The Coyles of Muick
Date Walked: 12th April 2011
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)
Actual Ascent: 1607ft (490m)
Time Taken: 4 hours
Sarah was so impressed with her jaunt up Craiglich at the weekend that she fancied a 'bigger hill' today, as I had not yet done the Coyles of Muick I thought this would make a suitable walk for her and keep my 'new scenery' coming.
There is a nice wide area allowing parking without disrupting traffic where the road turns back on itself at NO 349 928.
A short time getting kitted out and we're heading south down a level track.
Very soon after the cattle grid there is a turning to the right that we take
The track begins to ascend here at a very comfortable pace and provides easy going.
As we ascend the view to the east opens up occasionally giving nice views of the hills around cairn leuchan
As the track turns back on itself and continues its gentle ascent there are glimpses north over Ballater
After taking a bearing we cut up through a xmas tree plantation to meet the track that runs around the east side of the Craig of Loinmiue, which gave us a nice steep ascent for a while. A short walk along the track brought us out into the open again with views to the north-east over Ballater.
From here we walked/scrambled over dead/fallen trees alongside corrie burn directly up toward Meall Dubh
I was pleased to break out of the damn dead trees by the time we reached the tree line and a glance at Sarah told me she was more than glad to see the end of that section, but the opening view was sufficient to make up for it.
We're going up that one over there I said pointing toward the Coyles of Muick about 1k away to the south
I then added that before we go over to the Coyles of Muick I'm going to go up Meal Dubh to get some shots of Lochnagar, offering Sarah the chance to wait below whilst I did so as it was a steep little bump, but she was still keen and came along.
As we ascend Meal Dubh Mount Keen can be seen away behind the Coyles of Muick
At the small summit cairn Sarah looks a little......tired, staring across toward our next hill whilst I grab a shot of her with Lochnagar away in the distance to the west
and to the north east (right of shot) lies Ballater at the head of the Glen and the north west toward the Balmoral Forest
A zoomed shot of Ballater nestled in the head of the glen away to the north east
A quick shot of myself with Lochnagar in the background
Sarah remains seated/collapsed against the summit cairn as I wander across to get a closer view of Lochnagar
I confess to wanting to walk over there right now and scramble up that dark monster
Loch Muick is taking a passing shower as the clouds bubble across Lochnagar
I wander back around Sarah and sneak a shot of her still transfixed by the Coyles of Muick in the distance
we watch a couple of walkers drop down from our target and head our way, we had a cuppa and expected to be speaking to them very soon, but they wandered past Meal Dubh and away along the tree line to the north
We dropped down to the narrow pathway that runs along the tree line and headed toward our goal
It is a steep ascent up the final stretch and we opt to head for the smaller cairn on the west side and take a breather on arrival
Sarah was suitably impressed with the views and I was suitably impressed with her efforts
I thought of combining both of these shots for a huge panorama, I may yet do it..
The usual shot.....
Sarah looking across to the eastern cairn (which is a monster of a cairn) and we head off to make the true summit
From the summit the views across the glen and down to Ballater are beautiful, bathed in sunshine and a patchwork of greens and browns
looking over the western cairn to loch muick and lochnagar
Sarah taking shelter beside the monster cairn
After a rest and some well earned snacks Sarah is ready to go and has the euphoric high you get from achieving something you really wanted to achieve.....perhaps a munro is not to far away after all.
From the summit we pick out a different route down in keeping with my "hate to go back the way I came" philosophy and head off to the base of the hill with Sarah leading the way
We dive straight into the trees at the base of the hill and in a very short time emerge onto a good firm forest track overlooking a clearing giving views down into and across the glen
We follow the track back toward the car with Sarah in excellent spirits about the walk but feeling a little 'stiff in the legs'
The track continues to provide open views as we continue toward our start point
It's all good downhill walking on firm tracks so we are quickly back down to the lower levels
We saw a few deer and a couple of hares that I was too slow to get on camera but these taddies didn't get away
Springtime in the forests....
The last short section of woodand track drops back down to the car the way we came, still under beautiful blue skies, what a great day.
I have the feeling that I will be spending a fortune on ladies walking gear very soon, and that I will have company out on the hills more often......but I think I'll just wait and make sure its not a flash in the pan