Today I revisited Loch Muick and the Munro's to the south of the Dubh Loch. It has taken over 12 years to make a return to climb these 2 hills! I was last here in the Feb of 2000, in full winter conditions and a raging storm with my mate Ian. We made it as far as the Dubh Loch, where late in the day we pitched our tent and endured a very stormy night. the following morning we retreated to the car and then Ballater.
Todays conditions couldn't have been more different, warm sunny and barely a breath of wind. I walked from the car park past the visitor centre, and taking the path to the northern shore of Loch Muick. The track made for easy going as far as Glas Allt-Sheil, once out of the pines the path starts to gain height and after about 3km I arrived at the Dubh Loch, the scene is dominated by the huge Creag an Dubh-loch. The made path ends and the bog-hopping begins, once beyond the loch a rising traverse brought me to the summit of Cairn Bannoch. The view was terrific in all directions, and as I lingered taking it all in felt the long wait to climb Cairn Bannoch had been well worth it. I continued to Broad Cairn bagging 2 tops on the way, on the col between the hills there were a number of Dotterel walking amongst the rocks and tussocks.
The view from Broad Cairn was in my opinion inferior to Cairn Bannoch, but did include a glimpse into Glen Doll. I saw the first folk of the day just below the summit, they had climbed up from Glen Doll. My route of return was down the east ridge, then down to the south shore of Loch Muick and back to the car. A great walk in superb conditions