Although lower than a Munro, the great bulk of Morrone, rising above Braemar, makes for an exhilarating walk on a winter’s day.
At 2,818ft it is easier and safer to reach than higher mountains during the winter months and offers fine views of the surrounding summits – from the Cairngorms to Lochnagar and over to the ski-slopes of Glenshee.
However, this walk can be arduous with the snow and ice of the winter months. Route finding can also be difficult in poor conditions therefore full mountain gear is necessary.
DISTANCE: 7 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED: 1,690ft.
TIME: 4 to 5 hours.
MAP: OS Landranger 43.
PARK: Turn off the A93 to drive through the centre of Braemar, then turn left down Chapel Brae (just after The Braemar Gallery). After about half a mile turn left into a large car park.
WALK: Leave the car park the way you drove in and turn left, along a track. Follow the track to the left then go through a gate by a cattle grid. The track bears right after passing a house and takes you up to a junction with a path, next to an arrow on a post pointing right. For this walk, however, carry straight on up the path ahead to reach a view indicator and beyond it another track.
Go diagonally across this and then turn right up a path with a wooden signpost at the bottom, indicating the way up Morrone.
The path climbs and views open up behind you of Braemar, with the Dee behind and Ben Avon beyond that. After passing through a gate in a deer fence the path continues up fairly steeply, gradually bearing right.
The path veers left after passing some very small rocky outcrops before going slightly right and making a straight line for the radio mast at the summit. After passing through a line of four cairns it is about a half a mile to the top. Although the radio mast and surrounding buildings which dwarf the trig point look incongruous, they make a good windbreak. The views are spectacular; east is Lochnagar and south the mountains around the Glenshee ski centre.
To the north west lie the high Cairngorms. Go down the track to the left of the radio mast to reach a col before going up again for a short while.
Follow the track as it makes a wide loop to the left and then drops down towards Clunie Water.
At the bottom of the track turn left onto a minor road and follow it for about two miles, by the Clunie Water, towards Braemar. After passing Craig View cottage on the outskirts of the village take the next track left. Go past a large house with a brown gate and then ignore a track going right. A little further on you reach the road you drove along earlier. Turn left and the car park is about 200 yards along, on the left.