It was Easter Monday and I decided after my hospital visit to climb my local Corbett Ben Rinnes 840 metres near Dufftown a 30 minute drive from Elgin. It is in the heart of whisky country and was a busy car park when I arrived at 1100. The neighbouring Corbett Corriehabbie Hill had a smattering of fresh snow at about 700 metres and there was a keen wind out of the sun, winter is still about. I had on my summer boots for the first time on maybe their last hill – walk and a light bag, but some warm clothes as they would be needed today. The forecast had said it would be near freezing on the tops and in the wind a bitter wind chill, winter is not gone yet.
The path looked like it had been worked on and was in a good state and there were plenty of families out enjoying the walk.This was great to see and all seemed happy enjoying the hill. I was not feeling great that last bout of illness has left me pretty weak and lacking in energy but I set a slow pace and enjoyed the views.
The views of Morayshire, the green fields, the sea and the snow-covered Cairngorms make this a cracking viewpoint. Does the abundance of wind farms? Much of the heather has been burnt for the grouse shooting leaving a patchwork of heather, bleak and barren to me and little cover in places for any wild life. Then as I got higher several white hares ran across the ridge most of the snow is gone and they looked so vulnerable in their white coats. How can people enjoying shooting these lovely animals? They move so fast on the open hillside and are a special animal, there were lots of white feathers the ptarmigan will be losing their winter coat.
I found the short, steep top section hard work today but enjoyed the views and I was soon on the top. It was not the place to stop it was busy for Rinnes and in the wind pretty cold. I had a look about and love the granite summit with its crumpled Cairngorm folded rock and wee scrambles and its lonely trig point a bit battered now.
The whole ridge along to the distillery is another fine day but the energy levels said no today. I also did not visit the aircraft crash near the summit which still held snow and some wreckage. I ambled down without a break taking a few photos and enjoying the sun at times. I was pretty damp at the car with sweat and had a quick change in the car and then home not feeling great. I had some tea and water at home rehydrated and revived me and I had a quick snack but decided to cancel my day out today with Dan in the hills sadly. I just have to take it easy and listen to the old body. Slowly, slowly.
Later on in the late afternoon I had a lovely surprise two great friends popped by from down South who are up for a short visit for Easter. Jenny and Val great pals from my RAF Mountain Rescue days enjoyed a fine walk along the beach with their dogs. They like me love the space of the Moray Coast and Scotland this is a wonderful place and though the beach was busy 10 people we had a great catch up and a brew and I felt a lot better. The light was ever-changing, the huge dunes, the sand, with sea and the company it was a great end to Easter for me. Thanks for making my day!
Now I need to look for a pair of summer boots any ideas please and be patient?