Broad Cairn is a Munro situated at the eastern side of the Cairngorms National Park. We climbed it on Thursday on a reasonably nice, early autumn day. It rained a bit in the afternoon, and the midges were very bad later on, but apart from that it was a great walk. I saw two deer, numerous black grouse, geese, some common grouse, a small flock of ptarmigan and some stalkers with ponies.
The route from Ballater to Glen Clova used to be a busy track, a cattle droving road, and the settlement at Spittle of Glenmuick was a popular watering stop. Archaeologists have discovered ten longhouses, a whisky still, corn drying kiln, barn, kale yard, drove road and the remains of an old inn at Glenmuick. The village has been deserted for a long time and only bare ruins remain (shown above).
We turned right at the sign shown above, and walked along the south side of Loch Muick, turning west to eventually gain the top of Broad Cairn. This is the start of our fitness program for the coming winter’s adventures, which will culminate in a trip in spring to Sikkim, to do the Singalila Ridge.
Fat Mac is also coming on the Sikkim trip, so I asked him if he was planning a fitness program. He said, yes, he had been practising breathing. I expect his next exercise will be cutting his toenails. He’s bound to be the wuss who has to hire a mule to carry him along the Singalila.
Near the centre of the photo above is Glas-allt Shiel, a house built by Queen Victoria as a retreat from Balmoral.