After a cracking November and some memorable mountain trips, I was really looking forward to the festive break and getting on the hills again. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas! What seemed like weeks of low pressure systems battering Scotland, we decided to head out and try and get a route in on Boxing day. Given the large amounts of unconsolidated snow we decided on trying out a ridge route. We headed towards The Cobbler on a relatively calm day and looked at SE Ridge. However it turned out the turf was not frozen and the belay points were submerged in loads and loads of snow. Aborted, but had a great wee bimble around the cobbler...
Next up and the weather was back to normal. Forecast was 30-40mph winds with gusts up to 45-50mph on exposed ground if memory serves me right. No point looking for a route as gullies were still out and mixed climbing not in. So we decided on a hill close to home and a wee hike. Showers were forecast. We headed up Ben Vorlich as it was a familiar hill to us both and as we left the car the top was visible with clouds scudding by!! Soon the showers came in and the rain soon turned to snow. As we gained height the weather got worse and worse and on the final pull to the summit we jacked it and headed home as winds were extremely high and visibility was reducing greatly. Could have continued but if it deteriorated any further it would not have been any fun!!! As usual about 30minutes later we turned and the summit was free of cloud free ! Seems we had been caught out in a squall probably at its most intense. However it was still nice to get out! Been out in worse but never filmed it before - had gopro running for this one - slightly different to the blue skies and white peaks films!!
Next up was another familiar hill as the weather was the same! We headed up the north ridge of Ben Lomond in sleet and snow with gusting winds. Although forecast was same as the day we did Vorlich the winds were much more manageable although the view from the top remained the same i.e. grey!! Still nice to stretch the legs.
Forecasts remained pretty much the same so another hillwalk was chosen for the next outing. Fancied the Cairngorms and just after New Year myself and my brother headed up and round Sgor Gaoith. We got lucky with the weather and encountered a small window of good weather just as we hit the summits. Great to get a view from the top of this impressive summit too after previous trips of just seeing the inside of a cloud!!!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...