winter arrives on aonach buidhe

Tue, Oct 30, 2012

A break in the awful forecast got me out early yesterday and driving up to Glen Elchaig. Ditching the car and jumping on the mountain bike I headed up what is one of the most beautiful glens in Scotland towards Iron Lodge. Lots of deer down on the road as I think they feed them here but strangely no roaring from the steep surrounding hillsides.

Deer in Glen Elchaig

It’s always a delight to come up the glen in autumn with the colours.

In upper Glen Elchaig

Looking down Glen Elchaig from Aonach Buidhe

I dumped the bike just past the branch in the path and took the brutal ascent straight on but once up onto the upper hillside it was a pleasant bimble in the lowering cloud. Around 750m it started snowing and before long there was a blizzard blowing in. It was most wonderful to be out in the weather with the first snows coming down from the Arctic.

Me on the summit of Aonach Buidhe

On the summit ridge of Aonach Buidhe

The wind coming up from the coire was bitingly cold and it made it very difficult to breathe without the fleece buff pulled up over my nose. It was all wonderfully wintery. A ptarmigan croaked in the mist and after about half an hour wandering around on top in the hope of another blizzard I headed back down. Instead of tackling the steep descent straight back to the glen I headed off towards the Loch Mhoicean path down the steep ochre slopes of Doire Garbh, less steep than the ascent route and the path would take me back through the gorge. Up by the loch An Socach popped out of the cloud in a covering of fresh snow and the Affric hills were white to around 700m.

An Socach and Loch Mhoicean from Aonach Buidhe

It’s a wonderful walk down the gorge with fantastic views of Glen Elchaig. A grand day out indeed.

Glen Elchaig from the track from Loch Mhoicean

You can see all the pics here.

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