Drumochter Munros in Winter, 24-25 November'18

A blog post from one of our mountain adventures in the Scottish hills and mountains. Two days of guided winter hiking on the Munros over looking Drumochter Pass. Richard Kermode was leading.

Drumochter Munros in Winter

Day 1 - West of Drumochter Pass

I met up with Eleanor, Mark, Colin and Simon at the car park by Balsporran cottages on a cold morning. We made fantastic time up Geal Charn with the cool temperature letting us keep a nice climbing pace. The views were good though a lot of low cloud was visible in Strathspey to the north. Our summits were all clear and looking very inviting though it did look like the cloud would lower later on as forecast only time would tell.

As we walked towards A'Mharconaich on largely snow free ground we enjoyed the views towards Ben Alder and Loch Ericht with much more snow than us. It got much more snowy as we reached the high ridge to the summit and we spotted several mountain hares and ptarmigan in their winter coats. We were flying along in the fresh soft snow and were soon enjoying views from our second summit and there was a little shelter so we had some food and drink on the summit. The low cloud was moving our way and obscuring some of the hills nearby...

We made excellent time on the way to Beinn Udlamain for our third summit with great views and even a little sunshine while enjoying some lunch. As we left the summit and began walking round to our final hill the cloud finally caught us and we were in near whiteout conditions all the way to the trig point on Sgairneach Mhor. The wind was now a bit stronger and colder so we didn't linger long and were soon descending out of the snow and into the heather of the glen slowly emerging form the cloud. It was a good day and we enjoyed a fine walk out to the road where we had left a car to drive us back to the start. A really good day in the hills.

Day 2 - Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Beag

Another cool start and we met up on Sunday morning being joined by Jennifer as we set off up the east side of Drumochter. We made fantastic time on the climb up the track to reach the plateau where we layered up for the walk out to Carn na Caim in a thin mist with occasional views over to the Gaick.

It didn't take us long to reach the summit and we felt like the sun was coming, but alas not a view this time. The wind was stronger than yesterday and colder too so we didn't stay and wait long before heading back over the plateau to make for A'Bhuidheanach Bheag.

There was a lot of taking while we walked and we spotted more mountain hares and ptarmigan as we passed the top of the track up and headed south for our next summit. There was a fair amount of snow in places and we were glad to find some relative shelter to eat some food and drink out of the wind. We were flying along and as we created the final snow slopes to the summit the clouds broke revealing all and even some sunshine too! It was turning into a beautiful day and we soon found ourselves eating lunch in our sheltered spot before strolling back over to the track back down where we met some other walkers and enjoyed the view towards Dalwhinnie distillery amongst other sights including the Glen Feshie hills and some very white looking Cairngorms beyond.

It was a great day out and we were soon back at the cars mid afternoon to round off a fun weekend walking either side of the Drumochter Pass!

More photos by Richard Kermode are here on Flickr.

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