Kincraig, Cairngorms (Jan 2023)

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 January 2023

Ruth kindly offered to drive me to Kincraig and we arrived around 4pm, after incorrectly trying to enter the church hall instead of the centre. A lady in the church hall advised us of a talk, “An Eye to the Hills with Cameron McNeish”, happening later that evening.

We found a room, unpacked, made up some sandwiches for the following day’s hike and headed to the pub for a couple of pints before heading to the talk with Rich and Hedda. We returned to the centre and made plans for a walk up Sgòr Gaoith on Saturday. A final drink in the pub was had before an early night.

After breakfast prepared in the excellently equipped kitchen, Ruth, Paul, Callum, Elena, Andrei, Greg and I all headed down the road to Glen Feshie to begin our hike from Achlean.

We stomped through deep, soft snow for about 4km when Greg headed off towards some smaller tops while the rest of us continued up to Càrn Bàn Mòr in horrendous winds. Upon reaching the summit (or close enough, couldn’t find it in the white out) Paul and Callum decided to continue on to Sgòr Gaoith while the rest of us admitted defeat and headed back down. Still a lovely 7 hours in the snow!

Back at the centre I helped chop some peppers for a veggie chilli co-ordinated by Ruth, then enjoyed a cup of tea while watching a selection of films from The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour before bed.

On Sunday, Ruth and I decided to bag a Munro on the way home, choosing the short and easy Meall Chuaich. Although still windy, most of the snow had melted, visibility was much better than Saturday and the sun even popped out briefly. We completed the 15km walk in about 5 hours then headed home, stopping in Pitlochry for a coffee and a vegan sausage roll.

I’m absolutely delighted with my first meet experience and can’t wait to come back for more!!

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