9km 510m 4h
Creag Liath. Glen Banchor car park. There`s a bitter wind and snow flurries, a complete change from Friday. Big sac on then down yesterdays path,heading for Glenballoch farm. Cross a bridge over the Allt Fionndrigh then follow the river up to a fenced forest. The wind really cold on my back, the trees give respite as I hastily don my backup fleece, balaclava and glasses from my bag, then button up and cinch the sac tight. I hug the treeline until a frozen burn, then follow it up steep slopes. The snow is soft and deep, I stumble my way ever upwards. The strong wind bowls me over many times, but tight gaiters over goretex trousers keeps out the snow and after a forever grunt, I reach the ridge - there`s another long step before I meet the stone cairn and relief. Snow sweeps the hills, visibility comes and goes I wonder how the two guys that passed me earlier are coping some 200mtr higher. Not a place to linger. Footprints made on the way up are fast filling with snow, anxious to return I drop down too soon and have to skirt crags to easier ground. Showers ease as I reach the top end of the forest and rest up. Crossing the river here gains a track down the glen and 3km takes me back to the car. The sun comes out and my hill clears as I meet another pair coming up. I wish them luck.
Seen enroute a pair of eagles doing the courtship ritual, plenty of deer before the weather closed in. Good day.
5km 360mt. 2hr.
Creag Ruadh. is one of three similar named Grahams, two being in this area. This one @ the Spey reservoir is a 100mt lower than my previous outings. Spied on the way back from doing Creag Liath I was please to see less snow on the N side with the possibilities of a quick climb. Turn off at Laggan to single track, then down to an infant Spey river. A new bridge is being erected here, the old one mauled by construction traffic
Park before Sheerabeg, the old farm now done up as a pristine holiday let.
Crossed the fence then uphill SW on short grass for the narrow gap between two bits of forestry. Deer fence then snow. A broken trail of footprints leads past a frozen lochan to a pillar trig point. Easy going. On a better day there would be great views. Across the loch - the Monadhliath range plastered with snow, tops still in cloud. The sun breaks thro and I can see as far as Garva bridge. The wind still bitter, I retreat to the warmth of the car, then head for the hut - pleased I`d managed to do two hills today. Seen enroute sheep deer birds,a grey heron at the river fishing without a permit and feral goats on Creag Dubh slopes
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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.