I've been itching to get up to the Cairngorms after watching the justified social media buzz from last week. The weather last week was amazing, with blue skies, fogbows, brocken spectres and unicorns (joking) I couldn't wait to get into the higher hills. Unfortunately, there was a thaw over the weekend, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect today. I packed my axe and crampons and decided to head for Derry Cairngorm, possibly Ben Macdui and back via Glen Derry.

With my bike loaded onto the car I set off in good spirits and was at the Linn O' Dee by 8am. 15 minutes later I made a complete fool of myself and lost control of my bike on the ice, landing in a heap, all intact apart from my pride. It was a short loss of concentration that caused the slide, which probably gave me the boot up the bum required before I hit the hill.

Limited Views

Limited Views

Forecast for today on MWIS and metoffice looked great, 80% chance of clear skies, sunshine for Braemar, light winds. I was setting myself up for another great day, with lots of views, even thought of applying some sun cream! Unfortunately again, this wasn't quite the case. I did have some views early on but not much. I had light snow most of the day and probably 20mph winds, enough for me to pull out the big gloves!

Derry Cairngorm

Derry Cairngorm

Frozen Loch Etchachan

Frozen Loch Etchachan

The thaw had removed most of the snow so it was one of those days where crampons would be off and on, I didn't need them in the end but the rocks were really slippy. My slow going meant no chance of taking in Macdui, so I headed for Hutchison Memorial Hut for a late lunch.

Bothy Views

Bothy Views

Hutchison Memorial Hut

Hutchison Memorial Hut

Despite my fall and the weather, it was still great to be back.

Glen Derry

Glen Derry