Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 30 January 2012

Friday 27 January - Gloom


The weather was gloomy but the forecast was for bright sunshine in the ‘afternoon’. By mid-day it was getting worse. Wind, rain and low cloud have been ever-present companions on the hills during January and now the first real snow of the year was tagging along. That was welcome. There should be snow in winter.


After a brief discussion on the summit of Wether Hill we dropped down towards the reservoir and over some hot tea discussed the route back. Then, and it’s always a magical event, some blue appeared.


Then more.



Ben Shee – Common Hill in the foreground (Innerdownie in the distance)

The improvement was as rapid as it was welcome, so we re-ascended to pick up the broad ridge leading to Common Hill and had more tea, this time relishing the warmth. A bit more snow and the tussocky Ochils would be skiable and, inevitably, thoughts turned to some of the great days we’d had touring on spring snow in the Cairngorms.

Lynne ski touring in spring, with our first collie Morag, on the Cairngorm plateau  (Scanned from a slide and 1983 I think)

On the day pictured we met some Swiss skiers and sat in the sun above Loch Avon chatting. They loved the unspoiled wildness of Scotland and bemoaned the way ski development in their own country had all but spoiled their mountains. What would they think now? They gave us some chocolate as we moved off – Swiss, of course.

If the sun was relentless on that April day, now it quickly lost its strength and we descended to the cold glen below.


They are not the Cairngorms, but we are lucky to have such a lovely little range of hills virtually on our doorstep.  When at home we get out on them four or five times a week which keeps us fit without really having to try. Unfortunately, they are further threatened by a proposed extension to Burnfoot Windfarm which will span Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire, the former now an SNP controlled county. We will fight it of course.

In the meantime a pleasant and familiar circuit - in more sun and snow - awaits.


  1. Looks like a grand day out, Gibson. Snow and blue sky. Magical. No Swiss Chocolate this time though?

  2. No Swiss chocolate Alan. Twix in fact, and the hot chocolate we had when we got home wasn't Swiss either! Can't seem to get it now.