This week I decided to return to an old favourite, Loch Callater. I think the first time I trekked round the loch was probably circa 1995 and there was deep snow all round. I remember me and my pal Ally walking round the loch and crossing Allt an Loch beside Jock’s Road, looking back this was probably a bit daft, with snow up above our knees! We must’ve had cold feet but I can’t remember that, I only remember smiling in the snow.
Before this trip, my previous visit was in May last year during the TGO Challenge, totally unexpected I was greeted to a magnificent reception at the lodge, a night I’ll never forget and it will live with me forever. I’ll return there again this summer with a decent bottle of whisky for Bill, George and Mike, the hosts that evening and caretakers for the Lodge.
Forecast for this walk was ok, although windy. MWIS suggested gusts of 70mph, that’s why I opted for a low-down walk, just in case it was too bad up top.
I stopped off at Callater Stables bothy, maintained by the MBA. The bothy is nice and bright with the roof windows but has no fire place (which is maybe a good thing). There’s also a good but strange toilet set up, installed by the Boys Brigade, it has two seats next to each other with no barrier….I kind of like my privacy when I’m sitting down!
After a quick bite to eat at the window, I went out in the wind and headed up the path. With no snow lying I made quick time on the path and before I knew it was up on the beallach between Creag an Loch and Carn an t-Sagairt Mòr. The wind was gusting and continuous but not 70mph. With my two down jackets and plenty of layers, I decided to push on up to the top of Carn an t-Sagairt Mòr, passing the 1956 Canberra plane wreckage which always puts a shiver up me.
Returning the same route, I walked back to the car park with a lovely couple from Aboyne who were walking up the other side of the loch.