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Happy New Year ……. and by the way where’s winter?

Had a fine day climbing in the Cairngorms, Corrie Sneachda. Winter climbing, but it was pretty marginal. Some mixed routes need a build up of snow and / or ice, others don’t, in fact they benefit from being bare so the hook holds can be found. That to me is not very sporting! Nevertheless today was a nice day in the hills with good company, sunshine and a Brocken Spectre. The Mountain Cafe in Aviemore was full mind 😦

Autumn continues …..

So, when I was a lad, Christmas in Scotland involved either white and cold or white and wet experiences in the mountains. Sometimes even white, cold and wet! So there we were today in Glen Coe heading up the zig zags on Gearr Aonach in rather autumnal conditions. The weather was mild, some blue sky and a gentle breeze, so actually rather nice. Add great company to that and we have a good day out. But we are all looking forward to the return of the winter 🙂

My fish are confused!

Having experienced a few frosts and a little snow – which I enjoyed in the hills by the way, my fish back home are now slightly confused with the pond temperature gradually rising as we enjoy (?) 10 degrees Celsius. There is a lot of activity and they are still feeding rather confidently. I was rather expecting them to be hiding in the dark depths at this stage. Fingers crossed winter arrives – again! See you there 🙂

Beautiful Strathearn

Stunning day in Strathearn. That’s the bit that includes Crieff and Comrie and some simply stunning walking, running and biking. We started at Comriecroft and headed east to Crieff on the old drovers road past the monument and over Laggan Hill. This is a stunning trial and part of the Crieff 10K race route, run br Strathearn Harriers. part Next we climbed up to the Glen Turret dam past the Famous Grouse distillery. This is a long climb of over 300 metres but on a tarmac (albeit potholed) road. After photos in stunning conditions we headed west to Breafordie Lodge then down off the hill. This is a 15.5 mile ride with around 630 metres of climbing (around two hours of riding), but great even in challenging conditions. Finished off with coffee and a roll at Bonnie’s Mountain cafe. Great route, stunning weather and even better company.

Dumyat Downfall!

Dumyat is a special place for many reasons; accessible, remote, and stunning views of the central belt including Grangemouth …………!  The Ochils offer fabulous running, biking, navigating and solitude.  Today it was a little wintery which was my downfall.  A hidden rut under the snow and my front wheel went north and me south in a perfect arms outstretched superman position for ten slushy metres.  No harm done, the watching Highland cattle just, well, looked on ……  The lesson today was go slower, more weight back and relax!

 

…… pre downfall 

Sunny Cairngorm ski

At this time of year snow conditions are pretty unpredictable (OK its always unpredictable!). But when it’s good it is great.  Today, with no climbing partner but good conditions my established strategy of loitering around the Cas car park paid off as Stephen and friends (including Massey the dog) were already  there.  Terry met us on the top of Cairngorm on our second ascent, with Sky, the dog.  Great skiing off the back of Cairngorm in windless blue skies was a reward for the ‘car park loitering’ strategy.  A great day was had by all.  The Tele skis came out to play 🙂

Cairngorms today

Pretty reasonable conditions in Corrie Sneachda today.  At this time of year conditions come and go, but today was good early conditions, yesterday less so, tomorrow? Who knows?  Climbed the Haston Line on Mess of Pottage which was entertaining as usual.  Matt and Alasdair’s smiles say it all!