14/01/2012 - Morven can be climbed from a few starting points. Today we started at NJ 4186 0582. After visiting Blue Cairn of Ladieswell stone circle we continued on north then west through the wood. Followed track to Preas Whin (great eagle sculpture here) then south up hill to summit. Cold today but very little wind and clear sky. Very good views from cairn. Snow lying but not deep. Headed east down the hill to Little Cairn then north back to wood.
Head south from Logie Coldstone on the A97 taking the first minor road, west, signposted Groddie. Keep going until Bridgefoot were the tar ends and stop. There is plenty of room for parking. Also you will just have gone past Milton Of Whitehouse souterrain.
Good boots, sticks, waterproofs, water, clean clothes are or pretty much essentials for this walk. Look west and a stile can be seen. Up and over, thru the gates, past the ruined croft until the next gate. At this point there are two choices, take the path south or north. I chose south. From here the path, sometimes good or bog or snow or mud winds itself around the bottom of the Little cairn hill gradually climbing. I kept going until the path met a track which went further up the back of Little Cairn. At this point I headed cross country, crossing the Coinlach Burn to go thru the heather in a north westerly direction bypassing the 2nd hill, Mid Cairn. From here it begins to get quite a bit steeper and snow still hung about. Fortunately I'd fitted spikes to my boots so hardly any chance of slipping.
Over the ridge and go in a North Easterly direction. This led to a path that leads straight to eastern end of the top section. The cairn is at the top on the western end, so another 1/4 mile. As seems the norm the trig point is surrounded by built up stones forming a much needed wind break.
Slightly to the south the cairn still stands defiantly against modern man and the weather. It is made up of quite large stones. Unfortunately misguided idiots have placed smaller stones on top making a weird pyramid shape. Shame, but it still stands at 17 meters wide and 1.7 meters tall. The views are fantastic, almost unbelievably Bennachie can be seen to North East. Lochnager to the South, the Cairngorms to the west and rural Aberdeenshire to the east.
Even tho it was a warm day it was violently cold and windy up top. So wrap up warm.
On the way down I chose the path down past the Mid Cairn. To start with, tho rocky, this seemed a good idea. Go past the cairn and go steadily down to jump the upper reaches of the Coinlach Burn. Climb up the ridge following the path. From here it became, for me, a nightmare. It is violently steep, unrelenting it would have been much better to go the way I'd came but curiosity had taken me to the other cairn. The path by this time is a slippery shambles and with the spikes and sticks serious injury was avoided. Eventually I reached the bottom but my ankles and feet were in agony. The little shuffling steps being a tall person's problem. 874 meters of sheer hell!
Still I'd reached the bottom, no real injuries and weather, as arranged, had stayed reasonably good all day.