I was returning to Dundee for the weekend and the weather was looking good on the Saturday so I decided to take my walking stuff with me.
Together with a friend we decided to go to Blair Atholl and try the Beinn a'Ghlo munros. The last time I had gone walking with Graham we almost got blown and snowed off Carn Gorm in Glen Lyon, and I forgot my waterproof jacket, so we were hoping for a little more success this time out. The first hurdle of the day was my alarm not going off, so I woke to the doorbell ringing at 7.10am - I was meant to get picked up at 7am - whoops! Oh well, Graham came in and made some coffee for me and we were away by 7.30am.
We headed up the road from Dundee round Perth and up the A9 to Blair. It was a lovely morning, but there was a few really thick fog patches around the Dunkeld area so we were hoping this would be the only place. We arrived at the car park beside Loch Moraig at 8.45am and we were under way by 9am. It was really busy - there was 9 cars!
We could see where we were going, up the heavily scared side of Carn Liath and we could see a few bodies up ahead in front of us. We made good progress the breeze ever increasing as we climbed.The views back down towards the Loch were beautiful but looking off to the west it was obvious there was a shower coming, and this was to be a snow/hail shower.
Anyway we ploughed on and made it to the top of Carn Liath in around 2 hours where we stopped and had a quick bite to eat and chatted to a couple of guys who we met in the car park, they were doing an over nighter camping in Glen Tilt. Graham had full signal so he checked MWIS with his freezing hands, just to make sure they hadn't changed their minds overnight about the forecast. It still said "chance of cloud free munros greater than 90%" so we were confident it would clear up. And sure enough it did. On the way down the other side of Carn Liath the cloud broke up and the views that opened up were great.
We made the next summit Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain in around an hour, and by this point we were getting ready for lunch, so we descended to the col to seek some shelter from the wind which by this point was quite brisk and was the only damper on what was now a beautiful day. On the way down we passed a group on their way up and we must have missed the path as we hand to careful slide down one of the last remaining snow patches in the area. It was good fun though! After lunch we made it up to the final peak of the day Carn nan Gabhar. The views were stunning so we spent a little time taking them in before we started to head back.
The walk back took us down to the Bealach and down following the burn, before eventually joining the clearly visible stalkers path which took us back onto a farm track, past the hut and back to the car. We were back at the car around 8hours after we started but we reckon we could've done it much faster than that if we had the need for speed.The walk back to the car was a long one though, but nice in the evening sunshine and brief shower of rain! It maybe wasn't so pleasant for Graham though who had a wee tumble in a muddy puddle...
All in all a great day. Lochnagar 5 planned for this weekend, as well as a training walk for the charity challenge I am participating in, have a look at http://www.facebook.com/13in24 or http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/13in24 if you are interested.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.