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A perfect day on Ben Macdui

A perfect day on Ben Macdui


Postby smike » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:26 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui

Date walked: 06/02/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 900m

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We had our annual winter trip to the Highlands, and this year we made a change to our usual West Coast trip and decided to spend a few days in the Cairngorms in order to explore the Northern Corries. Against the run of recent luck, we finally hit the jackpot - a perfect forecast on day 1! Our original plan was to do one of the easy gullies in Coire An t-sneachda, then quickly round onto Cairn Gorm and back to the car park, making a leisurely first day out. As soon as we drove up to Cairngorm mountain car park, we emerged into the sun above a temperature inversion. The sun was warm and bright and everything was sparkling all around.

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We turned the corner and got a magical first glimpse into Coire An t-sneachda - everything was completely white - a grand sight:

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There were plenty of climbers in the Coire - we decided on the easy climb of Aladdin's Couloir. It was fantastic line, the snow was in good condition and there was only one slightly dicey icy step when we wished we'd had two ice axes and perhaps should have roped up - other than that it was a straightforward snow climb - very atmospheric.

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Just before we hit a small col known as Aladdin's Seat we heard some voices from above - it was a skier and a boarder waiting for a descent - there's nothing like the feeling of confidence shattering than knowing someone is going to ski down something you think is a tough climb! We hurried up to the col, had a quick chat and watched them descent into the Couloir - rather them than me!

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We had a rest at Aladdin's seat - a fantastic place to be and take it all in:
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A short climb from the col got us to the plateau
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Once up we couldn't believe our luck. There was no wind, extensive snow cover and wall to wall sunshine! After chatting to a climber who'd just ascended Goat Track gully, he commented that it was a 'One in a hundred' day. We quickly decided on a change of plan to the original short route to Cairngorm and headed across the pristine plateau to Ben Macdui to make the most of these rare conditions. I feel unable to articulate how wonderful it was up there, so I'll let the photos do the talking:

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The view from the summit just took my breath away. It was quite busy up there with plenty of people taking advantage of the stunning conditions - plenty of ski tourers about. We spoke to a guy from Perth who said he'd been coming to the mountains for 50 years and this was one of the best days he'd ever had - I'm not sure I'll ever have another as good. We the had the long plod back to the car over the plateau via the shoulder of Cairn Lochan. The deep snow with an icy crust made this hard going, but we didn't regret it one bit - a memorable day not to be wasted.

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Attachments
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smike
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 29
Munros:40   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:39
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby larry groo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:32 pm

Perfect...

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:42 pm

Enjoyed reading your report accompanied by some fabulous photo's :clap: :clap:

Your enthusiasm came across :wink: Having experienced an occasional rare day like that, you just walk around in awe at the sheer beauty of this fantastic country that we are lucky enough to live in 8)
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby Silverhill » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:08 pm

What a superb day you had! :D
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby Montmirail » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:54 am

A fantastic day out and fantastic photos - thank you for sharing. :D
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby jules999 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:43 pm

Hi, love your photos and glad you had a successful climb, sadly not all have successfully climbed it, I did it with friends a few yrs ago,, I had signed up to climb Ben Nevis with them for charity so I needed to get some practise in and the guys said to come out with them,, 'we are only goin to climb a small hill, it wont be too bad' so,, off I went at 5am with them,, and we arrived at the car park, parked the car and off we went,, at this point I had no idea where we were headed,, it was a beautiful day, cold, but beautiful,, so wen we eventually arrived at the top, they said' do you know where you are Jules'? and I was like, 'not a scooby'... ' oh your only at the 2nd highest peak in Britain' lol.. it was amazing to know I had climbed it and didn't even know.. luckily I was with experienced climbers as its not the sort of hill you want to be climbing if your not... so we sat and had my home made woup I'd made them,,it was well needed, then we headed off back down.. well. I thought we were heading back to the car,, then.. we started climbing again..@where are we going? I asked,, Oh you have to go up this weay and over the hill to get back down' they said,, so I was a bit dubious at this point thing' wtf is going on??? well.. then I realised.. we were climbing another munro,, and they dragged my little butt up to top of Cairngorms lol,, 2 munros in 1 day,, I could not believe it,, so they said if you can manage these Jules, you will be fine for Nevis,, so it put me in high hopes.. we did conquer Ben Nevis a few month later and raised over £4000 for MS.. great memories, and great times with great friends... :D
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Re: A perfect day on Ben Macdui

Postby smike » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:39 pm

Thanks all, it was a special day in the hills - I'm glad the enthusiasm came across!

Jules999 - amusing that you got roped into climbing Ben macdui without knowing it! Well done on raising all those funds for ms.
smike
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 29
Munros:40   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:46   
Joined: Aug 20, 2010

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