Monday 1 January 2018

Cairngorm interlude

With Christmas looming ever closer, it was time to be away. It is not the best time of the year for me. Ticket prices and train times dictated when I could travel. Thus it was that on the Friday prior to Christmas I set off.  The train journey up to Aberdeen was something of a nightmare. The train being packed solid with folk heading north. Fortunately the train was only slightly late getting in and I caught my bus connection on to Braemar.
The bunkhouse I have used previously was full right through the Christmas period. The Braemar Lodge hotel also had bunkhouse accommodation and that was my stopover for the night. Surprisingly it was empty! A quick visit to the local Co'op sorted out supper. A few bits of food at knocked down prices where added to the 'just in case' bag. Not feeling too good, saw me having an early night. Coming up on the train I had come close to falling over twice, not good!
Setting off in the morning, I was still not feeling right. A strong headwind gusting down the glen did not help. With energy levels rapidly dropping, a break was had for a snack at Inverey. Thin, mizzly rain was now starting to drift in. My intention to head up to the head of Glen Ey was abandoned. A spot for the tent was found near Auchelle.
Grey, sweeping curtains of rain where now scudding down the glen. With heavy rocks placed on the tent pegs, I tumbled in to the tent. With everything set up inside and a brew on, the world felt a better place.
Come Sunday morning, after a fitful night, the wind and rain continued. Time was spent drinking tea, snoozing and reading. Things quietened down by the afternoon and I went for a stroll up the glen.
More rain, with sleet and hail, saw me heading back to the tent. Monday was a repeat performance, the one difference was that now the rain had turned to wet snow.
Tuesday was another day of freezing rain, sleet and then snow. Toward evening the temperature began to drop. Icy patches began to form on the tent flysheet. At sometime or another an obviously hungry mouse had nibbled a hole through the inner tent. Hopefully it found enough to eat after all that effort!

It snowed for a while on Tuesday and then the temperature really began to drop. The water bladders began to freeze. The fly sheet became icy and I snuggled down in the tent with a cuppa and my kindle.
It was a slow start to Wednesday. There was no big hurry to get back down to Braemar. Packing up I removed the inner from the flysheet which meant everything was stowed away dry accept the semi frozen fly.
It was then just a case of the walk out and booking back in to the bunkhouse for the night. Once more, it was empty accept for me.

Snow showers on the way back to Braemar.


  1. Happy New Year Dawn. We hope it’s a good one for you. You certainly had a good wee jaunt up there and tested the Niak, (I think it’s a Niak anyway). Like the last photo. 👍

  2. Happy new year to you Alan. It was not too bad a wee trip.

  3. Glen Ey is a fine spot for wild camping and much quieter than the main Cairngorms. Some mixed weather but a good effort to get all that way by public transport for a couple of days in the wilds

  4. Will have to have another visit up there Andy.