Archive | Winter Hill Walking

A day of whiteout in the Southern Cairngorms

Today we had originally planned a hill walking day in Glenshee, consisting of 6 munros. The weather wasn’t looking great, but didn’t look bad either. However, when we arrived at the car park we were greeted with 15metres of visability and heavy rain.

Not long after beginning the ascent of the first munro of the day – Creag Leacach – the rain turned to sleet followed by snow, and the visability got worse. The rest of the day from here consisted of constant nav in whiteout, snow, hail and wind, with a maximum of 20metres of vis. Lovely!

scree slopes on Creag Leacach

My amazing nav skills led us straight to the summit of Creag Leacach up its north western scree slopes where it was super windy. The photo below is not blurred, that is the wind and driving snow!

A pregnant Keith at the first summit!

I then led us over to Glas Moal, over a pretty much featureless plateau which was rather interesting in todays conditions!

After sheltering as best we could at the cairn on the summit of Glas Moal and refueling with some sandwiches, we decided to ditch the next 4 hills as everything was taking much longer than anticipated and the wind was getting worse. I was also freezing as it was around minus 12 with wind chill today, and had to get my emergency mittens and hand warmers out due to my gloves being soaked right through. Keith then took over navigating and we worked our way back down to the road where a 4-5km walk awaited.

more whiteout

Once we reached the final few hundred metres of descent something magical happened….visibility! Here is a very bare looking Glenshee ski slope for this time of year:

ski slopes

The day then suddenly turned around the nearer to the road we got; we were faced with clearer skies and lovely views :)

finally some nice weather…infact it was still raining

As usual after the descent my knee was throbbing, so Keith sped off up the road whilst I limped behind with the intention of meeting him at the ski centre to avoid me walking down the steep part of the road. I made it to the ski centre and sat down on a bench, and 3minutes later Keith appeared in the car. Turns out Mr Lazy had hitched a lift from some guy who he refers to as a ‘Legend’. I’m glad though as it saved sitting in the cold for 45minutes waiting for him to walk the 3k down the road.

We headed home, had a shower and sorted the gear out, then went over to pick up polar pup from her babysitters. It seems she has made herself right at home there today, and was even taken to pets at home to choose her new bed. So so spoilt. Its so comfy that she was very reluctant to get up to come home with us! She won’t be looking forward to sleeping in her old bed at home tonight thats for sure.

A super comfy doggy woggy!

Janey and Keith

Ben Lomond

With a forecast of 60-80mph gusts and snow/hail showers we decided to head up Ben Lomond today with Chris and Hattie. The plan was to leave at ‘8am’ so me and Keith got ready for around 8.20 as Chris’s time keeping is never up to scratch. Turns out he (I say he as he was incharge of alarms) slept in, so we didnt end up leaving until 8.45! Got to Ben Lomond around 10.15 and set off at 1030 :)

The team

Bumbled up the first few hundred metres of ascent in the sun and a wee bit of wind to be greeted with lots of hail. Sadly Keith didn’t bring any goggles, when I was packing my bag this morning he was convinced they wouldnt be required…

Silly Keith

However, I was prepared and had some mountain biking glasses in the top of my rucksack – lucky Keith. We soon stopped for lunch at a lovely spot which was sadly ruined by some dirty person who felt the need to curl a poo out and just leave it there! Could at least dig a hole. EW.

Still a bit windy!

As we got closer to the summit it got windier and windier to the point where the majority of others on the hill turned back, but since we’re so hardcore we pushed on.

Pretty views

The paths leading up the last 200metres of ascent were super icy and the wind was so strong literally blowing me and Hattie over. The boys were ok cause they’re fattys. We finally made it to the summit where the vis was pretty crap and there wasnt really any view…

Us at the summit

view from summit.

We then walked back down the other side of the hill and followed the tourist path back to the car park, then straight to the pub. Highlight of my day was the plate of chips and pint. Amazing :)