Short walk into Coire An Lochan in the Cairngorms – what a day!

Yesterday I was at a meeting after a game of golf at Hopeman then a drive to Aviemiore it was a stunning day. I had my shorts on for the first time scaring all! The heat was lovely and I felt the old bones warming up just what we need after a long winter. My meeting was with the Avalanche Guru and Mountain Guide “Mark Diggins” We are working on a project on past Avalanche accidents that has been ongoing for over a year.  Aviemore and the drive across was looking great and despite the time I decided I needed a short walk.  Since my last operation I am getting a bit better but this was along day as I still have little energy but this day was special. I still find it hard walking on rough ground very sore and uncomfortable but I could not miss this day  The Cairngorms still have plenty of snow and it was not until 4 pm that I got into the car park it was quite with about 5o cars. The train was running and many were out in the sun enjoying a break. Sun cream was the order of the day and  I carried a bit of water and the hat was on all day. Beware the sun!

Lovely clear water!

Lovely clear water!

I looked longingly at the high peaks they looked incredible and had thoughts of Graeme and Penny on the great Munro Adventure. They are in the Cairngorms just now and would be loving the weather and into the wilds for a few days with no contact, just them and these peaks in such weather. I love these peaks and Corries and I thought a wander into Coire an Lochan would be ideal. I saw 3 others on the path all heading down and wandered across to Lochan. This can be a wild place especially near the Lochan where the screes and boulders can be hard work when carrying a big climbing bag  or on a search especially today unlike winter. Today everything was so dry and the boulders and the lichen crisp under the feet. The Ptarmigans were everywhere and not rushing around enjoying the sun and had no fear of me. We watched each other at times and their colours are wonderful.

Hat with a view - Coire an Lochan lovely day!

Hat with a view – Coire an Lochan lovely day!

It was such a  peaceful place to be and then I could hear shouts and some skiers came down the West Ridge enjoying the snow the sun and the majesty of the place and then they were gone and peace returned. Few visit the Lochan  as most are chasing the big hills or climbs in the Corrie and it is a lovely place. The huge cliffs a place of so many memories in winter and summer have some great climbs, today they look wild the shapes the aretes and pinnacles and snow filled gullies and the sun hitting the black rocks and big snow fields. Just now there is still plenty of snow and the Great Slab in the middle of the Corrie looks so impressive.

The great slab and the cliffs still lots of snow about.

The great slab and the cliffs still lots of snow about.

There are huge crevasse above it where the snow has broken away leaving the monster granite slab underneath and then a few hundred feet below lots of avalanche debris. It is a spectacular place to be and the sound of the water and the sun made it an ideal place for my sandwiches. The odd rock fell from high above rattling down the snow and rock and there was the constant sound of the water nearby  I did not want to leave, so I sat and enjoyed it, I could have fallen asleep.

It was soon time to move and I wandered back seeing a couple descending from the high tops. I stopped at the stream had a drink of the lovely cold water and the views of Loch Morlich which was packed as I passed earlier. At the last burn I met an old friend Bill Rose and family  having a short break in Aviemore, I have known Bill for many years as he was a great pal in the Killin Mrt and we had many adventures together in the past. We had a great bleather and watched the river for a while. Then it was time to go and I said my goodbyes back to the Car Park.

Bill Rose and family we had a great craick!

Bill Rose and family we had a great craick!

It was a lovely short walk and even though someone had reversed into my car bumper in an emptying car park it did not spoil my day.  I was a bit stiff and sore but enjoyed the drive home and the diet busting bag of chips. Burghead was looking great in the sun and it was still warm at 2100 maybe summer is here?

Watch the sun use sun cream and carry enough water for your day and a hat is important!


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, medical, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Short walk into Coire An Lochan in the Cairngorms – what a day!

  1. Donald Watt says:

    Hi Heavy, same great weather here sat by the wee lochaine between Stob Ban and the Devils ridge watching a dipper swimming under water, so clear I could see the little air bubbles on his feathers.A truly magical moment, what a wonderful country we live in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sinbad says:

    Once saw the slab in Coire an Lochan avalanche when half way up Savage Slit. Heard one awful mighty roar as it went!!

    Liked by 1 person

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