Saturday, 14 May 2011

4000s Challenge, May'11

Myself and two hardy souls (Jon and Gayle) headed up into the Cairngorms for the first day of our 4000s Challenge. This would hopefully see us on the summits of the highest mountains in the UK - all of the peaks over 4000ft. Our first day went exactly as planned taking in Cairngorm and Ben Macdui. some tricky navigation on our initial descent from Macdui and a fairly strong wind didn't prevent us from enjoying views of the vast plateaux and deep coires. Day 2 began with some navigation tutition as we aimed for the Chalamain Gap and the Lairig Ghru. After struggling against gale force winds, we changed plans and headed up to Ryvonan Bothy then Bynack Mor - Jon's 50th Munro ! A day of rainbows. Our final day was supposed to be the 4 4000ft peaks in the Nevis range, but since we had been thwarted the previous day, we changed plans and headed back to the Lairig Ghru via Rothiemurchus. Wonderful views and extensive twitching - we came across snow bunting, meadow warblers, grouse, ptarmigan and a capercaillie that had flown up into a Scot's Pine. Up to Braeraich, the cloud cleared and our effort was rewarded with magical views over to Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui. Gayle's knee was giving her a bit of jip, so a decision was made to return. As we left the summit cairn the cloud returned and again engulfed the plateau - it was as if everything was planned. A superb few days were had, made even better by the accommodation at Creag Meagaidh and food at Eagle View, both of which are in Newtonmore. More photos are on my Flickr site.