Morven in the snow
Morven in Aberdeenshire is a Corbett standing at 871m. There are a couple of ways to go up the hill, from Logie Coldstone side. You can also approach from the west, taking in Mona Gowan (749m) or from Ballater.
When going solo, my usual approach is straight up the steep side from the east. I can normally do this hill walk in a matter of hours and it’s a great training hill to get the legs and heart pumping. There’s a path that goes southwest which takes some of the steepness out. It’s also a great walk, with abundant junipers bushes along that path.
Mountain hare are also very active, I’ve never yet failed to see one on this hill. There’s usually plenty of grouse and ptarmigan too nearer the top.
Morven is in an ideal location for me to get up high quickly to check out conditions on the ground. On a good day, you can see clearly over to Lochnagar and into the Cairngorms. On Friday (24th Feb) after storm Doris, I was keen to get up into the snow, having a busy weekend planned Morven was the logical choice.
Being the first one on the hill after the snow I was treated to a wildlife display on the ground, lots of tracks of all kinds, grouse, hare, ptarmigan and fox. I love looking at these tracks, they really show up how busy the hill is, something you only see in the snow.
The snow was deep in places and concealed a few holes that seen me up to my thigh. It was hard going too; snow shoes would’ve been great. The wind had scoured the tops but on the slopes and hidden dips I really had to work to get across it.
Unfortunately, there were no views from the top but on the way up and down the views were good. The sun trying to shine through gave the clouds to the south that orange glow, contrasting the snowy landscape below beautifully.
Caution: Walking in winter requires the correct equipment, knowledge and skills. Please consider a winter skills course before venturing out.