Wednesday 25 March 2015

More fun in the sun

Another fabulous day in the Highlands today. I was up in the north-west doing the round of Moruisg (Munro) and Sgurr nan Ceannaichean (Corbett). If ever a pair of mountains showed that the Corbetts can be more challenging then the Munros it's these two. It must be said that Moruisg is not the most exciting hill compared with its neighbour, however the round of both was delightful on such a day. 

There was a fresh fall of snow, boot deep in places. Fabulous views north to the Torridon hills, and out west across the sea to Skye.

Still winter up on the hills, both axe and crampons needed in places today.

Plenty of winter hazards such as cornices still on the hills, as the following picture shows

The final picture says it all. A cracking day.

Sunday 15 March 2015

The Affric-an Alps

The Scottish hills are something special at all times. But when the weather is like it has been over the last few days there is nowhere better in the world. The forecast was for the best weather to be in the NW Highlands, so we took a trip to that most magical of glens, Glen Affric. Amazing temperature differential, with a below zero sharp frost overnight, but by lunchtime it was almost shorts weather in the glens.

Chilly still on top of course, though with light winds very pleasant. I climbed Carn a' Choire Ghairbh today, a rough and ready Corbett (Scottish hills between 2500ft and 3000ft). From near the head of the loch there is a most amazing stalker's path, that seems to gain you height magically without much effort---a fine feat of design.

From there onto snowfields and thence to the top. Descended down the long ridge straight back towards Affric Lodge, using another stalker's path to get down. 

 Didn't meet anybody all day until almost back at the car park. What this fine little hill may lack in grandeur itself, it more than makes up for in the views, across to the Affric Munros, the Cluanie horseshoe and back down Glen Affric itself. Magical! 

Sunday 8 March 2015

Rainbows & floods

We've had a big thaw over the last couple of days, and rivers and burns are in absolute spate. Having decided on a trip to Glen Feshie today we had to turn back and go the other way around due to the road to Feshiebridge having become a river! We got there eventually, but there is water everywhere, with lots of flooding.  If you're heading out into the hills you need to be really aware of how in spate the burns are, as they could either stop your progress and/or be extremely dangerous. Plan your route carefully!

Once in Glenfeshie we had a great mountain bike down the glen and then back over the great singletrack on the West side of the river.  Soon after starting out got doused in horizontal icy rain, which left with an early stream crossing left me wet from top to bottom. Fortunately the sun came out to make the rest of the trip bearable, but in was glad to get into a warm shower at home! Hopefully the photos give you and idea of how full the rivers are, as well as the sparse snow cover on the lower west facing slopes rising from the Glen up to the Moine Mhor and the Cairngorms proper (which are still snow bound of course!)

Wednesday 4 March 2015


I Well, spoke too soon, as we now have a blanket of snow at our front door again! Spring is on hold. Lovely jaunt in Abernethy forest today.....this is a great part of the Cairngorms, very tranquil and timeless. Just quick phone pictures today I'm afraid.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Is Spring here.......?

Depends where you are! The birds are moving, the snow drops are out and everything suddenly seems lighter and brighter. Up in the mountains it's still deep winter, but down in the glens you could be forgiven for thinking that winter is on its last legs. Plenty of beefy showers forecast from the west today so we headed east (funny that!) for a spin on the bike around the excellent Moray Monster Trails at Fochabers. It's been a while since I was out on the bike, and no matter how fit you think you are for other activities mountain-biking always comes as a bit of a shock. Great to be out though, and to feel warm sun on the face for the first time in what seems an age. No rain either! Moray Monster Trails have just been awarded £100,000 to improve and extend the trails---it will be great to see what happens here.