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Mill Cottage, Feshiebridge

posted 29 Mar 2013, 02:12 by Jon Bowyer
Friday 15th - Sunday 17th March 2013 

DMC spent a weekend at Mill Cottage near Feshiebridge in the Cairngorms. It was a popular trip with the hut fully occupied, and plenty of different things going on from hillwalking to skiing & ski-touring to mountain biking. The weather was rather mixed with heavy wintry snow coming down from mid-Saturday onwards, extending snow cover on the hills down to about 400m, whilst falling as rain lower down. Visibility on the hills dropped accordingly which curtailed some people's plans though a good weekend was enjoyed by all, with a feast of pies, chips and beans in the hut on Saturday evening courtesy of Greg followed by Hazel's banana butterscotch pudding with cream and custard :)

Saturday saw no less than four separate groups of hillwalkers heading out:
  • Shaniar, Suchi & Greg headed to the Monadhliath hills above Newtonmore
  • Andrew & Berenice cycled into Glen Einich and ascended the slopes of Braeriach
  • Adam and Coel stayed within Glen Feshie, aiming for Sgor Gaoith
  • Allan & Andy cycled up to the head of Glen Feshie and did a long walk to Carn an Fhidhleir & An Sgarsoch
Meanwhile Jon & Hazel did a ski tour up Luchers Gully from the Cairngorm car park, and a group of mountain bikers (Alex, Niall, Dan, Paul) explored the forests of Glen Feshie.

Sunday saw a similar range of activities including Jon & Hazel, and also Andrew, Berenice & Suchi skiing the pistes at Cairngorm, and the mountain bikers heading to Laggan Wolftrax for some downhill mountain biking, whilst others enjoyed more hillwalking.

Below are some more detailed reports from some of the various groups, and one of Paul's signature summaries.
Here are a couple of photos; browse shared photo album here (see also Niall's photos here)


Allan & Andy's cycle-bagging trip:

"Andy and I took our bikes up Glen Feshie and then walked up Carn an Fhidhleir and An Sgarsoch. To spite the grim weather forecast, it actually turned out to be an excellent, although very long day! I even learned a bit about Glacial Breach Cols in Andy's geography lesson!" - Allan

Mountain Biking:

"Saturday: set off on a classic MTB route in Glen Feshie and Inschriach. Headed up the glen via some single track before finding the bridge washed out (replacement expected June 2010), cold river crossing followed by a warming climb (took 8th out of 22 on strava) and rested at abandoned cottage. discover lots of tree fall on route and harvesting had removed the descent we had climbed it for, but after that hit summit of some hill (can't remember name), a fall on ice at the trig point providing much pain/amusement, descent off hill to road worth every minute of pain. Sunday: hid in car with painful knees for most of day at Laggan Wolftrax whilst others enjoyed themselves. Took a few walks into bits of forest i hadn't been in before." - Niall   (MTB photos in Niall's album here)

Monadhliath hillwalks:

"Saturday: Shaniar, Suchi & I headed into the Monadhliath from Glen Banchor. Had hoped to get to A'Chailleach climbing its two SW corbett tops first but whiteout on the second of these and retreated off the hill after navigation challenges sapped our enthusiaism...
Sunday: pleasant walk up Creag Dubh from the South up the SW ridge - good views of the Spey Valley - up & down 3hr 20 mins." - Greg Cox

Berenice & Andrew's Glen Einich trip:

"Saturday was a two for the price of one day. We set off on bikes in chilly but benign conditions and headed up through the Rothiemurchus forest towards Loch Einich with the intention of going up to the Braeriach plateau from the west. It was bleak but we did get glimpses of Sgor Gaoith on the right and the distant Coire Odhar at the end of the loch. As the sky lowered we lost sight of the features above and enjoyed the various ice formations on the loch. Large shards had been swept up in a wide arc across the loch and there was an area of thick plates frozen together with a thinner layer like crazy paving.
We left the bikes and, as snow started to fall more heavily, we headed up towards the Coire Dhondail. It was clear by this time that we would just be doing a wee exploration for future reference. We got to about 850m, the bottom of a scramble up An Bodach, and decided that it was time to go back. Turning round into the blinding blizzard we retraced our steps back towards the loch and emerged from the cloud into a different landscape. Fluffy snow covered the heather and our bikes, the loch was now a white sheet and the path only just visible. In the before and after pictures it's a different day completely! Cycling in snow was a challenge that neither me nor my bike were initially too happy with but it got used to it and I managed to stay on. Reaching the protection of the forest was a welcome break from the heavy snow and we enjoyed the cycle back through the fantasy scenes conjured up by the Scots pine trees along the way." - Berenice

Paul's summary of the weekend:

Dundee bridge closure
Sabb to the rescue
Starry starry night driving
Bumper cars!
Quick pub visit
Alpine bunk head banging
Ear plugs in
Lay in
Hot cross buns with bacon
The curious pant incident
Chilly start
Awsome valley cycle
Trixy cliff cycle
Bridge down
River crossing fun
Tree hopping
Snowman action
Grinning single track
Arm pounding fun
Niall in pain….
Cold hands and feet
Back to fireside warmth
Chess battle
Pie chips and beans
Red red wine
Thailand lady boy chat
Late to bed
Cleaning frenzy
Hot cross buns with bacon
Laggan action
5 loops of furious fun
1 minor incident!
Goodbye to laggan
Hydration stop
Radio 4 drive