Monday, 5 March 2012
Creag Bheag And Loch Gynach.Kingussie.
After ten long weeks away from the mountains I was finally fit enough leg wise to get back into hillwalking again.Our club had booked a climbing hut near Kincraig under the 4000 foot wall of the Caringorm Plateau( This reaches 1309 metres in height on Ben Macdui ,the second highest mountain in the British Isles after Ben Nevis at 1344 metres and is part of the largest single area of high ground above 4000 foot anywhere in Britain.) Seven of the 10 highest summits in the nation reside here on this tundra like expanse of windswept granite domes and cliffs .I,d missed the last two trips up north but I was determined to go on this one.Alex was also keen to bag two new Corbetts in the area so we motored up on Saturday morning and two and a half hours later found ourselves in the small Victorian resort town of Kingussie.This has some nice period main street buildings and some unusual modern style domestic housing with large porthole windows which always catch the eye. There is a necklace of small towns just off the main A 9 hereabouts but this one has the best portholes.Newtonmore and Aviemore Lie either side of Kingussie, each a few miles away.
Reminds me of hobbits.But maybe that,s just me.
Hot snack for driver Alex,Big sticky bun for me.
Even though friend Satan is always at our side these days you,ve got to give him time to do his stuff.
Inside the shop two pretty young Saturday teenagers were serving us wrapped up in big woolly jumpers, fleece jackets and scarfs.Due to the warming effects of the Gulf stream(Actually the North Atlantic Drift here)You tend to forget Scotland is at the same latitude as Kodiak in Alaska,Hudson Bay in Canada and Moscow in Russia.
Although they were smiling and cheerful I felt a wee bit sorry for them.When you,re young like that you should really enjoy a childhood filled with loads of memories of T shirts,shorts and long summer days.Poor wee girls.
Some of my best memories come from those times.Summer is such a brief affair up here though.(Its not too great in Glasgow either come to think of it outside of our Devil,s circle of eternal heat and golden glow.)Poor wee Glasgwegian,s as well..
Alex meanwhile could go at his own pace up his Corbett of choice nearby without me holding him back.I didn,t fancy it much anyway as,being higher, it was buried under a thick blanket of dark cloud.
The route to the top was straightforward. Bang on time at 12 o'clock the sun came out and I sat on the grass with my lemonade and another big sticky bun (this one filled with jam) admiring the views.God bless you Satan! Old forked tail comes to the rescue once again.
Why they were right under it of course.Drawn like liitle multi layered magnets towards the pull of these mighty Munros.
Later in the hut they told us of skidding across this very plateau over ice covered slopes towards the waiting cliffs,struggling to make any progress against the howling wind.
"Tell me about it" I said.
I knew all about howling winds myself.Sunbathing on the edge of the cliffs on nearby Creag Bheag I lost the best bit of my bun to a playful gust right over the edge when I put it down to take my fleece off.Talk about howling!
I met the same guy on the way back down the loch while he was coming up and we had another short chat about bothies in the area.
person tonight.You,ll never regret it.Souls are for suckers!
This is the fine path down the loch side.A walk or cycle I can thoroughly recommend.Those less confident on a bike may have to walk very short sections of lumpy bumpy stuff but that's no hardship here with this scenery.
The track leads past the Big House and golf course then follows the minor tarmac road down the left hand side of this back to the car.A long enough day for me to start with.Just a slight limp developing after four plus hours but nothing major in the pain stakes.Alex was only 30 minutes behind me and had bagged his Corbett.
Happy we headed off to the hut for our tea then a long meeting with our club mates and our good freind Major Swally who usually joined us on these occasions from his ship docked nearby.... the HMS Liquid Cargo.