A good friend of mine had recently moved down south and we had booked a weekend in October to go on a mini exped, in order to remind her that Scotland is awesome and she should move back as soon as possible.... We had grand plans for the weekend! Grand plans indeed, involving wild camping in the heart of the Cairngorms and ticking off multiple munroes. As with all the best laid plans however the universe had other ideas! The weather forecast was looking particularly miserable, high winds, whiteout conditions the works, for anything above about 800m, so that kind of locked out the middle of the Cairngorms for us, as neither of us have winter skills and I did not want to take any risks with such a poor forecast.
So a plan B was quickly formulated on the Friday night, we would head up to Moray, an area my friend has never visited before but an area with which I am quite familiar.
Saturday morning rolls around and we set off up to Aberlour where there is a fantastic campsite in an old victorian walled garden. We arrived at a really reasonable time, and had the tent pitched in a jiffy, I decided we probably had just enough daylight left to go for a quick leg stretch and walk the dogs up the nearest hill, which just so happens to be Little Conval, this can be walked to directly from the campsite. Past a farm and then through forestry plantation on the sides of the hill and then just go up...
The evening light was spectacular! We were a little worried that we would be doing a fair bit of walking in the dark however we pressed on. Gained the top (and the trig) with the sun just preparing to dip behind Ben Rinnes, we then raced the shadows down the hill and back into the plantation and back the way we had come from the campsite.
The dogs had managed to get themselves totally clarted in god knows what and so we decided the only fair thing to do would be to go to the pub and allow us all to warm up a little before turning in for the night. Tomorrows objective Ben Rinnies.
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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.