Sunday, 17 November 2019


Mountain Hare in their white pelage
Just catching up on the last few days. It's been a great weekend with the hills in superb winter conditions. The Cairngorms hs huge amounts of snow compared to the leaner coatings out in the Western hills. Quite hard going in The Cairngorms if you're venturing to the less visited areas. Snowshoes and skis are the most efficient forms of travel just now.


I took a wander up into Coire an Lochain. Setting off late morning for the visibility to improve. There was a well trodden track up to around 800m  into the coire, after this altitude there was just a few deep footprints, presumably climbers heading directly to the crag. I had to get the compass out for the final 15 minutes to my usual spot for photographing the Mountain Hare.

Late afternoon sun on the crags in Lochain
3 folk and a pulk heading down
I spent around an hour for the cloud to lift and to take some images of the hare. You have to find him first! The footprints are distinctive, especially in untouched, deep snow. He was so relaxed and a real poser!
In his snow hole

Now for some posing

Check out those feet

Profile shot
This time of year the hares (just like all the wildlife in winter on the hills) are trying to conserve their energy so are quite reluctant to move anywhere. So good time to photograph these most beautiful of creatures. This guy I have been observing and photographing for over 12 months now. Such a pleasure.


Beautiful markings

Alone in a world of white
Time to leave my friend and head back. The skies had cleared by late afternoon, what a contrast to the walk in. A beautiful end to the day, cloud lifting off the tops and the Northern Corries looking stunning.

Fiacaill Coire Sneachda in last light
The Vent area in Coire an Lochain

Not many rocks poking through the snow

Beautiful late afternoon light

Hard work in deep snow unless someone has been there!

On Saturday Karen and I headed west and another Munro I haven't been up for quite a number of years, Creag Pitridh. This isn't the highest of Munros, just scrapping in at 924m. It's a long walk in from the west end of Loch Laggan but the good tracks make this easy, a bike even faster. The day started off with low cloud so we had another leisurely 11am start. Timed to perfection, the cloud thinned as we started up the easy angled terrain from the bottom of Loch an Earba.
High on Creag Pitridh

Above the cloud on Creag Pitridh

Monadh Liath high above the clouds

Another Munro

Fabulous cloud layers

Layers and layers
Some amazing layers of cloud. We had the mountain to ourselves. Saw no one all day on the hill. It was relatively warm compared to other days recently. Still below freezing on the top. It was definitely a day for cloud spotting with some amazing views in every direction. The snowline here in the west is around 600m and it's relatively a thin snow cover compared to The Cairngorms. It's still winter though!


And for a complete contrast, today it was The White Room on Cairn Gorm. Very low cloud from about 700m upwards. Definitely no chance of breaking into clear air today! It was white out conditions on the Cairngorm plateau, no rocks about. The summit weather station and poles leading down to the ptarmigan café the only navigational landmarks. There was more light snowfall in the afternoon. Deep snow of course but plenty of skiers and walkers had been up and down Windy Ridge.
A very white Cairn Gorm

The route up

The poles up from the Ptarmigan café, half buried

World of rime

A sole ptarmigan at low level 

The Cairn Gorm rime monster is growing

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