Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Lochnagar, 28 Dec'14

Richard led a group up Lochnagar towards the end of the year. Full-on winter conditions, here's his tale of the day....

At this time of year, light is limited and temperatures are cold, therefore it was an icy drive to our day's early start in Glenmuick. It was dark when we met up - Christina, Diane, Hayley, Isobel and Katie formed our hardy team today ! Upon meeting up, our first task was to prepare our gear, including making sure everyone had ice axes and crampons in preparation of the forecasted conditions and a torch for the likely return walk in twilight. 

We left the car-park and as light began to arrive, we were underneath clear blue skies in very cold conditions. We took the track that heads westwards through some forestry and below Conachcraig. Conditions underfoot were icy and we picked our way carefully, before heading into the open hillside on snow. The views of the cliffs of Lochnagar were fantastic despite a bitter cold wind that would join us for our time on the tops. 

Unfortunately we soon climbed into the cloud and the snow was actively drifting all around, burying our tracks after a few minutes. We made it to the summit of Lochnagar in good spirits and sheltered for some well deserved lunch. 

We had various options for the day - take in more peaks, wander around the tops of the coires or return via the waterfalls of the Glas Allt. With the harsh conditions, our group decided to take this last option - the waterfalls being stunning, the river very icy. Down to the Glas-Allt-Shiel, we picked up the track along Loch Muick. As a happy and tired group we reached the cars as darkness fell. A great day out!