The plan had changed from a trip out west to traverse the Ring of Steall to a walk in the Cairngorms as a result of the weather forecast. It proved to be a fantastic decision as I set of from the ski centre car park with Anne-Marie to walk beneath the northern corries in a cool wind with the plateau free of cloud. We didn’t seem to take very long before we were enjoying views of the spring snow on Cairn Lochain and climbing up onto the plateau. The views towards Braeriach, Cairn Toul and Angel’s Peak were great with other distant summits on display as well as some heavy-looking showers to the west. Our route took us round to Lochan Buidhe and a view to the summit of Ben Macdui our first peak of the day. Most of the snow was gone on our route and we made good progress up to the top to enjoy warm sunshine in the shelter out of the wind. It was amazing with the views to Lochnagar and Glen Shee as well as the rest of the Cairngorms whilst eating lunch on the highest point of the walk.
After chatting to some fellow walkers we set off back down to Lochan Buidhe being caught in a winter shower before striking off along the beautiful Feith Buidhe to visit the cliffs above the Loch A’an basin. There were wonderful snow drifts all along the river with blue skies even some Ptarmigan and Snow Buntings for company. It is a stunning view-point and we had sunshine highlighting the detail of the shelter stone, Loch A’an and Beinn Mheadhoin beyond. Well worth the minor detour before continuing to the rim of the plateau above Coire an t-Sneachda and up on to Cairngorm. It tried snowing a little a few times though the main showers seemed to be south and north of us leaving us to enjoy some dry conditions in a very cold wind. A brief stop on the summit to look at the good views north before heading for the Ptarmigan restaurant for a hot coffee and some cake.
Our descent was in more sunshine that got warmer as we descended away from the cold winds and we were soon back at the ski centre car park after a fantastic day in the Cairngorms!