SUNDAY 7th August 2005

OS Landranger 44 Ballater
Length: 16km/10 miles (with option to extend to 19 km); Ascent: 600m
Duration: approx 8 hours

This walk uses an old right of way to link two beautiful glens. We start at the head of Glen Esk (NO448804) near the ruins of Invermark Castle. What you see today was built around 1526 by the Lindsays of Edzell, making use of an existing 14th century keep. With its front door 5m above ground level, it provided good shelter in 1607 for the son of Lord Edzell, after he had killed Lord Spynie in Edinburgh, following a long-standing quarrel, and by James Carnegie, Lord Balnamoon, who was being sought by government troops after the Battle of Culloden. The Lindsays kept it as an occasional family residence until 1729. We follow the River North Esk briefly to its source, Loch Lee, where a good track follows the loch side to Inchgrundle. From there, a hill path climbs steeply over Wester Skuiley (736m) to Muckle Cairn (826m). Undulating ground that can be rough leads on to Green Hill (870m), with the possibility of a detour to take in The Goet (896m) and Ben Tirran for those who wish. From Green Hill there is a choice of steep descents: around either the east or the (more rocky) west side of Loch Brandy. The west route passes through 'The Snub', and by the Witch's Crack, which is growing wider yearly! The story is that a witch put a curse on the people of Clova after being refused refreshments by a local resident. The curse was that the walls of Loch Brandy would fall down and the waters of the loch would tumble down the hill and flood the village of Clova and all the people in it! Either route gives good views of Loch Brandy, which is said to be the only site in Scotland where a very rare and tiny water creature called the diatom is to be found. It is bright orange in colour (the diatom, not the loch!).
The path then continues on into Glen Clova and finishes at the Clova Hotel (NO326732).

Walkers must wear walking boots, carry warm and waterproof clothing, hat and gloves and take plenty food and liquids. THESE ARE ESSENTIAL. Be prepared for possible wintry conditions on the top whatever the forecast.

Transport by bus. Meet Culter Village Hall 8am return approx 7pm

Walk fee: 10 (members), 12 guests

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Culter hillwalking club has no members who are qualified leaders or instructors. Therefore anyone volunteering to assist the club on a meet cannot be held responsible for other members' welfare. Members must be aware they are solely responsible for themselves at all times

Hillwalking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury and death. Those participating in these activities should be aware of the risks and accept the responsibility for their own actions and involvement. No responsibility can be accepted by Culter Hillwalking club committee, members, guests or co-ordinators of walks for any mishap, which may occur, during a meet.

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