Tuesday, 13 March 2018


Loch Coire an Lochan and the Northern Coire of Braeriach
Sgoran Dubh Mor from Braeriach's Northern slopes
Glean Eanaich & Braeriach 
Fabulous snow and Strathspey views 
Braeriach plateau 
Cornices over the Northern Corries gullies 
Evening light on the descent 

Braeriach is my favourite mountain in the Cairngorm National Park. The UK's third highest hill is big, remote, complex and invariably a quiet mountain for those reasons. The finest walking route up in winter is via the mountain's Northern Corries. These corries are well seen from the centre of Aviemore. Indeed some folk mistake this view for Cairn Gorm!
The weather was forecast to improve by late afternoon so I had another leisurely start again, after mid day. This time of year there are long daylight hours, it doesn't get dark till after 7pm. I biked up Gleann Eanaich which knocks off a considerable time for the day. There was a light flurry of snow as I started walking up the hill. About 20 minutes later the sun popped out and the views were lovely in the afternoon light. There are several shallow gully lines that run down from the north side of the mountain, just above the Eanaich track. These are well filled in with deep snow by mid winter and linger through to Spring. I reckoned there must be 3 metres of snow at the moment in these. The walking was brilliant up here after the melt/freeze spell. These gullies lead up to Loch Coire an Lochan which sits under the Northern Corries of Braeriach. This is one of the highest stretches of water in the UK at over 1000m. The lochan is well frozen over just now and the coire above has a thick coating of snow with some big cornices above. From the lochan there are a few choices to gain the plateau, today I chose the west bounding slopes which consisted of well frozen snow and a delight to crampon up. Just as I got onto the summit plateau the cloud drifted in again and I had no views after this unfortunately. In fact it was almost white out conditions on the summit area. Hardly any breeze on the top.
A windy couple of days ahead with some fresh snow fall. The weekend looks much colder but calmer. Clear skies forecast in the NW and freezing levels dropping. Winter continues......

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