Saturday 29 May 2021

There's still snow in the Cairngorms, but not everywhere.

Looking over Cairn Lochan to Braeriach

This year the end of May sees more snow than most years high in the Cairngorms. On the 28th I went up to see just how much was left. I didn't have any goal in mind - this is all familiar territory. I just wanted to be there for a while.

Fiacaill a' Choire Chais

Bright sunshine was broken by drifting clouds, some quite dark and ominous though no rain fell. The sky was deep blue, the snow shining. The mountains looked peaceful and beautiful. There was a cold south-east wind though and the snow was soft and in places deep, making walking arduous.

Cairn Lochan

The Cairngorm Plateau was mostly white, an unbroken sweep of snow from Cairn Lochan to Ben Macdui. If I was going that way I'd want skis or snowshoes. The deep drifts I crossed on Cairn Gorm itself were hard enough going but none were very extensive. Away from the Plateau the hills were less snowy. It looked as though Bynack More, Beinn Mheadhoin and Derry Cairngorm could all be climbed without crossing much snow.

Beinn Mheadhoin & Derry Cairngorm

View over Loch Avon to Beinn a'Bhuird & Beinn Mheadhoin

On Cairn Gorm summit the snow was thin. It'll be gone soon. The Weather Station, plastered with snow and ice at the end of April (see this post), was metal, stone and wood, steel grey and brown. 

The summit cairn was bare too, and backed by blue sky and ragged clouds. I'm still not used to it, I still miss the old much bigger cairn, though this was torn down many years ago.

Wandering round the summit I stared over the whiteness to Ben Macdui. Maybe there's time to get the skis out again. The snow is thawing fast. But there is an awful lot to thaw.

Ben Macdui

Cairn Toul & Sgor an Lochain Uaine

1 comment:

  1. Missed you by a day Chris. I was on Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm last Thursday and boy was I glad I took my snowshoes!