Sunday, 1 December 2019


They're back!

plenty of Mountain Hare activity

Coire an Lochain

Lovely water ice around

Snowy trees

Water courses beginning to freeze

Water ice in places

Another sub zero day in The Cairngorms with summit temperatures around minus 3 C and not much warmer down at strath level. A bright start but cloud soon covering the tops by late morning. So nice to see the ptarmigan back in their 'usual' places today. A small flock croaking away, always a wonderful sound and all is well with the world. Plenty of  Mountain Hare activity too, judging by their paw prints in the snow. There is water ice in places and the trodden trails are getting icy.
I tried out the micro spikes today which I have had for almost a year and haven't used much. They're great for very easy angled, icy paths but in no way are they a replacement for crampons. I had a wander onto a 15 - 20 degrees snow slope with them. The slopes had a couple of cm's of fresh snow on top of a hard/icy old snow pack. I was slipping and couldn't even cut a step to secure myself. If I hadn't had the micro spikes on I could easily have cut myself some steps with my winter boots. I did this just out of interest and I would never use micro spikes on a steeper slope, anywhere. Yet there seems to be folk who walk the hills in winter, up Munros wearing these with summer boots and of course they won't have an ice axe either. As I say. Micro spikes are NOT a crampon or a replacement/substitute for a crampon. They were great on flat ice and some icy stepping stones today. That is their limit.
More snow tomorrow. Winter continues.

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