Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Right Side of the Tracks

Seeing the same forecast as John, Juliette and I decided to head up towards lochnagar on Saturday, as I'd been out over to white bridge the weekend before.  Getting to
 Glenmuick car park  we were surprised by the lack of cars on such a fine looking day!  Walking up the landy track, we got our first glimpse of a wintery looking lochnagar

Lochnagar looking suspiciously white
After a brief snack at the meikle col, taking in the wonderful panoramic of the corrie in light winter garb

we headed up to the summit, racing a couple of boxer dogs intent of lightening our packs of the heavy weight of our lunch - fortunately we managed to get the sarnies eaten in time!  John and Ann did briefly send across a cloud so that we could sample the weather they had, but luckily it cleared as quickly as it arrived!

Heading down the Glas Alt Sheil, we were back at the car fine and early, and so decided to celebrate a glorious day out with a scone in the Bothy in Ballater, and by buying a a fine treat of Sausages from the local butchers!

Roll on more winter days like this one

Derry Cairngorm/Ben Macdui

The forecast of a fine Saturday and rubbish Sunday got Ann & John out early to enjoy the promise of fantastic views in the excellent visibility. This was looking good for most of the drive there but the Cairngorms themselves were shrouded in cloud. Early-morning clag no doubt so off we set for the grand circuit of Derry Cairngorm, Ben Macdui and Carn a Mhaim.
On the ascent it looked like it might indeed break up and we looked hopefully towards Lochnagar, bathed in sunshine. It was not to be and things just got worse. It was fairly think on the tops with a strong SW wind giving a good wind chill. To add to the suffering we had forgotten that the boulder fields of Derry Cairngorm are really best avoided unless bone dry or covered in deep snow. A thin cover of snow and ice is not recommended.
On the way up Derry Cairngorm

Slithering around on Derry Cairngorm

Nearest thing to a view from the tops - Loch Etchachan
After that it was heads down and bash on, stopping for a quick and interesting lunch (strawberry jam mistaken for chutney) in a sheltered hollow on Macdui. Carn a Mhaim got left for another day as we ducked down into Glen Luibeg for the walk-out.