Broad Cairn is a Scottish Munro summit at 988 metres
The Munro summit of Broad Cairn makes a great day out and combines scenery of all sorts to satisfy any mountain climber.
The access to the summit is not difficult but plenty of time is required as the distance from base is around 5-6miles.
The summit can be reached from many starting points which will be described later but the route I have chosen is from car park at the end of Glen Muick from Ballater.
This car park is the regular starting point for the great summit of Lochnagar.
The route up this Munro takes you in a south western direction along side the vast waters of Loch Muick. A Scottish Loch over 70metres deep in places.
From part of the way alongside Loch Muick the summit comes into view with a shapely dome and a sharp pointed head to it.
It is from this angle that it really shows its shape and size as most other views of it are from already gained height and there is nothing to scale it to but from here the steep banks, cliffs and corries along with the vast waters of Loch Muick really set the scene.
Broad Cairn from Various Angles
The start i have chosen is from the visitors car park at The Spittal of Glen Muick where there are various options to go from.
Oh by the way a £2.00 parking fee is charged at this car park.
You first follow a well defined track alongside Loch Muick till you reach a pleasant set of waterfalls called Black Burn and a man made bridge over them.
Here there is a sign that says Loch Muick circuit to the right or a well defined man made track that takes a steep climb straight ahead.
If you take the right hand route via the Loch Muick circuit you again follow the shores of the Loch until you reach a path that takes a sudden long climb up the gouged out cliffs and valley of Corrie Chash at the far end of Loch Muick. Head up this steep climbing path and join a well defined track out on the top of the ridge to a military watch hut.
If you take the steep well defined track from the waterfall and the man made bridge back at the junction you gain height onto the ridge much quicker and this route gives excellent views over Loch Muick to the Mass of Lochnagar and its satellite summits.
This track then meets the same place as the above route at the military watch hut.
From the military watch hut you then head in a westerly direction which on a clear day from here Broad Cairns summit is well defined and the track up to its summit is obvious. In the snow or fog this can be a different matter.
Following this track and arriving on the summit with its cairn the views are extensive for a Munro just below 1000metres.
These are some of the other Munro summits available in view from here.
Cairn Bannoch and Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach
The Lochnagar Massif
Upon reaching the summit and its cairn there are various options within which you can take so as to complete your day.
You can either head back down the same way as you came (To me this is boring)
Or you can head back down and finish it off with a complete walk round Loch Muick.
Or even better if you have allowed yourself plenty of time you can make a Munro bagging day out of it and knock 5 separate Munro summits off all in the same circuit.
From Broad Cairn you are already high up and the drops and ascents between the Munro summits from here on this route are approximately 60-70metres which makes it a lot easier.
The only one where the difference in height becomes quite difficult especially if you are suffering from cramp etc is heading up onto Lochnagar which is the final Munro on this route.
The Munro summits and tops that can be combined from Broad Cairn are as follows.
SUMMIT - TOP
Cairn of Gowal
Carn an t-Sagairt Mo'r
Carn an t-Sagairt Beag
Carn a Choire Bhoidheach
Creag a' Ghlas-uillt
Cac Carn Mor (Lochnagar)
Cac Carn Beag (Lochnagar)
Take this route easy as you need to allow a window of at least 10hours and the distance covered on this route is about 18-20miles depending on the route you choose so be very careful with plenty of forward planning and be kitted out correct.
Whilst walking around on the mountains i like my arty style photographs on this walk i did some with water as the reflective feature and a lovely shot showing the height and size of the Lochnagar Massif across the valley of Loch Muick.
At the beginning of the route there is a place called the Balmoral Estate Visitors Centre. Here there is information about the complete Balmoral estate. Covering nature from animals and plants. They have various animals on display and also give details of all the mountain walks available around the area. My mate and I were amazed to find this visitor centre still open at gone 9:30pm as we arrived back from our round walk.
From the A93 Perth to Aberdeen road.
Head for the town of Ballater taking a turning for the signpost saying South Deeside.
From here follow signposts for Braemar then on a sharp corner there is a signpost for Spittal of Glen Muick.
Follow this road all the way to the end you will reach the car park for the beginning of the walk.
As with my Cairnwell Page the A93 is the only main road that can access you to this summit from the Glen Muick car park.
From other starting places there are of course different routes.
Red Tape / Access
Camping is prohibited within the Balmoral Estate.
Also are open fires.
When walking in the estate some of the paths in the area run very close to peoples buildings. Please be careful when walking and respect their privacy.
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.
As mentioned Camping is Prohibited.
Bed and Breakfasts are available in many of the local Dee side towns.
Accommodation is available in the following towns that are all based along the A93.
Blairgowrie, Braemar, Ballater, Aboyne and Banchory.
These towns are all lovely places to stay for bed and breakfast and all have pubs for grub and drinks.
Some more information available on Broad Cairn via this link. Munromagic
Local weather is available through the Munromagic link.
The nearest town that the BBC weather web site covers is Ballater.