A little over a week ago I was wading through fresh new snow at a relatively low altitude and battling through blizzardS, fun it was too! As is often the case at this time of year, this week I found myself utilising the sun cream and standing on high mountains with my T shirts on and all over layers packed away in the bag. We had a week off and headed to Aviemore with the family. It seemed like we hit the weather jack pot- blue skies and amazing clarity- I couldn't resist the call of the mountains.
On Tuesday Morning I rose early and finding the family all asleep I sneeked out and headed the few miles up the road to Meall a' Bhuachaille. I was up here a few months ago when the weather wouldn't permit anything else (see Feb blog) and it was hard to stand up ! Today was the polar opposite. Light winds, blue sky and amazing views. Up to the top for about 07.30 and I was back with the family before they had opened their eyes - :)
The amazing weather continued so Wednesday saw a trip to Cairngorm mountain and I summited with my two kids. We all had T shits and sun cream on and we were on the top of the 6th highest peak in the UK. The clarity was amazing once again with Ben Nevis easily identifiable to the west. Happy days:) We then spent the afternoon sunbathing and eating ice cream on the beach at Loch Morlich ...
Back home and the weather continued to remain perfect. Time for a well trodden path, but a new Munro for the wee lass. We headed to Glen Lednock and went up Ben Chonzie. Once again the views were fantastic..... no complaints from either of us (well apart from sore feet !;))
A final adventure was to be had on Thursday as we all headed to Loch Earn in the Classic VW camper we had. It had to be back with Caledonian Campers on Friday in Stirling so a stop en route was required in this good weather. After a fish supper in Comrie we pitched up and found a secluded bay all to our selves. I had the SCARP and everyone else was in the campers. Much fun!!! Camp fires, skimming stones and star lit skies.....
What a great week :) However just when we thought summer was here... the forecast for next week is ...(see below picture !!!) - never mind - back at work anyhoos (might sharpen crampons for next weekend!!!!)
Another late winter hoorah and last chance to sample the mountains in winter conditions (think this is the third time I've said this! ;)). The forecast was for winter to descend on the Scottish Mountains again this weekend and once again we couldn't resist a little outing. On the Saturday it had been cold with some snow showers, but from the blogs and cams it seemed not too much snow had fallen, so we thought we might catch a gully in condition or even a ridge somewhere..... However the high wind speeds meant no ridges were likely and one look up into Coire na Tulaich on the first "look and see" showed what looked like very loaded slopes in the gullies! We stopped briefly at Altnafeadh in the driving sleet (it had been raining heavily all the way up he road) and decided D Gully Buttress may be a bit wet and miserable and we didn't fancy walking up in to Coire na Tulaich in these conditions.......
The next stop was at the car park for SCNL. Amazingly the rain had stopped and we could now spy a slither of blue sky out to the west. From here Broad Gully and Forked Gully looked pristine white as if there had been a large dump of snow.... mmmmmm. Having walked up to SCNL numerous times we decided a third "look at see" stop further down the Glen at the Stob Coire na Beith car park. Having never been into Coire na Beitheach, I was keen to head up here for a wander and the plan was to head up to the Corrie and then up slopes to the summit of Stob Coire nam Beith. We eventually left the car around 10 ish? (late for us!) and took to the hillside. The weather was starting to improve with the peaks slowly showing themselves around about:). G was keeping me right and educating me on the hills and climbs round about - some really nice looking routes here- a return is required next winter me thinks :)
We didn't have to progress far up into the Corrie to see how much snow had fallen as it was down to relatively low levels. We were up to our knees in it at some points and this was snow from the previous 12 hours, impressive for April :). However, it was also unstable snow, lots of graupel and whoosing sounds in parts! It was soon apparent that our trip up steep slopes to the summit of SCNB wouldn't be a wise move! The clouds were also still moving quickly and we decided on staying in the Corrie, exploring a little further. A trip up and over to SCNL was discussed but an incoming blizzard and white out made our minds up to head back down into Coire Beitheach.
The blizzard soon abated, and too our surprise the skies turned blue and the views were spectacular:) A perfect cue for some mountain man posing with impressive back drops... Lots of photo practice an a few examples of our piccies below.
A fine afternoon to be in the Scottish Hills - will this be the last winter blast - I think not..........................
Missed this report from March - a fantastic morning and back by 10.30am albeit a bit tired.....#justdoit;)
I had to be back by mid-late morning so the alarm was set for 03.30 ! Ouch! :-0 .
The Aurora was showing itself the night before and I had hoped to catch a glimpse being up in the middle of the night!! However it was not to be, as a layer of cloud spoiled this (you wouldn’t think it seeing the pictures below!!).
Anyway, eventually arrived at Glencoe in the darkness, and started out at 05.45 with just enough light to walk without the head torch. As dawn approached, the cloud disappeared east leaving blue skies J
The views were stunning and snow was feeling good. Crampons were on relatively low down on the walk in and the snow was crunching under them – felt nice…..
Into the Loachain by 0730ish and it was empty. I think this is the first time I’ve been the first here. There was no wind, the sun was rising in the east and the blue skies complemented the white peaks beautifullyJ.
I was tempted by Boomerang and NC but opted to head straight up Broad Gully and I reached the summit not long after 0800. It was amazing. The views were magnificent, there was no wind and everything felt Alpine. I could have stayed here all day. I wanted to go and keep walking but other commitments meant I had to come back down L
A quick descent back down Broad Gully and back into the (still empty) Corrie!
I met a number of teams heading up, in the Valley, and I must admit to feeling jealous that they were away to have a stonking day when I was done and headed home. However it was a fantastic wee trip.
A good couple of trips to the Coe J
Suffering from the worst affliction know to man (Man Flu) I was pretty sure I as going no where this Easter weekend. Throw in a gammy shoulder and I am surprised I got anywhere - too busy looking for sympathy;) However having struggled through Sunday at a family get together, I noticed the highlands looking fine on my drive back home.
Plan hatched - a wee hill walk.... Couldn't resist the good weather forecast.... So I decided on some Corbett bagging and one of the last hills I had left in the Central Highlands - Meall nan Subh. The dilemma was whether to drive round to Glen Lyon then try and get the car up to the high point....mmmmmmmm .
Not knowing how much snow there may be on the road and whether the road was drivable at all, I decided on leaving from Kenknock in Glen Lochy. This still gave a short hill day with only about 600m ascent.
The man flu meant I was struggling to sleep (its a terrible illness) so was up at 0400am and away by 0430. Parked up and I was walking in the gloaming by 6AM. However the views up Glen Lochy were fine as the moon was setting.....
Looking back towards the Lawers Range and views were not too shabby either as dawn started to lighten up the sky :)
Onwards and upwards and the road made the gingrelatively easy. A bike would have been easy, and I had thought about it but my shoulder injury ruled out a biking approach. Before long I was headed up the grassy slopes and soon I was stood on the summit taking in the views of Highland Perthshire - a fine place...
I was on the summit for about 0730 and had brekky. By 0800 I was on my way back down. An enjoyable stroll got me back to the car for 0900.... A few snaps at Killin and I was enjoying morning coffee back home for 1030 :)
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...