Carn Liath – white hare, white now. March 2009

Date: Wednesday 4th March
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 800m

Tuesday night saw 5cm or so of fresh snow. Looks lovely but makes progress tricky, especially over untracked terrain. We had been hankering after Ben Avon but 32km over this stuff seemed unlikely. Went for a wee bimble instead.

The Invercauld Estate has a car park at Keiloch – the charge is now £2.50. Parked up in glorious sun.

The tarmac road out to Invercauld House has views to Beinn a Bhuird:

And back towards a not so Dark Lochnagar:

Just before Invercauld House there’s a track running northwards, W of Craig Leek and Meall Gorm through some lovely mixed woods:

A few Roe Deer and a lot of pheasants round here.

The track dips a bit after Meall Gorm then ascends towards the Corbetts. Views open to the south to Lochnagar :

And then get even better – Lochnagar:

Morrone:

Followed the track through the snow to the bealach between Culardoch and Carn Liath. We’ve been up both of these before so we turned for Carn Liath.

Bit of a flail through unconsolidated snow to the summit which has a few false summit areas.

From here N to Ben Avon tors still black:

And south-west across the icing sugar jumble:

Lots of signs of life – raised frozen hare tracks:

Headed for the other 862m top to the NW. It was refreshing just wandering across the summit area – great snow scouring sculptures:

Got a close encounter with a hare at this point – running around rather than away:

From the NW we descended SSW towards Meall Glasail Beag. This ridge looks out over Braemar to Auchallater Farm:

Got an even better hare encounter on the way down – started up from under my feet, stood off about 15m, ran a half-circle around us, then back to us to use its snow-hole to disappear:

Enjoyed that – made the day.

Continued to Meall Glasail Beag – this would be a fine viewpoint for the cliffs of Beinn a Bhuird:

Dropped to the Slugain track – felt quite warm in the sun – despite the snow spring is approaching. Easy walk back along the track to the car.

A’Chioch cleared as we walked out:

Enjoyable upland amble in the snow. The hills do look great with some icing on them. Invercauld Estate has some fine wildlife too.

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