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Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms
by DrMagpie » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:42 pm
Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm
Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui
Date walked: 17/02/2013
Time taken: 6 hours
Distance: 14.5 km5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
After a very quiet winter on the walking front, hampered by good weather and days off never coinciding, I was beginning to get depressed. Then came a short notice offer of a day walking in the Cairngorms - an offer that was too good to refuse. Daily checks of MWIS got better and better as the weekend approached, and the weather on the day didn't disappoint!
I set off from Edinburgh early and slightly bleary-eyed with the aim of being in Aviemore before the majority of traffic heading for the ski centre. The hills between Blair Athol and Dalwhinnie were shrouded in mist. I was beginning to doubt the good forecast. However, the further towards Aviemore I got, the better the weather became. As I arrived in Aviemore, the weather was spectacular. Cloud was billowing over the higher summits, hiding them from view
I couldn't believe the amount of traffic heading to the ski centre. We had to park at the lower car park and hop on the shuttle bus up to the ski centre.Our aim was to head onto the plateau and across to Ben Macdui
Starting out, it was clear how exhausting the day was going to be. Soft snow right from the ski centre made for tiring walking. Nevertheless, we headed out for the plateau via Fiacaill a'Choire Cas.
The hard work of getting to the plateau was well worth it when we saw the view that greeted us
Although the walk across the plateau was in cloud with poor visibility requiring compass navigation (difficult in itself on the featureless plateau!), we soon emerged above the cloud, and the view was fantastic
The summit of Ben MacDui provided a beautiful 360 degree view with only the highest of the surrounding peaks visible above the cloud. Cairn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine and Braeriach on the far side of the Lairig Ghru looked like snowy islands emerging from the sea of cloud.
Before long it was time to take the plunge back into the cloud as we crossed the plateau once more and headed for the Cairn Gorm ski centre. Just time for one last view across the hills before a long drive back to Edinburgh and a well-earned pint!
by wilkiemurray » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:09 pm
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by alvason » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:39 am
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by Mountain Goat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:36 pm
Some 30 years ago, in very different conditions, I camped up there with my dad during the summer and got an unexpected suntan on the Saturday. Awoke Sunday to about 10ft visibility; compass and counting our steps off the mountain.
Seeing your pictures in winter, I definitely want to go back someday soon.
by kenny3760 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:52 pm
by DrMagpie » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:07 am
As wilkiemurray said, we hit the jackpot with the weather. The views from the top were absolutely spectacular. Been a while since I saw a cloud inversion from above.
Haven't walked much in the Cairngorms before but after this weekend I can't wait to go back!
Mountain Goat - Hope you get a trip up there soon, and hope the weather's kind to you!
by dogplodder » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:26 pm
Thanks for sharing.
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