Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Cairngorms

We were child free for the afternoon so decided a quick dash up Cairngorm was in order. My road bike's still knackered so the best option was a walk up a Munro I've done many, many times before. I use it as a general gauge of my hill fitness as it's reasonably straightforward (and a shortish day out with the option to extend round the Northern Corries or on to Ben Macdui)... it's not good as it turns out! My legs were killing me after the first half hour - I'm obviously not balancing cycling time with enough cross training.

It was my wifes third Munro (and the third that we've done together!) and we had relatively clear skies for the day, it's the first time that I've been on the plateau when there's been no wind - and the first time when a breeze would have been welcome!

The views across to Ben Macdui, Braeriach and the Northern Corries were very clear although the Corries seemed pretty quiet, where were all the climbers!? I thought it would have been a good day for it.

A Paraglider tried to make the best of the low winds, he didn't get too far and after taking off from the slope of Sron an Aonaich above Coire Cas he landed on the path heading to the Northern Corries. It looked idyllic though. I wouldn't mind a go myself!

Cairngorm Mountain have spent a fair bit trying to tidy the area up, it's much maligned for being a complete tip with rusting ski tows and bulldozed paths leaving scars all over Coire Cas. The funicular has helped with this in part (granted it's making sod all money!) and much of the ski and tourist traffic now use this as their main way up to the Ptarmigan. I was pleased to see that they've made a real effort with biingual Gaelic/English signage.

Next week - more training on my mountain bike. I'm using it to cycle to work and building up a good base level of fitness. Then I'm on annual leave, hopefully heading to Devon with a working road bike and lots of big Dartmoor hills to look forward to.



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