Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Creag Dhubh above Newtonmore

Tuesday 14th May 2013

A short walk up a rocky peak with excellent views over the Monadhliath Mountains 

Distance: 5.5km; Ascent: 530m; Mainly dry but very windy; Solo

My original plan for today was to set off on a 2-day backpack up Creag Meagaidh and neighbouring peaks, with an overnight camp at Lochan Uaine just below The Window.  However the weather forecast did not look promising with gales and thundery downpours forecast for the high peaks.  Therefore I had been in touch with Alan & Andrew last night and arranged to meet them at Luib-chonnal bothy instead this evening.  As this was only a few kilometres away from the end of the public road in Glen Roy, I decided to head out for a short walk with a day pack before heading to the bothy later.

Primroses below the crags of Creag Dhubh
I set off walking in the rain at around 11am from the road near Lochan Uvie and began to ascend up a faint path below the crags.  The ground became steeper and more unpleasant as I ascended, although there was a lovely carpet of primroses around here.  Eventually the rain stopped and I reached the ridge line where I came upon a path and resolved that I would use that as my descent route later as I didn't fancy descending the steep, bouldery ground I had just ascended!

View west shorty after gaining ridge
SSW ridge of Creag Dhubh
The SSW ridge of Creag Dhubh gave a pleasant ascent with occasional sections of easy scrambling.  There were excellent views to the nearby hills, especially the Central Highlands and Creag Meagaidh.

Central Highlands and Creag Meagaidh from Creag Dhubh
I continued on up the ridge, where it was now quite windy - I was glad I wasn't on a higher hill today!  At around 12:30pm I reached the summit of Creag Dhubh (Graham), from where there were more excellent views, including across to the Cairngorms and into the nearby Monadhliath hills.

The Cairngorms and Strathspey from Creag Dhubh
Looking NW into the Monadhliath from Creag Dhubh
Looking SE from Creag Dhubh
Summit cairn on Creag Dhubh
I retraced my steps back down the SSW ridge, with good views down to Lochan Uvie far below.  Continuing on the path, I headed SW until I was beyond all of the large crags hereabouts.

Looking down on Lochan Uvie from SW slopes of Creag Dhubh
Then followed a pleasant descent into a small wooded coire, with good views of the impressive crags.  I reached the car around 3 hours after setting off after a pleasant short walk, and it was even sunny a lot of the time!

Wandering through the woods below Creag Dhubh
Creag Dhubh crags
After heading back into Newtonmore to buy supplies, I drove round to Glen Roy to walk in to Luib-chonnal bothy for a cheese & wine party that evening.  For more details, see this blog post.

See here for my Social Hiking map from the day's walk.

N.B. 17/06/13 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 14/05/13 (from 18/05/13).  Links to social hiking and hill-bagging also added.


  1. Cracking walk and it was a great to meet up with you.

    1. Yes it was a lovely walk up a relatively low hill and pretty much exactly the right length for the time I had available!

      It was great to meet up with you in Aviemore and Braemar:-) Hope you enjoyed the rest of your crossing.