Thursday, 22 December 2011

Pulking in the Cairngorms

Thursday 15th December

Pete was running late after enduring the traffic up the A1, eventually landing at mine just after 7pm. We had a quick brew and then loaded my gear into Pete’s van, Cairngorms here we come.
Most of the journey passed in no time, we had some interesting driving in blizzards up the final leg of the A74, meaning we had to stick to the tracks which the HGV’s were ploughing. At roughly 2am we reached the car park at the Lin of Dee, too late to set off into the woods so we quickly got the hammocks up in the car park and got some shut eye until first light.

Friday 16th December

After a dash back into Braemar to stock up on munchies we were back at the car park and getting our gear loaded into rucksacks and pulk bags. Being the first time out with the pulks neither of us really knew how to pack them, I loaded my usual gear into my rucksack and made use of the pulk to haul some luxuries (cider, lamb chops and extra clothes) and a better stove.

We followed the track out of the car park and made our way through the woods, running out of snow after 10 minutes meant we had to unload and hand carry our kit until we reached more of the white stuff. As I didn’t have too much weight in mine I elected to drag it across the sand and gravel, Pete preferred to unload and do it the proper way.

After the first encounter of no snow we were unsure if the pulk idea was a little premature, after the first woods the landscape opened up and our track was perfect, earlier snow fall had been flattened by a Landrover leaving us with a nice pair of compacted snow and ice rails to follow all the way up the valley to our camp.

Reaching the bridge at Lui Water we could see there was plenty of snow down, even the river was starting to freeze over.

Our camp is in the trees top left of piccy

View from our campsite on Friday afternoon

Saturday 17th December

On Saturday morning we came up with a plan to explore further up the valley, taking just a few essentials we left the pulks and went for a wander in a winter wonderland.

Luibeg Bridge was like something you’d see on a Christmas card, fluffy meringue type snow with knee deep patches to negotiate

Heading back to the quiet and calm of camp.

Saturday night was amazing, Pete had left some fuel in his van so we decided to take a night walk back down and grab some more supplies, that night I saw the best star lit sky I’ve ever seen. Being somewhere so dark and remote meant light pollution was virtually zero, a couple of times I found myself laid on my back in the snow just trying to take it all in.

Sunday 18th December

Time to pack and go home :(

Back down the glen

Another great trip, looking forward to the next one.

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