Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Cairn Lochan, first snows

Not much in the way of views today
Lots of ptarmigan today

Cairn Gorm summit

Good navigation skills required now

Ptarmigan happy posing and getting into winter plumage
The temperatures dropped overnight and precipitation fell in the form of snow down to 850m here in The Cairngorms and over on the west coast it looked the same kind of conditions. Despite it being mid October it definitely felt like early winter up on the Cairngorm plateau. First outing in winter boots for me this season with a fair few cm's of snow underfoot. Of course it's not 'proper' winter yet but you'll definitely need a few more layers in your rucksack, it was nippy as soon as you took your gloves off for any length of time. The day started fine but the cloud dropped as the morning progressed and the base was below 900m by afternoon. Rime ice was forming on the crags. If you were heading across the plateau to Ben Macdui you would have had your map and compass or GPS out, for sure. I counted 30-40 ptarmigan today in just one location. They were pretty vocal and photogenic too. Of course this wee sprinkling of snow won't last. I always think that winter starts in November. Winter courses are starting to trickle through and weekends getting busy so what are you waiting for? Winter is just round the corner!

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