Bynack Mor – good timing on an improving day. January 2008

Date: Sat 12th January 2008
Participants: Us
Weather: Clag breaking to Glorious sunshine, no wind, inversion.
Distance: 22km
Ascent: 940m

After the difficult weather of the last week (not nice driving in the Central Belt) it looked good to drive north and walk on Saturday. Headed for Aviemore, a bit upset when the final forecast suggested the northern Cairngorms might be the only bit of Scotland with cloud but hay ho that’s walking.

Parked up at the Reindeer Centre – you can drive 1km on to Glenmore Lodge but parking is limited and the roads were icy.

Overcast morning – evidence of dawn with pinkness to the clouds

Cloud base looked around 800m – grey along StrathNethy:

Then as we climbed one of the sights I dread – clear evidence that the sun is shining on other hills – could see Geal Charn Mor over Stac na h-Iolaire and also Strathconon all in the sun 😦

It’s quite an easy amble from the old Bynack Stables bridge up to the plateau, lots of Ptarmigan and hare tracks but saw none – may have been hiding after an eagle went past (first Golden Eagle I’ve ever seen on the northern Cairngorms).

No real navigation issues as the plateau was wind-scoured and the track easily visible. Climbed the steep N ridge of Bynack More, 1 chap had kindly beaten us up, kicking steps in the snow – much easier for us. πŸ™‚

As we neared the top it was obvious the cloud ceiling was near – that wierd way everything above you is blue while all around is grey. Watery sun showed through:

If the guy I met on the top is reading – I apologise for the rest of the report. Met him at the top where he’d been freezing his butt hoping for clearing, thanked him for his steps and then he left – 5 minutes before the summit cleared – nae luck.

Nice visual effects – we had a fog bow and Brocken effects for the next hour:

Cairngorm summit started to show over the clouds:

Nice rocks with frost with cloud inversion sinking:

The inversion sank and broke over the next hour as we sat and watched – great views:

RAF roared by I assume from Lossiemouth:

Ben Macdui:

South to Beinn a Ghlo and Ben Vrackie:

Misty Barns then cleared as the inversion sank further:

The cloud layer was still substantial running up towards Inverness, the Abernethy Forest was visible in a gap:

Ruefully decided time was pressing so got up and started for Glen More. Last view of the Shelter Stone crags:

Like one of my walks last month there was a thin mist layer on the plateau:

Headed down with good progress, StrathNethy looked a lot more welcoming on the return:

Mugged by a very bold/tame partridge mooching for food:

Quick march to reach the car not long after sunset, good view to the Chalamain from the return:

All in all same old, same old this winter – sunshine and inversion. There is something magical about a clearing day although sun from the start would have been nice.

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