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Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:06 am
by Redrock
Having climbed A'Bhuidheanach Bheag on 31 December 2010 in thick hill fog, deep soft snow and strong winds, and having decided to call it a day when I had returned to the top of the landrover track at 902 metres, it seemed a good idea to go back and complete the pair of hills to the east of the Drumocher Pass as soon as possible.

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But this time it was going to be on a much better day with the sun shining and with not too much snow - and I had company. Mrs R and my friend John were joining me for the walk.
Starting from the Drumochter Pass

Soon we were making our way up the landrover track with Carn na Caim in the background.
Carn na Caim

From there is was a steady walk all the way up the land rover track (John called it a "jeep scrape") until we reached the quarry, which is really just a turned-over area or gravel and rocks - hardly worthy of the name "quarry"! It's amazing how pleasant the climb up seemed with company and chat. The trudge up in the wind and cold of December was so very different!
Nearing the quarry with Drummochter hills and Ben Alder in the background

From the quarry, after a bite of lunch and enjoying the snowy landscape, we set off north-east heading for Carn na Caim. This is not a dramatic Munro, being rounded hills rather than rugged peaks, but there is a real sense of wide open space up there and going in the winter showed it really well in a brilliant light.
On the ridge to Carn nan Caim

It was a pleasant walk over a few ups and downs on the way to the summit.
Heading for the summit

And so we reached the summit of Carn na Caim with amazing views of the snow-covered Cairngorms in the distance and Meall Chuaich in the foreground looking almost snow-free. I had my ice axe with me but it hardly seemed necessary most of the day. I did, however, take a walk over to towards the corrie to the north of the summit and whilst standing on grass I looked over the icy surface of the cornice and realised how easy it could be in poor visibility to wander onto this and go sliding into space - even on this "tame" hill!
On the summit of Carn na Caim

We took in the views at the summit with Maeall Chuaich and the Cairngorms to the North East and with the Ben Alder group of mountains to the west.
North East from the summit of Carn na Caim

West from the summit of Carn na Caim

And so we made our way back down with great views of Ben Alder and other mountains to the west.
Ben Alder from the Carn na Caim ridge

We took some time on the way down to take in the views and practice our crampon skills on some steeper snow slopes we had found on the way. It had been a great winter day on the hills. :D

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:35 am
by LeithySuburbs
Love that last shot with Alder in the background :D . Looks like a cracking day for it :) .

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:27 am
by Bod
Great report Redrock, wonderful views over the wide expanses and what a cracking last shot. Great stuff! :lol: :lol:

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:40 am
by ChrisW
Great report, nice to see how good company makes the journey more enjoyable :D

Some great pics but that last one is a winner.

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:46 pm
by Redrock
Aye - sometimes a photo just captures the whole feel of a day - and even of the mountain you are on. I reckon the last one does just that. Cheers! 8)

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:29 pm
by Libby Smith
Love the photos you had a cracking day for walking,me n my husband Mick doing both of them tomorrow 17/4/11 hope we have a good day weather forcast looks good :lol:

Re: Carn na Caim - winter wonderland

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:14 pm
by Border Reiver
Good photos, especially of Ben Alder area. When I climbed these Munros one August there was a white Lotus sports car parked off the track not far from the bend and there was a wee tent near it. How it got up there I don't know.