I first climbed Lochnagar back in 1995 on a hot summers' day. On the way up the steep ascent from Clais Rathadan towards the col just beneath the top called Meikle Pap, I fell into conversation with a very old man. He told me he had first climbed up mighty Lochnagar with the Army at the end of WWII, as he had started his National Service. He hadn't been back since, yet the image of the great cliffs on the mountain's wild north corrie had so embedded themselves in his imagination that he had determined to see them again while he was still alive. As he slowly puffed and panted and dragged his reluctant body up the slope to the mountain, I seriously worried that he might have left his quest an hour or two too late... Lochnagar is though, a mountain which draws walkers back time and time again. There are about eighty Munros I have never climbed, which I would like to do. There are some Munro's I have climbed once, and have no intention of
We took the tried and tested route from the Spittal of Glenshee carpark at the end of the dead-end-road from Ballater. Car Parking charges there are now an eye-watering £3- per visit, our annoyance at which was dampened when we subsequently read the pay-and-display ticket and realised that the money raised wasn't being syphoned off by a greedy council or company, but was being invested in preserving the area. It presumably needs considerable amounts of preservation work as it is exceptionally busy on a weekend, with a full car-park and colourful groups of people lining the main routes and decorating the main summits like ants on proverbial ant-hills.
The tracks around Lochnagar are incredibly well-engineered and maintained.
The track passes the delightful waterfall called The Falls of the Glassalt,