Following on from my previous post about Winter Climbing on Ben Nevis I have just spent the week mountaineering in the Caingorms where we had a fantastic time. Other than the day we did Ben Nevis we managed two other walks, a day trip over to Glen Coe in order to visit Ice Factor, a visit to some waterfalls where we went for a rather cold swim and a trip to Dalwhinnie distillary. On the day we arrived there was hardly a cloud in the sky and it was really warm so we had a BBQ outside, but with the crazy Scottish weather 3 days later we woke up to large amounts of snow on the ground!
On the first day we went for a local walk which I tried to do at New Year but had to turn back on that attempt due to being unable to stand up in the wind. It was a horseshoe walk up to Sgor Gaoith and along the ridge to do a few other tops as well, it was a fantastic walk which we were able to relax nicely on to enjoy the summit views.
On Monday the weather forecast wasn’t great and we needed to sort out winter boots, crampons and ice axe hire for the group so went to Aviemore and visited every outdoor shop before we headed to a local waterfall where a few of us went for a rather cold swim! On Tuesday we woke up to 3 inches of snow on the ground where we were staying and with more snow forecast and strong winds we couldn’t go up high, as we were planning on Ben Nevis on Wednesday we had another day off from the mountains and 5 of us headed over to Glen Coe for a sightseeing trip and to go to the indoor ice climbing wall at Kinlochleven which was fantastic, though after climbing 7 routes my arms were pretty tired!
On Wednesday we got up early and headed to Ben Nevis for a fantastic day which is described in my blog post, Winter Climbing on Ben Nevis, though once me and Andrew got to the top we waited for the rest of the group to walk down together as they had climbed the Carn Mor Dearg Arete which took longer than our climb. As the weather was so good me and Andrew were at the top for two hours and we didn’t really get cold it was just fantastic! Due to getting back at 11pm we had the day off on Thursday so went for a trip to the local distillery which was great, and it smelt amazing! On the last day there was hill fog down to ~600m so we went for a local Glen walk which was pleasant though interrupted by a river crossing which involved getting wet feet so here the group split and some of us walked down the side of the river to Newtonmore to keep out feet dry and the others carried on with the planned walk.