I had to visit the hospital yesterday for an early morning appointment, so I did not get on the road to the Cairngorms till a bit later. The road across the Davar Moor was pretty icy so I drove slowly, the Cairngorm car park was busy, the hills were clear but the path in was pure ice and tricky, there were lots of people about. I was glad to be on my own and was soon away from the majority of them, as the weather was forecast to get worse I was wanting to make the most of a short day. The car-park was mobbed but there were lots of people out, mostly families slipping about on the snow, having fun.
I could see the weather coming in so I moved fairly well for an old man and was soon on my own, the wind was picking up and the spindrift blowing across the open ground. I went up the ridge and met a few others taking the easiest line and then came down the Goat Track as I had forgotten my goggles and the plateau would have been hard work without. The wind was picking up, when I met a couple struggling up it was very icy and the snow incredibly hard. I went over to help as I was cramponing down the snow and they were on the frozen rocks a wee bit off route. As I got there the lassie slipped and landed beside me knocking me off! I went over about 10 feet and landed on a rock on my back. It took the wind out of my sails! I was really winded, she asked if I was okay, I managed a yes and she was gone? She would have been trying to catch her partner who was way ahead. It took a few minutes to get it together but I got down feeling my back very sore and tightening up. I stumbled through the boulder field and took a few minutes at the end to get some photos of the wee cross for Ant. It was incredible as I was doing it the Seaking helicopter from Lossiemouth flew past a few times. I took some time to think had something to eat and then headed out as I was stiffening up. There were lots climbing and as the corries vanished in the snow with the weather coming in. I thought there would be a few having fun on the way off.
I was supposed to spend the night with Ned Kelly and Ben & Jaz his kids in Aviemore but I only stopped for a tea as the back was sore and the weather was getting a bit worse. I left and had an interesting drive back home on icy roads until about 10 miles from home when it turned to rain. A hot bath and some tea and I am now hobbling about like the old man I am! It will be a low-key New Year till it gets sorted out.
You learn every day, I should have had a helmet on when coming down the Goat Track, silly me and forgetting my goggles did not help, as I was rushing to catch the weather. Less haste next time, worth knowing.
Thanks to everyone who commented on the Blog on Ant mostly on Facebook it makes one feel how precious life is and how it can change in an instant.
Try and have a safe and Happy New Year. The Blog has now had over 10000 hits, many thanks to all.
Give those you love a hug or a call, make their day.