Sunday, December 21, 2008

79. A'Bhuidheanach Bheag (240) 17/12/08

This walk was designed to fit into a morning before the clouds and rain came in. The guide books described it as a rather mundane hill and perhaps in summer it would have been, but winter transformed it into something more interesting. The cold air and wind add vitality and the snow provides not only a firmer footing than the usual bog, but also such a wide variety of different shapes and effects. We had powdered snow in the sheltered spots, hard packed crunchy stuff with a few blades of grass poking through along the plateau near the summit and sheets of near ice on the ascent, which had to be skirted round on the way up and slid down on the descent. We set off at first light and having eventually found the right track up, we made good progress onto the plateau. Once there, with great views all around and despite the increase in wind, it was fairly easy to walk the mile or so across the flat to the summit which was just a gentle rise above the surrounding land and only the trig point told use we were actually there. The round trip from Balsporran cottages only took 3 hours, but we were justified in our short choice of walk when the clouds descended behind us and having remained dry for the whole walk we were caught in the rain for literally the last five minutes before getting to the car.

A western corrie of the plateau.

Looking back on our ascent, with Dalwhinnie in the distance on the far right.

Jo approaching the trig point at the summit.


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