Thursday 27 April 2023

Winter's Back In The Cairngorms


Late April and snow has returned to the Cairngorms. The day after I returned from sunny Glen Affric last week (see this post) it rained heavily for hours. The mountains were hidden in dense clouds. Over the next two stormy days there were glimpses of shining white summits. Winter was back.

With more stormy weather forecast Wednesday the 26th looked like the best day of the week to visit the snow without being blasted by the wind and lashed with spindrift. I went up onto the Cairngorm Plateau and walked over Stob Coire an-t Sneachda and Cairn Lochan admiring the wind sculpted snow and the rime ice streaking the rocks.

White snowfields stretched out to Ben Macdui. Under an undulating blanket of cloud the land was frozen, the air crisp and sharp. At times a bitter wind, not strong but piercingly cold, cut through my layers of clothing. Spring felt far, far away.

Flurries of snow drifted down. South and east the clouds were lower, darker, shrouding the hills. 

Descending from Cairn Lochan I wandered over to the edge of the Lairig Ghru. The black clouds were closer now. Snow was streaking down not far away. Soon Cairn Gorm was hidden, then Cairn Lochan. The wind grew stronger. The gap between storms was ending. More snow is coming.

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