Access to Loch Muick / Linn of Dee – Lochnagar tales.

From this weekend (Sat, Aug 15), traffic will be managed at two Deeside locations to protect public safety and ensure that two of the Cairngorms National Park’s best known beauty spots are not damaged by off-road parking.

Access to Loch Muick will be limited at the entrances to Glen Muick once the car park is full, with barriers staffed and cars only being permitted entry if there is capacity at the car park. It is crucial people have an alternative plan if they cannot access Glen Muick.

At Linn of Dee – once the Quoich and Linn of Dee car parks are full – people will be asked to park in a new overflow car park just before Linn of Dee. If this also becomes full people will be asked to find an alternative location to enjoy a walk.

The formal restrictions will be in place for 21 days commencing Saturday, August 15. It should be noted that the ‘No Entry’ restrictions do not apply to pedal cycles, emergency vehicles or vehicles requiring access to properties only.

This has been an exceptionally busy summer and Aberdeenshire Council, Cairngorms National Park Authority and the estates are working closely together to try and ensure that people can enjoy these locations but that the demand does not exceed capacity to cope in these key locations.

The Cairngorms National Park is 4,500km2 and so there are plenty of alternatives for people to consider. There are 666 miles of core paths and quieter locations for people to enjoy around the Park.

More information on great paths can be found at and at

Tourist information can be found online at and

Lochnagar Munro/Climbs Memories Good and Bad and the Canberra Aircraft Crash on Carn an t-Sagairt Mor 

I have had some great days in this area it was a well-used stomping ground for me in my days in RAF Mountain Rescue.  Lochnagar was a favourite cutting my teeth on some of its famous climbs when at RAF Buchan on the East Coast. In winter it is a wild place and I have had some epics including a huge avalanche in the 80’s. My Blog tells that tale. In winter it is an incredible place and the long walk in made it a place to savour and once we climbed 4 days in a row on this great cliff. I was caught also in a wild storm after climbing West Gully and had a real epic getting off the wind came from nowhere and it was full survival mode and not getting the rope of till back at the car it was frozen solid. I also enjoyed the classic rock climb Eagles Ridge on many occasions what a grand climb and a few times we would finish with the 5 Munros making it a big mountaineering day. Nick Sharp now a Mountain Guide in Canada took troops on this classic and the nipped over a few Munros and on to Creag an Dubh Loch for another big rock climb. This was because I stupidly asked him to get more hill walking time in how daft was I. The poor troops had a day to remember, memories they would never forget.  Mr Robertson the local keeper in my early years was a great friend of the teams and we made use of the tracks in these days to gain quick access on call – outs. Creag an Dubh Loch is another huge cliff and also incredible in winter what fun we have had even a huge lower down the cliff 1000 feet plus some interesting situations. It is an area neglected as many are on the chase for the Munros and miss this massive cliff, well worth taking a detour and enjoying the views.

Twenty Years ago last month I lost two great friends on Lochnagar Neil Main and Mark Sinclair who fell from Parallel  B Gully in winter, both were killed. It was a tragic time for us all and both at the time were climbing so well and at the top of their game. They were recovered by my great friends Braemar MRT and the 202 Sqn Sea king.  This is when I really needed friends and the care of Graham Gibb and the Team at Braemar gave me and Marks wife will never be forgotten. I saw another side of Mountain Rescue that made me very proud to know such people. These were dark days for us all it was a hard winter that year with some terrible tragedies many I was involved in. Losing Mark and Neil made me take a few months of the Rescue Team and the week later I lost another friend Paul Williams’s rock climbing in the Peak District. I had to go back to Lochnagar over the years to Lochnagar and even climbed a few routes in winter.  It is still an incredible moving place with on the right weather an incredible atmosphere and place that means so much to me. I regularly have a wander into the Corrie when on these hills and how the memories comeflooding back.

The 5 Munros can be a good day in winter hard going.


Lochnagar (Cac Carn Beag) (1155m, Munro 20) ‘pass of the small cairn’

Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach (1110m, Munro 42) ‘hill of the beautiful corrie’

Carn an t-Sagairt Mor (1047m, Munro 84) ‘big hill of the priest’

Cairn Bannoch (1012m, Munro 117) ‘peaked hill’

Broad Cairn (998m, Munro 142) Lochnagar: ‘little hill of laughter or noise’

The Lochnagar 5 ‘This group of five Munros forms a high-level circuit around Loch Muick. The highest peak is Cac Carn Beag, which looks down into the dark coire of Lochnagar below, which is a favourite winter climbing area. The other summits are less characterful, but many discoveries are made when roaming over them, including wildlife, waterfalls and plane-wreckage. The second site I visited is perhaps the most spectacular air wreck site in the Scottish mountains. An RAF Canberra jet crashed on the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor in 1956, Killing both crew and a very large amount of the wreckage still lies scattered around the summit area. The debris field covers an area of about 600m by 600m, centred on the flat 1047m summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, with large pieces to the north, west and east of the summit, some lying in boulder fields away from the main walking paths, down to an altitude of about 960m. It used to make an interesting navigation exercise during the hill day for the RAF mrt team members This is From the Site Air Crash Sites Scotland

“On the way, you should encounter some scattered plane wreckage, including a large section of wing. These pieces are the remains of a Canberra jet that crashed into the hill in 1956 (more info A good amount of the remains of all three of the Canberra’s main wheels are still at the site, including one that is standing upright and in excellent condition – this is perhaps one of the most unusual pieces of air wreckage of all the crash sites in the Scottish mountains. Remains of parts of the Canberra’s Rolls-Royce Avon jet engines and wings are still visible as well.”

RAF Kinloss Archives


Carn an t Sagairt Mor


Search for a missing Canberra aircraft and the recovery of 2 Crew. One Of Ray Sunshine’s Seftons first call out.  Locals & RAF Leuchars RAF Kinloss on call out . Crew recovered with assistance of a RAF Sycamore Helicopter! Early Rescue/ Recovery in the mountain by Helicopter.Both crew Killed



“From the summit  there are excellent views at the site towards Lochnagar and the southern Cairngorms, and this site one of the most likely to be encountered by hillwalkers in Scotland, as it is so close the main path to a Munro summit.”


Great hills, memories and lots of interesting things to see, there is also the remains of another aircraft on the way to Lochnagar!




About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Mountaineering, Munros, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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