|Cac Carn Beag|
Lochnagar corrie in winter
|Elevation||1,155 metres (3,789 ft) |
|Prominence||671 metres (2,201 ft)|
|Parent peak||Ben Avon|
|Isolation||19.21 km (11.94 miles) |
|English translation||Little loch of the noisy sound / possibly breast shaped mountain|
|Language of name||Gaelic|
|Pronunciation||Scottish Gaelic: [peɲˈçiəxən]|
|Parent range||Grampian Mountains|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 44|
Lochnagar (// (listen)) or Beinn Chìochan (pronounced [peɲˈçiəxən]) is a mountain in the Grampians of Scotland, located about five miles south of the River Dee near Balmoral. It is a popular hill with hillwalkers, and is a noted venue for summer and winter climbing.
Technically, the English name is a misunderstanding, being named after Lochan na Gaire, the 'little loch of the noisy sound', a loch to be found in the mountain's northeast corrie. Today the lochan is popularly called Lochnagar too. The summit itself may be referred to as Cac Càrn Beag, meaning "small cairn of faeces" in Scottish Gaelic, or less euphemistically, 'little pile of shit'. Peter Drummond, former chairman of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, has also suggested that cac is a corruption of cadha ('slope'), which would lend a translation of little cairn of the slope.
Lochnagar is located on the Royal Estate of Balmoral. Its principal feature is a north-facing corrie, around which most of the subsidiary tops, as well as the main peak, sit. The corrie is the location of many classic summer and winter climbing routes. The mountain is a Munro and is popular with hillwalkers at all times of the year, with the most common ascent route being from Glen Muick. Care should be taken on the summit in poor visibility: the plateau has few obvious features and has steep cliffs on its northern edge.
Lochnagar's summit experiences an Alpine Tundra Climate, with freezing, snowy winters and cool summers. The nearest UK Met Office weather station is at Braemar 6.6 miles (10.6 km) northwest. The yearly temperature range is usually between −6.6 °C (20.1 °F) and 9.4 °C (48.9 °F), but it can be slightly warmer and colder. January has the highest average frosts, despite February nights being colder; January has an average of 26.9 frost days, compared with 24.3 in February. There is the risk of a frost at any time of the year, even in July and August, when each month averages 1 air frost every 10 years.
Nature and conservation
Lochanagar lies within the Cairngorms National Park, and also gives its name to Deeside and Lochnagar National Scenic Area, one of 40 such areas in Scotland. The designated national scenic area is 39,787 hectares (98,320 acres) in size, and covers the mountains surrounding Lochnagar as far south as the head of Glen Doll, as well Deeside to the north.
Due to its location on the Balmoral estate the mountain has many royal links, and Queen Victoria climbed to the summit in 1848. In the film Mrs. Brown, John Brown and Benjamin Disraeli hike up Lochnagar to discuss the need for the Queen to return to active involvement with government. It is also the setting for a children's story, The Old Man of Lochnagar, originally told by Prince Charles.
England! thy beauties are tame and domestic,
To one who has rov'd on the mountains afar:
Oh! for the crags that are wild and majestic,
The steep, frowning glories of dark Loch na Garr— Byron
- Breast-shaped hill
- Lochnagar crater: The site of the largest single mine of World War I, exploded at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. Dug from a communication trench named "Lochnagar Street".
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- Black's Guide to Scotland, 33rd Edition (1903). p. 232.