The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Not a Big Hill Day

We had good intentions yesterday to be up early this morning to go up to the ski centre for a walk up a hill. This morning, having peeked out of the window at the white world, I had a re-think. The forecast was for a fair morning, but horribly windy and snowy conditions this afternoon, and we could already hear gusts of wind as we lay in bed contemplating the day.

A walk into Aviemore, a poke around the gear-shops and a walk back via a circuitous route, was the alternative for which we opted, although I nearly had a change of heart when I went outside a while later and found that there was a clear blue sky. The reality, however, was that we were too late to head up (in view of the forecast bad weather coming in early afternoon), so down to Aviemore we went.


Mick had the opportunity to choose something from one of the gear shops by way of a birthday present, but there was nothing that caught his fancy, so instead we repaired to the cafe above Cairngorm Mountain Sports. Had there been anyone in the queue ahead of us, we probably wouldn’t have waited, but after a five minute wait we were seated … and I’m so glad that we did wait, because we had an excellent, good-value lunch there. By the time we left, the queue extended all the way down the stairs and across the shop – if I’d known, we wouldn’t have hogged our table for quite so long!

The cafe boasts panoramic views over the Cairngorms, and with our window seats we watched the weather change, quickly convincing ourselves that it wasn’t a day to have gone high.

By the time we made our way back up the road, the signs were telling us that the ski road was closed due to snow and high winds. It was also snowing where we were, and continued gently to do so as we walked the section of path around Loch an Eilein that we didn’t walk yesterday. By the time we got back into Rothiemurchus Forest, the light snow had become heavy, with great big clumps falling. It was, however, very wet snow so we got back to our start point absolutely dripping.


The final decision of the day was that we were glad not to have gone high.

In total, eight and three quarter miles were clocked up (which doesn’t include the ambling around Aviemore), with a surprising 750’ of ascent.

1 comment:

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