More Blue Sky days in the Cairngorms and a quiet corrie of the snows.

The 2013 RAF Winter Course training at the end of a great day in the Cairngorms.

The 2013 RAF Winter Course training at the end of a great day in the Cairngorms.

This weather continues, blue skies, little wind and Scotland at its best what a spell we are having. As I drove across the Dava Moor in late morning the Cairngorms were looking exceptional. It was another amazing day that just called for you to get out and get the sun and enjoy this wonderful spell of weather. I was going over for a wander before my chat to the RAF Winter Course at Grantown On Spey that night.

Loch Morlich was looking special with the ice creaking and the hills plastered and never ceases to amaze me. Glenmore  Lodge is ideally situated and I popped in to see a few friends but most were out apart from poor George who is in charge of the Mountain Leadership Board with the best office view in Scotland. The Cairngorms car park was mobbed and I managed to get a space after a bit of looking. The outstanding weather had brought so many skiers out. I set off just before midday and was soon away from the hustle and crowds. The walk in was so beautiful and quite and I met one of the Kendal Mountain Rescue Team walking out and Ray Treadwell another old friend  who had been up for a climb. It was so quite I could only see two parties climbing one on the Runnel the other on Fingers ridge. Others  were on the ridge enjoying the sun and two other groups were on the flat ice practising crampon techniques. It was pretty cold in the Corrie out of the sun and I wandered up Aladdins Couloir empty apart from a skier flashing down. I came down the Goat Track and was amazed by how a couple of climbers who were descending without helmets, this is a place were a slip has proved serious in the past including to myself. I had a break by the Rescue Box it was pretty cold and met the RAF winter course who had been having a perfect day for teaching basic skills.  What perfect weather for them none of the usual Cairngorms howling wind or spindrift blasting you.  I left them doing an avalanche probe exercise in the bottom of the Corrie to end a great day out.

The RAF Winter Course descending the Goat Track in incredible weather. Care must be taken when descending in the very hard snow.

The RAF Winter Course descending the Goat Track in incredible weather. Care must be taken when descending in the very hard snow. 

I was soon back in the sun and sat for a while near the moraines that are still full of snow. There are lots of snow-holes here and still plenty of snow about.  A few other parties were walking out enjoying the lovely weather. The sun was still shinning and the reflections of the snow and ice, the blue skies made this a special place to be. I was soon back at the car park and all the hustle, all the skiers everyone was buzzing with the weather. Time for sneaky fish and chips in Aviemore and then a quick shower at Ned & Glenda’s in Aviemore. Loads of tea and then over to Grantown to speak to the Winter Course. Nearly 40 years ago I was on the same course, the gear has changed but the quality of the people has not. There were some shocks as I showed them my first ice axe and crampons and the early guide books. Most stayed awake during the chat and they seemed to have enjoyed it and are looking forward to the climbing in the next few days,

As I drove back listening to the final few minutes of the football on the radio, the moon was fully out and I stopped and could see the outline of the Cairngorms in the night sky. What a place to be golf today – I keep living the dream and take nothing for granted.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Avalanche info, Books, Equipment, History, Lectures, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Scottish winter climbing.. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Blue Sky days in the Cairngorms and a quiet corrie of the snows.

  1. As I sit here, wishing I was there!

    Like

  2. heavywhalley says:

    I know how fortunate I am but it does come at a cost!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.