Aviemore Cancelled – but Chris & Andy still headed out (8 & 10 January 2010)

Owing to adverse weather conditions, the Aviemore meet was cancelled at the last-minute. All was not lost however as two members still ventured out on what turned out to be fantastic conditions.

Two reports follow from a GREAT weekend.

Corbett: Canisp
Date: Sunday 10th Jan 2010
Weather: Perfect
Attendees: Chris Gamble
Time: 8 hours

I had Sunday off work and happily this coincided with a good forecast for the NW Highlands. Canisp seemed a good bet given the deep snow, as it’s not too far from the road. Also it is said to be a cracking viewpoint, so I had hopes for some nice views of a snowy Suilven.

There was lots of ploughed snow piled up on either side of the roads, so I was a little worried about parking the car. Luckily though the lay-by at the starting point had been ploughed as well – excellent.

I took the usual bagging route from the north end of Loch Awe (which was frozen over). The start of the walk takes you over the outflow stream of Loch Awe and onto Canisp’s broad ridge. This initial part was a bit of a pest due to knee deep snow, but happily the going got easier once onto the ridge.

The view opened up to Cul Mor and Stac Pollaidh:

Stac Pollaidh:

Then further up Suilven suddenly came into view:

Suilven looked magnificent in its winter coat – I was a very happy bunny.

The wind became quite noticeable towards the top – nothing enough to cause any problems though, it just made it a bit nippy!

Suilven from near Canisp’s summit:

From Canisp’s summit the view opened up all round. It was great to sit at the cairn and take it all in. I didn’t hang around for too long though as it was quite chilly and sunset wasn’t that far away.

Looking north towards Quinag:

Heading down, the wind had picked up from earlier and was blowing the snow:

Last view of Suilven:

Sunset over Cul Mor and Stac Pollaidh:

It stayed light enough for a good while after sunset, so I only needed my headtorch for the last half an hour back to the car.

Well the rest of 2010 has now got a lot to live up to for me! This walk was certainly one that I’ll remember for a long time to come.

Marilyn: Mount Eagle
Date: Friday 8th Jan 2010
Weather: Perfect
Attendees: Andy Lawson
Time: 1Hr 40Mins

The drive to Inverness was the coldest I have experienced. Just outside Keith was -20ºC.

A wee bit chilly:

The drive to the starting point of Mount Eagle was slow progress – lots of black ice on the roads and many cars moving incredibly slowly. On arriving, I parked at NH639579

At the start of the walk there is a really tall transmitter.

Mount Eagle transmitter:

The initial kilometre was unexpectedly along hard compacted snow.

View from tree clearing:

View from tree clearing:

View from tree clearing:

The next kilometre, leading to the summit, was also quite easy-going as someone had already broken trail and I followed in their footsteps. Thanks.

Track through the trees:

Track through the trees:

Masts near summit:

The final walk from the summit transmitters to the trig point was hard work – knee to waist-deep snow.

Summit trig point:

I stopped for a while at the summit to take in the fine views before returning to the car via the same route.

View from summit:

View from summit:

View from summit:

Ben Wyvis from summit:

Next, I decided to head for Hill of Nigg. Although Mount Eagle and Hill of Nigg are quite close together as the crow flies I found there is quite a drive between them.

Marilyn: Hill of Nigg
Date: Friday 8th Jan 2010
Weather: Perfect
Attendees: Andy Lawson
Time: Only 45 Mins

I parked fifty metres or so along from the start NH814703, which is less than one kilometre from the summit.

Despite this hill being short in both distance and ascent, it is well worth a visit for the views down the Cromarty Firth.

Looking across to Mount Eagle:


Ben Wyvis:

The ascent up the track, as far as the reservoir, was up nice compacted snow.

View from track:

From just past the reservoir to the summit was through untouched snow.

Ascent of Hill of Nigg:

Untouched deep snow to summit:

Looking across Moray Firth:

I used my GPS to confirm that I was at the summit as there is no trig point and the few stones at the summit were covered with snow. Summit is at NH8206370532.

Looking North from summit:

I returned to the car via the same route.

Looking back to my tracks during descent:

Back to car not long before sunset:

Enjoyed these two small hills for the fine views from an area I have not previously visited.