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Mountains & Rocks



Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Cairngorms, Scotland, Europe

Object Title: Lochnagar

Elevation: 3789 ft / 1155 m


Page By: Iain Munro

Created/Edited: May 29, 2004 / Oct 21, 2004

Object ID: 152662

Hits: 12536 

Page Score: 87.76%  - 25 Votes 

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“England! Thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved o’er the mountains afar;
Oh for the crags that are wild and majestic!
The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar”

Lord Byron

Rising spectacularly above the Royal Balmoral Estate, Lochnagar is easily the most impressive mountain in the North East of Scotland and must rank as one of the most beautiful in Britain. The name Lochnagar (Gaelic for lochan of the noisy sound) actually refers to the small loch which sits in the bottom of the North-east Coire. The true summit is the unfortunately named Cac Carn Beag (Gaelic for Little S**t Cairn) which belongs to an extensive massif of high plateau around the deep glacial trough which holds Loch Muick. The mountain caters for enthusiasts of all abilities: novice hillwalkers looking for an introduction to Scotland's higher mountains right through to mountaineers pushing the technical envelope in Scottish winter climbing. Whatever your ability Lochnagar is sure to be a memorable day out.

Getting There

All logical approaches to this mountain are from the north with the two main bases being Ballater and Braemar. If you are travelling by car (car rental available in Aberdeen see www.hertz.co.uk) follow the A93 from Aberdeen to Ballater. From Ballater continue along the A93 to Braemar. There is a regular bus service from Aberdeen --->Ballater--->to Braemar and also Aberdeen to Ballater for timetables see (www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/index.asp). Braemar can also be approached from the south along the A93 from Perth via Glen Shee.

Nearest Airport: Aberdeen
Nearest Station: Aberdeen

Approaches to Glen Muick - most routes start here where there is pay and display carpark (£3 per day), public toilets, visitor centre and a mountain rescue post (un-manned). From Ballater cross the River Dee and continue south for about 1km to a junction. Do not cross the bridge but follow the sign to Spittal of Glen Muick. From now on the road is narrow with passing places for about 10km.

Approach to Balmoral / Crathie - Approximately 10km west of Ballater turn off the A93 just after a Tourist Information kiosk. The Aberdeen to Braemar bus stops here. Car park is pay and display but can get quite busy in the summer months with tourists visiting the castle.

Approach to Invercauld - A further 8km beyond Crathie look out for a sign to the walkers car park on the right about 200m before the bridge.

Approach to Glen Callater - From Braemar follow the A93 south for 5km to a small car park at Auchallater. Parking is free but spaces are limited so arrive early.

Red Tape

Camping is prohibited onthe Balmoral Estate. As are open fires.

When walking in the estate some paths run very close to buildings. Be courteous when walking by and respect their privacy, remember that they are letting you walk on their land; if you keep your part of the deal they will keep to theirs!

During the stalking season in autumn stick to paths and seek local advice. The rutting season occurs around October and during this time in particular avoid large herds of deer.

Take care not to disturb ground nesting birds, especially in spring when they may abandon young if upset.

When To Climb

Winter conditions can occur any time from November to April and then all routes up Lochnagar become serious propositions. It is a well known fact that a winter blizzard on the Cairngorm Plateau can be extremely severe. As the Cairngorm pioneer Tom Patey wrote from his experiences in the Greater Ranges, "Gasherbrum, Masherbrum, Lhotse Shar - all good training for dark Lochnagar".

Mountain Conditions

For detailed mountain forecasts see www.metcheck.com/mountain_regions.asp?region=East%20Highlands

For daily avalache forecasts and climbing conditions through the winter months see www.sais.go.uk


Ballater - Camping and caravan site, B+Bs and hotels

Braemar - Camping and caravan site, Youth Hostel, B+Bs and hotels

For more information see :

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
desainmeUntitled Comment


Voted 10/10

Latitude: 56.960105 N

Long -3.245444W

All of Scotland is western hemisphere save perhaps a Shetland or two.

Posted May 29, 2004 10:00 am
moodyjudeUntitled Comment


Hasn't voted

We provide quality tented accommodation in Ballater, Royal Deeside. Fully erected and kitted out prior to your arrival. April - October.
Posted Feb 22, 2005 11:38 am
ProterraUntitled Comment


Hasn't voted

There is also a bothy located at Glas Allt Shiel, right at the beginning of the trailhead, at Loch Muick.
Posted Nov 6, 2005 3:46 pm
ProterraUntitled Comment


Hasn't voted

Camping is only prohibited on the Balmoral Estate when the Royals are there, and then it still doesn't include Lochnagar, just the area in about a 2-mile radius around the castle, and south of the river Dee. As in almost all of Scotland, you can pitch up your tent on Lochnagar wherever you want, and whenever you want. There are plenty of SAS members in the area though, generally staying in derelict buildings like Gelder Shiel and Bovaglie.
Posted Nov 6, 2005 4:25 pm


Hasn't voted


is out of date.

try. http://www.meto.gov.uk/lib/includes/fsssi/city/aviemore.html

for local weather


http://www.sais.gov.uk/ .... for avelanch risc
Posted Jun 13, 2006 12:46 pm

Viewing: 1-5 of 5    


Iain Munro leading the final...Summit of Lochnagar just...The end of the day, looking...Willie Munro having fun in...LochnagarLochnagar from Meikle PapRaeburn\'s Gully from the...
The Loch from the saddle.Unknown climbers at the...Lochnagarlochnagar from meikle pap colLochnagar just after sunrise...A climber emerges from the...the first pitch on eagle ridge
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