With only one free day each at the weekend we decided to meet up halfway. Pitlochry was a good choice as it meant that at least one of us could take the train – in the end we both did. Malcy’s train arrived about 30 seconds before mine, and as I walked across the bridge it started raining so we went to the tea shop
After whiling away an hour (Hetty’s Tea Shop is very good ) we ventured outside where it was a bit breezy but the rain had stopped. I guess we’d have to do some of this walking malarkey then
I got stuck in a hole
We made our way out of Pitlochry and onto one of the trails which was signposted It was a beautiful day (other than the rain) and Loch Faskally was looking pretty incredible
Is that like the naughty step?
It was an easy path to follow and before long we had passed under the A9 and were able to look back to the bridges
Down Loch Faskally – and our route
Wasn’t expecting to get a summit today so the next best option….
There was a short sharp shower which managed to happen while we were near some trees so we hid for 5 minutes and it stopped. Phew
These waterfalls looked more impressive at the time to be fair
Carrying on we were surprised to hear music coming from above – turned out to be coming from this weird white basket hanging from the bridge and it looked like folk were preparing for bungee jumps
Sure enough, we waited for about 5 minutes or so and then this happened
Continuing along the path we came across a big group of people watching something – it turned out to be folk making charcoal – apparently it’s for sale at the Visitor’s Centre at Killiecrankie, but neither of us fancied carrying it back
Impressive railway architecture
The loch had narrowed to the River Garry and it was starting to get a bit more interesting
We climbed up to the road and crossed over – this was us at Killiecrankie and where we were to head uphill. We actually ended up walking back on ourselves a bit but it was a better option than the off-piste version that Malcy described from the last time he was here
We crossed a field and started to climb uphill on a track – the zig-zags made it easier and I was relieved to find that I still felt ok. Before long we were into the smatterings of some snow and needing a break
I think this is Farragon Hill
Climbing upwards we were finding more and more snow on the path – it wasn’t enough to cause any problems but I’ve managed to basically miss winter this year and it felt great to have snow underfoot
Ahead to Ben Vrackie
Selfie time – this was the 3rd attempt and time to give up
It was such a stunning day – it felt amazing to be out that I didn’t mind having to take my time and be careful.
Beinn Dearg (the Perthshire one) in the distance
We turned left towards the lochan and before long we were slipping and sliding down steep slippery snowy paths. This wasn’t as good a path as the track and there were some fairly boggy sections too. My boots seemed to be standing up to it but Malcy was starting to get some damp through…least he wasn’t wearing trainers this time…
Ben Vrackie was looking super inviting….
Reaching the tip of Loch a’ Bealach I decided it was the perfect conditions for balancing on one leg on top of a cliff (to be fair I didn’t notice the cliff until I was about to get blown off it )
Walking along the side of the lochan we could see back to moody Meall na h-Aodainn Moire
Reaching the bottom of the path up Vrackie it was decision time – in the end I decided to give it a go – it was an out and back and only an hour down from the lochan anyway, so why not….
As we climbed higher I had to keep stopping to give myself a breather but this gave us more time to admire how much snow there was here!
Me and my giant ball
It was almost arctic up here
As we climbed higher we could sense the wind rather than feel it – sheltered in the corrie we were lulled into a false sense of being able to stand The snow was incredible – really deep but nicely consolidated up here and totally awesome to walk on
Looking super epic
Reaching the ridge we were hit by the wind – it was a cold one – so it definitely wasn’t time to be hanging around. But it was just beautiful
Beinn a’ Ghlo
Looking back down the ridge – one for another time
Reaching the summit it actually wasn’t quite as windy as last time I was here with Colin, but not far off. I didn’t want to get too close to the edge of here
Hold onto your hats
I was so chuffed to get a summit as I wasn’t expecting to at all, but it was time to go – we had a hot date with a cup of tea and chips
Once off the summit we were slightly more sheltered from the wind again and able to enjoy the sun beginning its descent
Back at the lochan – looking back to Ben Vrackie
The lochan was pretty choppy!
It was an easy descent from here – last time I’d been coming down here in the almost darkness and it was like an ice rink
We popped into the Moulin Inn for tea and chips before the final walk back to the station. I had half an hour extra to wait for my train but it was amazing to be able to sit and read a book all the way home. Trains are awesome, mountains are awesome, and the company wasn’t so bad either
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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.