We were down at the Braemar 50 th Anniversary dinner and after the long night 0200 we had a great breakfast at the Cranford B&B in Braemar and headed for the local Corbett Morrone you can see it from dining room at breakfast. It was a lovely day with a full snow cover and Braemar was looking stunning , how the snow makes everything look so different. It is only a short distance from the B & B and the road was icy and the walk is only a very short day but a special view-point of the massive Cairngorm hills. The car park just behind the village was deserted and we were in snow all the way.
It was great to be out especially in the winter after last years lay off through illness but was lovely to get walking again in the early snow. Rachel is a runner and she was going to have a slow day but the views were superb of all the Cairngorms were on view and just a bit of cloud on the snow covered tops. It is a steady pull up onto the main ridge and I was amazed by how much snow there was and we did a bit of navigation easy on a day like this but just to keep in practice. Top tip = best to practice in good weather in winter ready for the rigours of winter. The plateau to the summit is good for judging distance in the snow and it was good to be out, it was cold but an enjoyable day.
It was a bit of fun getting the mind going again working out the distances and time on the map, gosh I was rusty but we were soon at the top of our wee hill. On the top is Nearing the summit, one has a bird’s-eye view of Braemar. The top of the hill is adorned with a radio mast and buildings dating from 1969, part of a University Of Aberdeen research station.
Braemar mountain rescue team also has a radio relay station on the summit.] At the highest point there is a Trig Point and a large cairn. The view is extensive, with an all-round mountain panorama from the Cairngorms to Lochnagar and the Glenshee Ski Centre. The descent from the mountain can be varied by following the vehicle track serving the summit structures, which runs south and then east to end on the old military road in Glen Clunie, from where it is a short walk back to Braemar.
We had a cup of tea and enjoyed the views and it was wintry on the summit but we had a wander back down the same way and enjoyed the short walk. It was amazing how much snow there was and how it can change your plans for the day later in the winter, well worth remembering. It was a great walk back the sun was out and more and more wild views, yet apart from a few buzzards we saw little wild life, where have all the deer gone?
It was a magic drive back over the Lecht with the roads clear and the hills plastered. I stopped to drink it all in and admire the views. The road was very quiet on the way home and I got a great view of Lochnagar that cleared at the end of the day. I had a minute and looked at it Lochnagar is definitely a Queen of mountains. The great Buttresses and cliffs had snow on them and they would be winter climbing on them soon if not today. I had a few thoughts of Mark and Neil who were killed on that mountain many years ago. It is still raw to me even on a beautiful and wonderful weekend like this.
The mountains have many moods and yet hold us to their wildness and beauty.
It is in winter that the Scottish Mountains Excel
No one who has seen the skyward thrust of a snow peak, girdled by its early morning cloud and flushed with the low sun, will dispute with me.
Follow a long ridge of encrusted snow to its sunset tower and tread the summit at moonrise.
This is Scottish winter climbing!