Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Lochnagar.Meikle Pap.Braemar Weekend.Day 3.
For some reason we seemed to end out in front again.I could see the slopes of the Corbett in front of me and to be honest,yet again it didn't appeal.Just a round lump to my eyes.However Lochnagar with its ring of icy cliffs just peeking up on the other side did. If I was going to go high I reasoned I might as well enjoy it by attempting the most spectacular mountain in the area.I was surprised when there were no other takers for this fine peak,waving a goodbye to John before he followed Alex up the Corbett.The natural thing seems to be do the Corbetts after the Munro,s.Sadly always seeking the sun and best views,even if you have done them before is a much lonelier occupation.Most clubs have to book or arrange trips to areas well in advance so have to take whatever weather they get.I don't mind going out myself now and again but its always better with company.
However I seem to be in a club of one at the moment as I follow the golden orb around Scotland.I,m starting to feel like one of those biblical hermits in the wilderness.
I was glad I,d given them a miss.I looked across at where the rest of the club were but couldn't see anything through the conditions.There was a fair amount of high speed spindrift and hailstones hitting me in the face by this time with much darker conditions approaching.I took a photograph of the summit area while it was still clear.
Keen to get out of the wind I cut down into the corrie for a closer look at the cliffs.I hunkered down in a hollow waiting for it to clear again.One good thing about a strong wind is that mist can,t stay in one place. Eleven long minutes later........
I was still in the relentless wind down here though so kept going up the shoulder of the outlying spur of Meikle Pap.This is a satellite peak of Lochnagar with a grandstand view of the corrie.Here I found a boulder to hide behind to give my legs and face time to recover.Its a long while since I,ve been out in conditions like this.It used to be a regular occurrence.Oh, How I,ve missed it :)
Relief came quickly as I dropped off the back out of the wind and had an uneventful descent apart from one unexpected ,legs up in the air back flop after a slip on hidden ice under a thin coating of fresh snow.Luckily I landed on my rucksack, Mr Kipling and my half frozen water bottle taking one for the team instead of my spine.
Hard conditions breed hard men! Men with no mercy!