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Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms


Postby 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 km

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Ben Macdui - A Beautiful Winter Walk and Munro number 50!

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

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The morning view from Aviemore


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.

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Fiacaill a'Choire Cas


The hard work of getting to the plateau was well worth it when we saw the view that greeted us

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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

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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.

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Panorama from the Summit



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!

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DrMagpie
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:09 pm

Great pictures - looked like u hit the jackpot :clap: :D
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby alvason » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:39 am

Always a fine walk up there! Great pics and the panorama is fantastic.
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby Mountain Goat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:36 pm

Outstanding summit pictures :clap:

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.

Cheers
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby kenny3760 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:52 pm

Great pictures
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby DrMagpie » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:07 am

Thanks everyone. Really appreciate the replies. The walk report was light on text due to time, but I just wanted to get the photos up on the forum.

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!

DrM
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby morag1 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:13 pm

A great day out with beautiful photos :D
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Re: Ben MacDui - a beautiful winter day in the Cairngorms

Postby dogplodder » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:26 pm

Those photos of snowy peaks emerging from a carpet of cloud are sensational! :clap:

Thanks for sharing. :D
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