December is usually a gloomy month - dark, stormy and bereft of sunshine and light. This year though some of the finest days since last spring are occuring this month, a relief after the wet summer and autumn. Today I went up Cairn Gorm on a cold, calm and sunny day. The sky was streaked with dramatic clouds. Even on the summit the air was still and people were relaxing and enjoying the sunshine - unheard of in December - and admiring the spectacular views.
I skied down the unspoilt, hidden south side of Cairn Gorm - a lovely descent on perfect snow - to the edge of the crags above Loch Avon. Ahead, beyond the deep trench that holds the loch, the mountains stretched out, white and pristine. Early afternoon and there was already colour in the sky.
|View south from the slopes of Cairn Gorm|
From Stac an Fharaidh there was a dramatic view down to the partly frozen loch. The eastern end was a mass of fractured ice but in the centre there were big ice floes and open water, creating an unusual pattern.