Thursday, 28 July 2016


A fine view from the snow tunnel
Loch Avon basin
High snow!
Feithe Buidhe slabs and tunnels
Snow sculptured tunnel
Morning romp up Fiacaill Ridge
Hells Lum and Feithe Buidhe snow
Feithe Buidhe waterfall
Snow Tunnel and Hells Lum Crag
Shelterstone Crag from the snow tunnel
It was another grey kind of morning in The Cairngorms. With the promise of something brighter later on today I headed up onto the Fiacaill Ridge and across the Cairngorm plateau heading across the hills with no particular plan today. By mid day the sun started breaking through and it was a beautiful warm afternoon with very little wind. The view from the top of Hells Lum Crag is a favourite spot of mine for lunch and soaking in the fabulous view, one of the finest in the whole of the Cairngorm National Park. The big snow patch on the Feithe Buidhe Slabs lingers on well into the summer months and this year is no exception. Although the snow patches through out the big Highland Munros aren't as extensive or as deep as some years, they are still an impressive sight on our hills at this time of year. I scrambled down to the slabs and checked out the many snow tunnels which are created by the flowing water down the slabs. The back wall of the big snow patch is quite impressive too, well over 6 metres in height. Another lovely scramble between the snow patch and the Feith Buidhe brought me back onto the plateau and a nice stroll back across the hills in glorious afternoon sunshine. Watch out for Iain Camerons spot on this Sundays BBC TV programme, Countryfile. He'll be exploring these wonderful snow tunnels.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Half way along Angels Ridge, Ben Macdui beyond
Looking up Angels Ridge
Angels Ridge from Garbh Corrie
Snow patches in Garbh Corrie Mor
Braeraich almost clear
Braeriach & Coire Brochain
A Dipper in the Lairig Ghru
Cairn Toul & Lairig Ghru
Snow in gullies of Garbh Corrie
Angels Ridge on Sgor an Lochan Uaine (Angels Peak) is a fine way to gain this remote Munro summit. It's a long walk/bike in from either Aviemore or Braemar direction. It usually takes me 4-5 hrs from the house to the summit, but that's only half way, you've still a long way to get home! The walk in along The Laarig Ghru is a grand way to appreciate these big Cairngorm Munro summits. The actual scrambling is only grade 1 and quite high up. It started dry this morning and the cloud blew off the tops for much of the day. A stiff breeze seemed to keep any clag away off the hills. I don't usually see anyone on this beautiful route onto Braeriachs plateau, but today there was a team of 7 above me! Turned out to be a group of teenagers with their leader. Once on the plateau the weather deteriorated, the cloud base dropped and by the time I got round to Braeriach's summit cairn it started to rain. I caught the other team up on the descent off the plateau and they were much quieter and looking a bit more weary on the way down, a long day they will remember well. The snow patches in the Garbh Corrie don't seem to be a s big as previous years, although I couldn't quite see all the main patches. A fine 9-10 hour day on one of the finest routes in the Cairngorm area.

Monday, 25 July 2016


Meall a' Bhuachaille summit in sun
Fine views of Cairngorms Northern Corries
A fine Adder, shame I didn't get his head in!

A good cloudscapes day
Bell Heather in full bloom
Strathspey in sun
Cairn Gorm & Northern Corries

It was a fine morning in the Cairngorms. After the recent muuggy heat, we are enjoying some much nicer, fresher  conditions along with clearer, sparkling skies . A perfectly timed walk to get sunshine on the tops and a clear Northern Corries view from Meall a' Bhuachaille today. This fabulous wee hill is great for a short day when the weather may be changing, or when the days are shorter. There are many variations but a good circuit is up from Glenmore and down to Ryvoan to make a nice half day circular walk. Despite a forecast for a wetter afternoon it actually stayed quite nice for much of the day. The highlight of todays walk was almost a metre long Adder stretched out enjoying the warmth of the sun right on the main path up the hill. I was a annoyed to not get his head in on my photograph, what a numpty. Unlike other Wildlife you are only lucky to see one of these beautiful creatures just a handful of times, if that, whilst out walking on the hills. These snakes are quite shy and are quite elusive. It was a privilage to gaze at him below my feet for quite a while. The Bell Heather is out in full bloom just now, it reminds me that Autumn is just around the corner!

Friday, 22 July 2016


Early evening light on Strathspey
A lonesome Reindeer high on the Cairgorm plateau
Snow patches lingering in Coire an Lohain

Coire Domhain snowhole, we slept in this one begiining March
Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus)
Coire an Lochain cliffs
Moody Monadhliath
Good to be back home in The Cairngorm mountains after a month out in high temperatures and bright sunshine of The Alps! We had a late afternoon strt for a round of The Northern Corries. Not much in the way of sunshine but the light was quite special on occasions. A lone Reindeer was roaming about high up on the plateau, not many humans wandering around this evening.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016


Lac de Chesserys & Mont Blanc
On The Ladders, Aiguillete Argentiere 
North Face Grandes Jorasses & Mer de Glace
Aiguille Verte 
Ibex walking on the trail with us

Another terrible view for lunchtime
Aiguilles Rouge
Grandes Jorasses to Mont Blanc
Final day of this TMB and more cracking weather. The route up to Lac Blanc from Argentiere takes in 'The Ladders'. This is a small section of the trail which comes up to the spectacular Aiguillete Argentiere and a steep rock band. The artificial ironmongary easily gets you through the rock. Around this area you are virtually guaranteed to see Ibex. Sure enough a young Male came trotting off the hillside and onto the path. Higher up the mountain you come to some lovely pools of water, Lac de Chesserys. We got a superb Mont Blanc reflection in the lake. Final slopes up to Lac Blanc and a well deserved pint at the refuge. A top day to finish off on. Four weeks out in Chamonix and only 4 poor weather days, the rest was just blue skies and hot sun, pretty damn good I would say.

Monday, 18 July 2016


Aiguille Verte & Mont Blanc from Aiguillete des Posettes
Aiguilles Rouge from Possets 
Picnic at Col de Balme
Aiguille Verte
Posettes, Mont Blanc & Aiguille Rouges
Mont Blanc
Aiguille de Argentiere & Aiguille Verte 
Clear skies, hot sun and fabulous Alpine views again. Penultimate day of this TMB trip. Over the Col de Balme and along the fabulous ridge of Aiguillete de Posettes.  Stunning views of Mont Blanc, Aiguille de Verte, Aiguille de Argentiere & Aiguille Rouge.

Sunday, 17 July 2016


Grand Combin looking fine
Great views down to The Rhone Valley 
Bernese Oberland crystal clear
The long, steep trail up to Bovine
Bovine & Grand Combin
The Rhone Valley
The winds died and the heat returnd today.  Crystal clear skies and superb clarity. The Bovine Route is really not on my list of fine walks, but not bad for a day in the office. I love trees but not for most of the day. But with glorious weather, can't complain. Some folk think this is an easy dsy on the TMB as the highest point is just above the tree line. Well it's still the equivilant of climbing a Munro with some steep sections. The wee Buvette near the top is a great spot for a drink and grub, not bad views too. Heat and clear skies set to continue for the rest of our trip.