Sunday, 8 February 2009

Spindrift

The thaw might have come to Edinburgh (though it is set to freeze again), but not to Aviemore and the North of Scotland! The snow was deep yesterday, with storm force winds at 900m. Not a good day to slog up the Cairngorms (or any hills that are high or with long walk-ins) but a good day for cross-country skiing in the Rothiemurchus forest. However, I preferred to go up a hill, as it felt like I hadn't been up a hill in the snow for ages.

By Loch Ericht:


But what hill to do? The Fara was nearby, with a short walk-in, yet could be extended if the weather turned out to be OK. I fancied visiting the curious geological features Dirc Mhor & Beag that lie to the NW of the summit, so would go there if conditions were right.

Ben Alder from Loch Ericht:


But the snow was often a good three feet deep in soft, pillowy drifts - I had to crawl uphill using four points of contact in places. Higher up, the spindrift came screaming across the smooth hillside.

Spindrift:


Pictures of spindrift never quite convey the sense of battering you get. Try this video instead:



Higher up thick disorientating cloud came in, the wind and spindrift seemed even worse, and I decided that Dirc Mhor would have to wait for another day. It was a good trip, but I would not like to do any more in such conditions.

5 comments:

Dave said...

Cool pics and liked the vid, although could have been a bit longer - I was just getting into it!
Much better than Billy's "hard" Ben Chonzie day.

Robert Craig said...

Did Billy find Beinn Chonzie difficult? Och, the poor lamb!

Billy said...

No, I didn't find it hard. The group I was with classified it as hard. I'm nails me!

What do you mean not a good day - you going soft? Next you'll be going to barbeques and wine bars

Dave said...

Aye Right!

Robert Craig said...

>>What do you mean not a good day - you going soft?

Ere, Dave, Billy reckons there's a good day to go up the Cairngorums. Must find the west coast a bit too exciting.

>>No, I didn't find it hard. The group I was with classified it as hard. I'm nails me!

An overnight backpacking traverse of all the Mamores in winter? Some people would call that nails - others might use another adjective!