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Ben Macdui - winter at the top of the Cairngorms

Ben Macdui - winter at the top of the Cairngorms


Postby Fingal2018 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:14 am

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui

Date walked: 01/10/2018

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 700m

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3 things are known for variable weather: Scotland, the Cairngorm plateau, and autumn. When you combine the 3, the outcome is rather unpredictable even on the day. After some lads were caught out rather ill-prepared the night before, there was hope for a window of opportunity with lower winds and summit visibility for Ben Macdui. So off I went on a calm, mild morning from the Ski Centre:

Image
Autumn on the slopes by Thomas

Soon, it became clear that the winter on the plateau hadn't disappeared, with fresh dusting overnight:

Image
Winter on the plateau by Thomas

Unfortunately, the window of good visibility never materialised. Instead, while the plateau itself was only mildly windy, the wind on Ben Macdui's summit plateau was ferocious, so hauling all that winter gear up the hill paid off and I was a little more comfortable than the lads must have been the night before :wink:

It was a fine experience: it was snowing and white and wintery, and although there was no view the visibility was ok and the snow on the ground didn't obscure cairns, scree and landmarks completely, making navigation straightforward. Whether I could have picked a better path sometimes is a different matter :wink:

Image
Summit of Ben Macdui by Thomas

All in all, very pleasant example of a walk in less-than perfect weather that still had plenty of fun stuff. Too bad that ptarmigan are really difficult to see in snow :lol:

Image
Miniature ice sculptures, Stob Coire an t-Sneachda, Cairngorm by Thomas
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Fingal2018
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Posts: 31
Munros:6   Corbetts:1
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Mar 12, 2018
Location: Berlin

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