Snowshoeing for hares

Route: Carn an Fhreiceadain from Kingussie

Corbetts: Carn an Fhreiceadain

Date walked: 29/12/2014

Returned home on Saturday night to wake up to amazingly thick frosts on Speyside on Sunday morning.


After seeing that, just had to make plans to get out on Monday. Been wanting to get out on the snowshoes after drawing a blank last winter - just too many storms. Carn an Fhreiceadain seemed to fit the bill - a bit of a trudge on tracks in the summer, but ideal easy snow-slopes for the winter snow shoes. The added bonus was the population of mountain hares on this hill. I spotted lots of these on my last visit, and having listened to a recent talk by local wildlife photographer Neil McIntyre - who has some truly stunning hare shots - I was keen to have a go at photographing them too. The downside was this meant lugging the heavy lens up a hill!

Slippy tarmac up to Pitmain Lodge from Kingussie, then an increasingly snow-covered track led up towards the hill. Once at the Green Bothy we started to spot the hares.



They are pretty shy creatures, but eventually saw some a bit closer. They have very distinctive faces, each with different colourings and features.

Very sad to see from dogplodders' previous report that these most beautiful and graceful creatures are being shot here for sport.



Continued on up the hill, now wearing the snowshoes - actually a pretty good day for them as the snow was quite deep on the ascent, and the post-holes alongside told of other people finding the going more difficult! It's always a struggle getting out the first time after all the mince pies though.

Once up on the ridge the going was less ideal for the shoes as much of the snow had been stripped by the winds. The mist soon enveloped us as well.


Just as I thought we weren't going to miss the views again, the mists parted and a bit of winter magic was revealed. The visibility to the northwest in particular was stunning.





All too soon the descent began, with the Glen Feshie hills rising on the opposite side of the Strath.


As we reached the lowest of the snow, we were passed by a cross-country skier, but it was soon time to take of the shoes. A great day was sealed by the magical low early afternoon light.


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Paul Webster

Site Admin
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Location: Nr Grantown-on-Spey
Occupation: Walkhighlands editor and guidebook author
Interests: Hillwalking
Activity: Walker
Pub: The Anderson
Mountain: Ben More Coigach
Place: Rubha Hunish
Gear: Golite Gust rucksack
Member: Mountaineering Council of Scotland
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Cairngorms National Park Local Outdoor Access Forum
Camera: Nikon D7000
Ideal day out: Cairn Toul and Braeriach traverse in the Cairngorms

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