12th January 2008

Mid January and the forecast setting fair for the weekend. Sitting at lunch in the office on Friday, looking out of the window, discussing plans and wondering if the weather would hold for the next day…. The skiing, hillwalking and outdoor activities forecasts were all optimistic and there were reports of a bumper day’s skiing on Cairngorm that day.

Saturday dawned, with a plan to head for the Glen Feshie hills. The weather forecasters promised clearing cloud through the day, followed by bright spells in the afternoon. Frosty roads from Inverness to Glen Feshie and gathering numbers of cars at the Achlean car park. Setting off up the track from Achlean the snow became deeper and softer in places. A couple of skiers soon passed the walkers on the track, heading higher and faster than those of of us on foot. Looking to the west, the views of the Monadhliath mountains were open, but with a heavy bank of cloud hanging above the summits. As we walked further up the track, so the cloud appeared to descend towards us, leaving us questioning the forecast that had been given. We soon realised however, that the cold air sink in the glen below was providing us the pleasure of an inversion. On reaching the top of the track and the plateau, and emerging out of the mist, we were very quickly rewarded with the sight of the Ben Alder summit reaching out from the surrounding cloud.


Looking around us, to north and south, and with the cloud rolling down into the glens below, the profiles of the summits steadily became sharper against the gradually clearing skies.

The panorama unfolded around us as we looked through north, through north east and eastwards over the Cairngorm mountain range.

View a high resolution version of this panorama

Views to the south and west were equally rewarding, whilst the far distance view to Braeriach across Loch Einich was stunning.

The summit of Sgor Gaoith in the distance and a view towards Braeriach set against a beautifully ice sculptured foreground.

Meanwhile the surrounding inversion was simply stunning.

On reaching the summit of Sgor Gaoith, the relief and the contrast of the surrounding hills intensified. As the light became crisper and sharper, the clarity accentuated the foreground detail at the edge of the summit.

A cold but amazing day on the tops, rewarded with rime ice, long distance views and superb light for photography.

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