Monday, 30 May 2016


Stunning afternoon views on Sgor Gaoithe
Cloud dispersing
Fine views across to Braeriach
Kalmia procumbens (Trailing Azalia)
  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
Glen Feshie
Sgoran Dubh Mor
Moine Mor & Loch Einich
Cloud dispersing on Braeriach
and of course, ptarmigan
The fine spell of beautiful warm and sunny weather continues. The Highlands are the place to be just now with this great weather continuing until early next week. The west coast seeing the best of the sunshine which has been the case for some time now. Over here in The Cairngorms the cloud was once again slow to disperse and clear. We took our time reaching Sgor Gaoithe via a longer route over the many tops with undulating ups and downs across this huge plateau east of beautiful Glen Feshie. The ground is so dry, an absolute delight walking over short cropped heather and the many mosses, plants, flowers that these hills are wonderful for. Carpets of Trailing Azalia and bearberry. These beautiful flowers grow high up on Highland mountains and The Cairngorms are one of the best place to see them in abundance. We watched the cloud dissipate off Braeraich to leave the mountain tops clear. Considering it was a Bank Holiday, we saw just 4 people on the summit top and no one else all day. If you like sunshine and grand mountains then get up to The Highlands, now!
 I found a section of tripod on the hill today, if it's yours please get in touch.

Saturday, 28 May 2016


The team nearing Carn Mor Dearg
On the CMD arete
A few exposed bits
Stunning views across Glen Nevis
The North Face of Ben Nevis
The Munro summit of Carn Mor Dearg
Final slopes to Ben Nevis summit
The narrowist, most exposed section

The team cooling off on the summit snows

Late afternoon summit

The locals Snowbuntings singing away

Stunning evening light
What a glorious Bank Holiday weekend in store up here in the Highlands. Warm sunshine forecasted for the entire 3 days. Ben & Lucy had booked me many weeks in advance so they hit the jackpot with this fine weather.I guided them out in The Alps a couple of summers ago. This weekend they are up with five of their friends and wanted a nice way onto Ben Nevis. The finest walking route is the Carn Mor Dearg arĂȘte. Nothing like it anywhere in the UK for big, big impressive views on an Alpine scale. I don't think I have ever seen so many other people on the route. But this didn't detract from the wonderful day. We stayed at the back of all the groups and enjoyed a leisurely wander along the arĂȘte in beautiful sunshine. The ground is so dry just now, the west coast hasn't seen any proper rain for weeks. A lovely group of folk to be out with in stunning surroundings. Top day.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Ann & Barbara enjoying the sun breaking through the inversion
Coire an t-Sneachda
Cloud burning off around Mess of Pottage
Fingers through the cloud
A full  snow pack in Jacobs Ladder
Alladins Couloir full
Cloud burning off around Fiacall Buttress
Full snow in Point Five
Anyone for a snowhole? The Moraines
Afternoon sunshine down the Allt Mor path
I love temperature inversions
Final day guiding Ann & Barbara on their 5 day walking break in the Highlands. A good forecast was in store today with the promise of a temperature inversion on mountain. The signs where there, low cloud, mizzle and cool in Strathspey. We headed up into Coire an t-Sneachda in full cloud cover,. WE got up to the lochans and it was still cloudy. But after a butty and crisps, the cloud started breaking and we were treated to some wonderful swirling cloud and bllue skies above 800m It was a lazy day and great spot to sunbathe in the coire. The Goat Track is still very much snowed up and you would definitely need an ice axe to tackle its slopes, as a young Canadian lassie walking just behind us dressed in trainers found to her surprise! Alladins, Jacobs & Point Five still with full snow cover and a good ski I would imagine. We headed back to the Coire Cas carpark for a cuppa before heading back to Glenmore via the beautiful Allt Mor path in warm, sunny skies. A nice three days with the ladies. I was working for Walkabout Scotland this week. Weekend it's on The Ben and weather is looking great for the first part of the weekend.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


The grey day didn't dampen Annes day
Bynack Mor & Cairn Gorm in the clouds
Annes first Scottish summit
Fields of Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) high up on the hill
Billberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) also just in flower
Lochan Uaine
The bees busy
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustri) for even more colour
It was just Ann from the USA out with me today. We never quite mae the summit of A' Chailliach yesterday o Meall a' Bhuachaille was an easie objective for her first ever mountain ummit. Ann as only just taken up hillwalking and this is her first trip to Scotland. We had a very pleasant day on 'The Herdsman', nice nd quiet. With a cold, easterly airflow th Cairngorms were very grey and it was quite chilly too. A stiff breeze had us clad in hts, gloves and an extra fleece. The drab day was brightend up with plenty of colourful flowers which are just womderful this time of year. We saw lots of Cloudberry high up along with Bilberry, Marsh Marigold, Wood violet, Louswort, and Wood Anemone. Weather forecast looking much nicer tomorrow, we may eve get a temperature inversion.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Joanne & Ann enjoying the wide open space
Afternoon sun in the Monaliath
Ann finding a deep spot of bog
Looking across Strathspey to the Feshie hills
It was an overcast, dull start  but by early afternoon the sun broke through and it was a lovely end to the day again here in the Cairngorm National Park. This week I am guiding for Walkabout Scotland and showing Barbara, Ann & Joanne some of the many varied walks available in the area. Today we had a nice liesurley walk up to the Munro summit of A' Chailliach in the Monadhliath. These mountains are very different in geology and vegetation than their more famous neighbours the Monadh Ruadh (the correct name for 'The Cairngorms'). This was Ann and Barbara's first walk in the Highlands and their first introduction to boggy ground, The Monahliath are renowned for this. Ann unfortunately went up to her knees in a rather large area of bog on our decent. A very nice day to be out on the hill. Summer like once again.

Sunday, 22 May 2016


Sun, snow and fabulous clouds today
Heading out of the Lairig Ghru
Looking across te Cairngorm plateau to Cairn Toul
A chunky female ptarmigan
More wonderful cloud across the plateau
Dotterel enjoying the sun
...and the reindeer too humans even more so
Cairn Gorm
Coire Domhain
Male ptarmigan
Light winds, warm sunshine and we missed all the big showers! What's not to like? Some absolutely fabulous cloud formations on the Cairngorm plateau today. Every few minutes there was another glorious big cloud looming high above us. WE kept thinking it's our turn for an enormous drenching and downpour but they all just drifted on by. Strathspey and further north looked very black while we just basked in the sunshine. Still huge areas of snow around and it was like a furnace walking across these. The Dotterel, ptarmigan, reindeer all seemed to be just lapping up the rays too. Looks like a superb week ahead with high pressure bringing plenty of sunshine. Enjoy it.