uphill to the radio relay mast. It wasn't a 'Garmin' sort of walk.

The air was  bitterly cold but calm, and as we climbed higher through the snow we could feel the warmth of the sun. The 360 degree views at the top were beautiful, almost mesmerising, but the cold didn't allow us to dawdle long over lunch.

Looking east over Braemar

North to the Cairngorms

We took the straightforward return route east down the landrover track to the Water of Clunie where we turned north along the old road to Braemar and coffee at The Bothy.

Creag nan Gabhar, 834m

Starting at the Auchallater Pay & Display car park, the route went up to Loch Callater, then via Bealach Buidhe to Creag nan Gabhar. The temperature at the start was -13C, but with virtually no wind, it was fine. A herd of red deer was spotted as was a golden eagle taking off from high on the slopes of Creag nan Gabhar. Many red grouse were also seen, which was perhaps the reason the eagle was there. Views from the summit were excellent in all directions. A light covering of fluffy snow covered the ground throughout the ascent. The descent was via the North ridge over Sron nan Gabhar before dropping down to Glen Callater and a rendezvous at The Bothy.

Loch Callater

Morrone radio mast and Beinn a'Bhuird

Written by Alan Watson


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