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More snow in May than superman got in March!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:10 am
by dogplodder
Inspired by Monty's epic walk in the sunshine this is a report on the same area to show the contrast in snow coverage between May 2010 and March 2012.

Our plan had been to climb Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain which we knew would take us a while so we'd kept it for the long daylight of May. We parked a kilometre north of Achlean and took the Hunter's Path up the hillside on the east side of Glen Feshie.

Views west into Strath Spey
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Distant Loch Insh
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The path crossed more snow than we expected and without spikes slowed the pace.

The dots are Evelyn and Moira
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The dogs were exhilerated and raced up and down as we waited
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Then did a bit of digging 8)
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Here they come
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We passed the turn off for Sgor Gaoith and the view ahead was breathtaking. :D

View east to the Cairngorm giants - Braeriach, Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul
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Braeriach (Moira's pic)
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Angel's Peak and flat-topped Cairn Toul
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View south over Moine Mhor
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Our intended target, Monadh Mor (Moira's pic)
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That's the spot - scratch right there!
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With the unexpected coverage of snow our collective speed was slow so the decision was taken with some regret that we didn't have time to make our intended target of Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain. Personally I was more concerned about how cold it was going to be wading across the Eidart burn if it was in spate! :lol: So we had a change of plan and turned right to head for Mullach Clach a' Bhlair which Evelyn and Moira had climbed before but I hadn't (so a tick for me then - thanks girls! :D )

That view again
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North to Sgor Gaoith
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Hobbit house
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Dogs patiently waiting while we ate lunch :D
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Maps out to check the route
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We headed across the tundra
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Until we reached the landrover track which seems a bit misplaced in this wide open wilderness!
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Did I mention it was cold? It was so cold that even the cairn had its pink woolly hat on.
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Summit cairn of Mullach Clach a' Bhlair
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We followed the track down which went through lots of snow requiring careful footwork (Moira's pic).
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We skirted the edge of Coire Garbhlach which at one point had quite an impressive drop.

Coire Garbhlach (Moira's pic)
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We maybe should have taken the high path cutting the corner but instead headed down to the river to find a pleasant area of meadow and old pine trees. So we had to stop there for a wee drink and a blether. :D

Looks like I've got a touch of snow blindness from all that snow and sun!
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The return to Achlean was longer than it felt it should be and I thought I'd be helpful and go ahead so I could bring the car up to the farm to meet the girls. So off I charged, a woman on a mission, until I came to a T junction in the path and didn't know whether to go left or right. I didn't know that if I went right up the hill I would almost immediately come to a left turn into the woods (a dog leg) so because it didn't feel right to go uphill I turned left down towards the river. That was fine for a while but then the path petered out and I ended up traversing an increasingly narrow ledge above the river just because I was too stubborn to turn back. :crazy: Then I came to a raging torrent (well a steep sided burn flowing into the Feshie) so there was more clambering and huffing and puffing to get up the side of it and find a place to cross. By this time the other two (who had taken the correct turning at the dog leg) were ahead of me and on the far side of the burn. So much for trying to be helpful! :oops:

There was another burn in spate to cross which had the dogs a bit anxious until I found a place to jump over and after that it was an easy walk up the glen to where we left the car.

But what a contrast with Monty's walk the other day with hardly any snow visible!

Re: More snow in May than superman got in March!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:24 pm
by monty
Lovely photos Doggplodder and a nice big snow sheet into the bargain. Its hard to beleive the snow has gone so early in the year. There is time enough for it to return mind you but I very much doubt it now.

Interestingly when I walked from the broken bridge throught the forest I eventually came to a Junction where upon the track went right up a hill in the near distance or left down towards the river. I was in a quandry and went right a bit then left a bit then finally decided to go right. I then spied a small path going into the forest and thats the route i took :lol: :lol:

Re: More snow in May than superman got in March!

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:52 am
by dogplodder
monty wrote:Interestingly when I walked from the broken bridge throught the forest I eventually came to a Junction where upon the track went right up a hill in the near distance or left down towards the river. I was in a quandry and went right a bit then left a bit then finally decided to go right. I then spied a small path going into the forest and thats the route i took :lol: :lol:


I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one in a quandry at that point! My pals coming along behind knew which way to turn as they'd been before but to me it wasn't at all clear and I went wrong. :lol:

Re: More snow in May than superman got in March!

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:34 am
by ChrisW
A fine report DP with really lovely photos, the one of the two dogs waiting whilst you have lunch is beautiful, all in all that looked like a wonderful day in the hills, even with the tentative snow crossings and *&^%$£*** burn crossing :lol:

Re: More snow in May than superman got in March!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:16 am
by dogplodder
ChrisW wrote:A fine report DP with really lovely photos, the one of the two dogs waiting whilst you have lunch is beautiful, all in all that looked like a wonderful day in the hills, even with the tentative snow crossings and *&^%$£*** burn crossing :lol:


Thanks Chris. :D It was indeed a great day - even though we ended up summiting a different hill from the ones planned!