Distance: 6 miles
Time: 2hrs 50mins
OS Map: 43
I went walking today with a friend from work. After a slight problem with a closed road and diversion, we got to the car park at Glen Dye by 10 this morning. Under slightly hazy skies but ridiculously mild air we crossed into Miller's Bog, walking along a good forest track. From there we turned north, following a landrover track up and around Greystane Hill which has been planted with new conifer trees in recent years. As we approached the top a young deer sprang across the road and moved up the hill, turning to watch us with unwavering eyes for a couple of minutes before turning and moving off. The track eventually peetered out in a boggy patch of land where a small burn came off the lower slopes of Mount Shade. We headed up the firmer ground along its bank before coming to a deer fence. Instead of following it west towards our target we gained some height and crossed it at a point higher up where another clear track wound its way along a line of the hills. This gave us some stunning views over Miller's Bog, southward to the Howe of the Mearns and eventually brought the Granite-plugged peak of Clachnaben into view.
With our direction now more or less clear we headed in the direction of the main track up to the summit, wending our way through a short section of forest that would have been better avoided by sticking to the slopes of Mount Shade rather than descending into the valley. After a tortuous route through the trees and jumping across a small brook we gained the good track and made good progress up the summit, now looming above us like a smaller Devil's Tower.
There is a Clachnaben Path Trust and they had done a good job of making a firm track, with steps laid on the steeper sections. With the sun now shining through it proved to be a popular route as we passed several people. It was a stiff climb but we were rewarded as the views opened up around us, Bennachie to the North over Deeside and the snow covered mountains around Lochnagar to the west.
We eventually gained the foot of the granite plugged where we paused to catch our breath and have a bit to eat. It was then just a brief scramble up the northern, shallower side of the granite to gain the very top where we could sit and admire the view. A few other people were up there as well but it didn't spoil the scene too badly.
The way back was swift, taking us back down the track and this time straight across Miller's Bog where bridges have been put in to avoid the worst of the water. We had beautiful views back across the way we had come as the shadows started to lengthen but very soon we were back at the car after a successful excursion and one that has whetted our appetite for bigger things.
More photos in my Clachnaben Photoset on Flickr.