Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ben macdui.

I went for a short walk in the Cairngorm National Park at the weekend, this time just for the day so no tent to carry. I started out from the ski centre carpark and headed up into Coire an t'Sneachda.  
 I climbed up this scree slope up to the col and had fun on the scrambley ridge of Fiacaill Buttress.

After that it was across this wide open plateau, easy this time but I've had fun here in the past trying to ski across in white out conditions. At the time I was using map and compass but after that I went out and brought a GPS which would have made it far easier and quicker.

Legend has it that these shelters on the top of Ben Macdui were originally built by Commando soldiers during the second world war. They'd have to yomp across Scotland from their base at Sheil Bridge and set up all round defenses here on the top of the mountains. Just as we did in the Falklands. The slopes where the ski centre is now was where some of them learnt to ski before being sent to Norway to fight,No tows back then. 
Looking across to Braeriach and Cairn Toul, the huge scoop of Garbh Choire Mor could have been where the last glacier in Scotland once lay. When it finally melted is hotly disputed with estimates ranging from around 9000 years ago to as little as a few hundred. 
The good weather of late is finally breaking, here are the first signs of cloud building but some sunlight managing to peep through.

Coire an Lochan, with the Fiacaill Buttress on the left and the great slab in the center, not a good place to be in winter.

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