Lochnagar is one of the truly classic British mountain walks and her renowned, brooding cliffs never fail to take the breath away. She is a majestic mountain, an apt description as Lochnagar has been closely connected with Queen Victoria since the 19th century. Outstanding paths line the majority of the route, which begins within the lovely surrounds of Glen Muick, climbing high onto Lochnagar’s spacious plateau (venturing, at times, along steep cliffs where real care should be taken) and returning easily along the banks of Loch Muick.
Lochnagar is the name given to the mountain as a whole and the dark, cold waters of the loch sitting at the base of the cliffs. Cac Carn Mor must have originally been thought of as the true summit as ‘Mor’ in Gaelic means big whilst ‘Beag’ translates as small but Cac Carn Beag is actually 5 metres higher and is the mountain’s highest point.
Whatever summit you stand on a remarkable panorama extends over the wild Cairngorms and out to Mount Keen, Scotland’s easternmost Munro. Yet it is the sweeping views along the lip of Lochnagar’s stunning cliffs and corries that really live long in the memory.
It certainly made a lasting impression on Lord Byron who famously wrote of ‘The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar’. Queen Victoria also ascended Lochnagar on her pony in 1861 but by all accounts hated it stating ‘it was cold, wet and cheerless’. However on a good day a walk over Lochnagar is nearly impossible to beat.