Arriving at the Linn of Dee car park it was with a little trepidation that we set off, the car thermometer reading a chilly -5C! Thus, 3 pairs of gloves went on at the outset, prevention being better than cure, and off we went.
A short distance along the track we turned off and headed up through the trees. Looking back (always remember to look back when out in the hills) the sun shone beautifully, a lovely reminder of why we were out today. Continuing on and out of the trees we were then faced with some heather bashing, always a joy! (If you’re not a hill walker you may not detect the sarcasm here).
Coming upon the expected deer fence we headed along to the gate, only to find it frozen shut. Over the gate it was then!
A further pull up took us onto the plateau that leads to the summit of Sgor Mor. This was stunning as always and today we were treated to blue skies and views of the big mountains around the Cairngorms.
The trek across the plateau proved frustratingly slow, although on return to the car we realised we’d made decent time so perhaps in this case perception was not quite reality. It did feel like a drag at times – fresh snow having fallen last night provided a very powdery underfoot condition which meant sinking deep as we broke trail. Bruce did most of the work, but I did take a turn on occasion to give his legs a little relief.
Finally reaching the summit we took in the 360 views:
The breeze had picked up and the temperature felt like it had dropped quite a bit, so we chose not to linger and instead found sanctuary just a little way from the cairn to rehydrate with some hot soup. As usual, neither soup nor the accompanying teacake have ever tasted so good!
To return we took a different route, heading cross country to drop down to the path leading back from White Bridge. Again, the terrain proved frustrating, both of us unexpectedly landing over our knees in snow at points. At this point we looked back but rather than being surprised at how far we’d come, instead, we were disappointed and concerned about how long it had taken to cover such a paltry distance! What was that I said about looking back?!?
Thankfully the boots stayed on, despite having to wriggle out of our indentations in the snow, and it wasn’t long before gaiters were added to keep further snow out. The descent became easier as gravity assisted and we made our way downhill alongside the stream.
The path was finally reached and good pace was then made back to the car, at which point we agreed that it had been a worthwhile and enjoyable day.
One final stop led us to The Bothy in Braemar, purveyors of very good coffee and cakes. Then homeward bound it was, thoughts of work and routine starting to creep in. Hopefully not too long until the next escape!