The Cooks Cairn a misty start then a sunny January Day

  • It was an easy start for a January day and I got picked up from Elgin for the short drive through Whisky Country. The group had risen to 7 and two cars were needed! We had planned the Graham Cooks Cairn at 755 metres and set of from Glen Livet from the small car park at Allanreid. This is whisky country and a area with huge history of whisky smuggling and with the mist it was easy to see why!

This is whisky country and you pass so many on the journey to the hill. It was cold the Haar was down and yet we could see the tops off out local Corbetts Ben Rinnes and Corriehabbie hill sticking out of the mist.
It was cold but we followed a good path it was a bit wet in places and on a drier day a bike would be handy. I was bleak walking to start with the mist,passing some old houses and we had a break at Sui a sad ruin on the way.  What  a hard life they must have had living here? We could only imagine the life living here in the winter especially a hard one where the snow stays for a while.

Whisky country

Whisky country the old house at the Slui I imagine some tales?

We needed a break and the sun was starting to come through making Sui look mystical and then it cleared. Corriehabbie hill cleared and looked Alpine with its streaks of snow and we saw a “white rainbow ” it all looked surreal. There were a few burns to follow as we followed the track by the river Livet! Some were quite deep but in a wet day they may cause problems crossing.


Sadly there was little wild life the grouse moors and the track made this lovely place seem sterile! It was now great walking in the sun with clouds below and I walked the last few miles just in my thin top!


The sun was out and it was warm. The route was longer than I thought but the track easy going no snow at all and it took 3 hours to the summit.

The gang missing two others.

The gang missing two others.

In the Glen the clouds still there and we were well above them it was stunning  we all enjoyed the warmth of the winter sun. Ray and myself enjoyed the views and grabbed the moment with the cameras and a break while the pack surged ahead.


The summit view with no wind was great we could see the Cairngorms , Lochnagar and Mount Keen plus all our local hills and so many silent wind farms. It is a great viewpoint and with no wind a surreal world.

The white rainbow has it a name and Corriehabbie a Corbett looked huge.

The white rainbow has it a name ” Cloud Bow” and Corriehabbie a Corbett looked huge.

We enjoyed lunch and had a great break but time was moving on and headed back into the sun. It was a long trip back and when we were back in the Glen it was cold and there was ice in puddles.

Nearly back the temperature drops again and the mist rolls over the river. With the chill a surreal day.

Nearly back the temperature drops again and the mist rolls over the river. With the chill a surreal day.

The walk had taken us just under 6 hours  and I was glad to get back to the car and home. It was very cold the car said o degrees and it was time for off. Another great day starting off in a chilling mist then the sun and back into the cold in the Glen.  There is so much to see in this hidden part of Morayshire with all the walks and bike trails, we live the dream in this place 40 minutes form home and we saw no one all day, priceless.

There was a lovely sunset on the way back home back through whisky country and then a well earned fish and chips in the chip van that visits the village on a Friday I was tired so no hills today maybe tomorrow this weather is incredible..

The ruins

The ruins a bonny place but lifeless now

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Friends, Local area and events to see, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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