Loch Muick II
Date Walked: 1st February 2011
Distance: 5 miles (8.5km)
Actual Ascent: 1168ft (347m)
Time Taken: 3 hours
I couldn't wait to get back to this place after walking a circuit here on January 20th with Sarah. I returned alone on February 1st to get a better look at the mountains surrounding the loch.
The wind was whipping up the water preventing any of the beautiful reflections I hoped to photograph so instead of taking the circular route around the Loch I took Capel Road and headed toward Black Hill. I didn't make it, hard packed ice on the trail made walking it impossible without spikes (which I had not packed today) not wanting to return the way I came I skirted the snow and ice on Black Hill via the heather and dropped down to Fords Cairn then walked along the river back to the car park. Not a route I would suggest after the thaw, it would have been incredibly boggy without the ice.
Following the track Capel road eases away from the loch before you get close
The track climbs gently whilst continuing to turn away from the loch, looking back down the track, it is easy to cover ground quickly and hardly notice the early stages.
moving forward the track becomes a little more steep and gives my battered right leg and foot more of the work it requires to get back into shape
Looking down toward the trees I see a a herd of deer having a ........ stag party
Once I reached 650m (approx 250m of ascent) I was rewarded with stunning views across the loch to Lochnagar (a mountain I had my eye on for when the leg was working properly
On the hills adjacent more deer picking their way across the remaining frozen snow
Loch Muick was now disappearing into the heather as I pressed forward up the hill
from a small cairn beside the track I get a nice shot of the loch and surrounding mountains
Just beyond that small cairn the track shows signs of worsening ice and snow
Soon after this point the track became solid with ice and snow and I turned into the heather to avoid it and cut across toward Fords Cairn in the North
Great to see an eagle overhead as I dropped down into the valley where Fords Cairn is located
A short blast of sleet pushed me on through the heather and it was nice to finally come across the path I was looking for in the bottom of the valley
The sun was dipping low now and a short tea break by the river was followed by a brisk walk toward the valley entrance
Then all of a sudden there he was ...he posed long enough to allow 2 shots, then turned and walked over the hill
Almost there now, the gap in the trees ahead is 1/4 mile from the car park
But just before I make the tree line away to my right I see this ninja deer blending into the heather which completes a great short walk in an area I will be coming back to again and again.