Thursday, 11 January 2018


Coire Brochain, Braeriach
What a stupendous day it's been here in the Cairngorms and I suspect many other Highland areas. The high pressure system we have been enjoying for over a week was still dominant today. Light winds gave us a wonderful temperature inversion for most of the day on the mountains. It was looking a bit uncertain at first light this morning. There was cloud at all levels and it did look stubborn.
Sun just creeping up behind the Fiacaill Buttress
It wasn't until around 9.45am that the cloud just suddenly thinned at around the 950m altitude. I was up on the Fiacaill Coire Sneachda ridge and had the place to myself. Hardly a breath of wind and the the mountains were revealed in all their glory. The trails into the Northern corries are now well trodden and very easy. Up on the Fiacaill ridge it is also brilliant walking and climbing. All the ledges are well stamped and fantastic cramponing and brilliant axe placements.
Looking back to Strathspey and the inversion
Fiacaill Buttress
Absolutely brilliant romping up the ridge and some wonderful views. I was amazed there weren't more folk out. Just a few in Coire Sneachda. If only the Fiacaill ridge was a bit longer! Before you know it, you're on the plateau.
Strathspey and Aviemore in cloud all day
Wisps of cloud across the Cairngorm plateau
Coire an Lochain
Enroute to Ben Macdui
The day was young so a wander over to Ben Macdui was next. The going across the plateau is still hard work, ankle deep soft snow. Bright sunshine though so it made it far more pleasant! Sun in my face, no wind. Shades the order of the day.
Sun above the temperature inversion
Cairn Toul-Braeriach plateau from Ben Macdui
The views across to Cairn Toul, Sgorr an Lochan Uaine and Braeriach from Ben Macdui are superb. With the added bonus of the temperature inversion it made it even more special. The best viewpoint is just off the summit trig, down toward the Lairig Ghru. It's here you get the true scale of the Cairngorms. I sat for an hour watching the cloud come and go in the sun. Brilliant.
Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochan Uaine above the Lairig Ghru
Time to head back and once again walking into the various layers of cloud across the plateau. I saw a Brocken Spectre and a Fogbow within 20 minutes of each other. Then another beautiful sunset, there's been a few of those this week.
Fogbow on the plateau
Coire an Lochain
A fine end to another brilliant day. Last good day if you like sun and lightish winds tomorrow. Then we are in for some Atlantic kind of weather heading this way. All good timing for another 10 days of back to back work for me starting on Saturday. Forecasts suggesting more snow to come and staying cold on the mountains for at least a week. It's shaping up to be a good solid winter and nice to get some lovely weather thrown in too!

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