What a stunning winter’s day for a Christmas walk! We decided to take full advantage, heading up Lochnagar.
When we were out this way a couple of weeks ago it looked like there was a fair covering of snow; not so much today. The path at car park level was clear, but once ascending through the trees it got a bit icy underfoot. This was a nuisance as we progressed further as it wasn’t clear until stepping on the boulders whether they’d be icy or not. Thankfully none of us came a cropper despite a couple of near misses!
I was amazed by the number of people we met on the hill today. Everyone was in good cheer, exchanging Christmas joy and chat. The memorable exchange of the day was with four gents, one of whom had come from Milan to enjoy Christmas in Scotland with his hill walking friends (met when doing the Coast to Coast). He told us that God was happy for us to be on the hills today, rather than in church, hence the beautiful day.
When the ‘proper’ ice came it was a pleasure to don the microspikes, finally gaining some confidence and traction. These really are an outstanding piece of kit, perfect for times when there’s not enough for a crampon but boots just aren’t cutting it. They stayed on from hereon in until we came off the snow at the other side.
The low sun was lovely, warming up the chilly day and making it a truly wonderful day to be out. Onto the proper snow, the slow pull up began. We stopped off overlooking the loch, enjoying some soup and a wee rest.
Up the ladder we went, following the footsteps of many others. As we continued we moved into the mist; sadly it didn’t clear until we’d come off the top.
Reaching the summit we posed for a picture before sheltering from what little breeze there was, joining another three walkers, then being joined by another couple. Throw in a few more scattered around and quite the gathering there was!
Rather than retracing our steps, we opted for a circular walk, heading down via Glas Allt Falls. As with the route up, it was excellent with the spikes on, not so good when there wasn’t sufficient coverage, again running the risk of slipping on the rock. This slowed me down significantly as the last thing I wanted for Christmas was a fall.
Completing the descent, we reached the path alongside Loch Muick and made good time, yomping back to the car park. A truly wonderful Christmas walk, we were very much in our happy place!
Hope you’ve all had a wonderful day however you’ve chosen to spend it!