Aviemore Tuesday 16th January 2007

Today was the day we planned to conquer the Cairngorm mountain. So another trip on the number 34 bus takes us to the base of the furnicular railway – about 630m up.

After about 5 minutes of searching and a good long hard look at a footpath information sign that appeared to have been painted over in green paint leaving only the map legend, we saw some other dudes walking off to the right and decided that they must know where they’re going.

Unsurprisingly this was not the right way to go to climb the mountain, but it was a fun walk all the same.

There are no signposts what-so-ever on these trails, but once again the paths are pretty good – you just have to watch out for the ice that occasionally crosses the path.

After a while the path splits to go high or stay low, so we took the higher route thinking that we might end up at the top of something. But all to no avail. The path ends rather abruptly under a massive pile of rocks which I guess were left by a glacier (maybe it will come back and pick them up later but it’s been gone a while and, well you know how glaciers are, probably completely forgotten about them!).

On the approach to the massive pile of rocks the path crosses a mountain stream (which you can hear but not see for most of the walk) multiple times via stepping stones. Next to the stream are some really weird icicle blob things which I guess form as it’s so cold – they look fantastic :)

Not put off by the massive pile of rocks (that and seeing some dudes on the other side of the rocks) we did a bit of rock scrabbling – not climbing by and stretch of the imagination. This really isn’t all that easy as the rocks are really big and surrounded by big drifts of snow where I lost my leg multiple times. Anyways after an hour or so of this we realised we hadn’t even made it halfway across and decided to call it a day.

As the mountains are so high and you’re so close to them at this point no actual sunshine gets to you and it gets a bit chilly, so we headed a bit further down the path to the edge of the sun to have lunch on yet another massive rock.

Once again we’re home for Diagnosis Murder and unfortunately Inspector Morse – seriously how did this show get anywhere? It’s terrible!!

The path to the mountains?

Icy blobs next to a mountain stream

Bottom of the valley

The valley

The Cliff face

Massive Rocks!