Saturday, 9 December 2006

Day out:Quoich-Fhearnaig-Lui

Just back from a day out. First hike since October! How sad is that? Very sodding sad, that's how.

As I was heading into the Cairngorm NP with a mate, and the forecast was cold, with the chance of snow flurries, I packed survival gear just in case. Obviously the Akto was in there. I packed my big Scarpa SL's in case I needed them when we got there, but took (and wore) my Terrocs instead.

Parked at the Linn of Dee car park and road-walked round to Linn of Quoich. Snack break by the "Punchbowl", and noticed the flowers left by the bridge in memory of the poor wee lass who drowned there earlier in the year. The day was cold, even though we were only at around 400m. I'd already changed from my Sealskinz to new Aspen cold-weather gloves. Walking north-westerly, the wind was in our face.

Climbing up the path over the Quoich Water, we caught a stunning view of the snow on the peaks. Having already driven past a snow-capped Lochnagar, this wasn't a surprise, but was still stunning.

We pushed on to Clais Fhearnaig, where we planned to stop for a lunch. The snow-capped hills delayed us slightly, as we kept stopping to take photos. Two walkers passed us heading south, from their "Hellos", FJ reckoned they may have been German or Danish. She has more of an ear for that sort of thing.

A black&white spaniel (I think) came bounding over the heather of the Clais, followed by another dog and then a couple. More "hellos" and the dogs did their sniffing-investigation-bounding thing. Nice, well-behaved and non-intimidating behaviour. Even though I'm a cat person, I can appreciate the boundless enthusiasm of a dog in it's element.

As to other animals, we'd seen some stags when in the car, and a couple of female deer when on foot. Later on that day, a hovering-flying thing (kestrel? hawk of some sort), and a flight of black birds (not geese or grouse). I'm hopeless at bird-watching, if you haven't already guessed.

Stopped for lunch at the Lochan and got the Micron out. Took ages to boil 0.6 litres of water for cuppa-soups. I didn't time it, but the heat lost by stopping was not regained by drinking the warm drinks. Definitely needs a wind-shield. I'll take one next time.

Pushed on and into Glen Lui. A slight diversion to Bob Scott's Bothy to leave some presents for the OMers who were basing their weekend there. Although we didn't meet them, a gentleman called Neil was stopping there for a brew and meal before pushing on to camp overnight and then to the Lairig Ghru and Aviemore on Sunday. We had a brew too, rested up, repacked gear and headed back to the car. It was noticeable that the Micron took far less time to heat the same amount of water than outdoors. From the guest-book, Geoff had already headed off to Aviemore on foot, and we read about the heroic rescue of an entangled stag by a Dundonian hiker.

While Akto-spotting at the bothy, I went out to fix a tent that had blown down. Turned out to be be a perfectly OK hooped bivvy. My bad. Still, first one I'd seen in 'real life'.

Tabbed it back to the car in falling daylight, and kept our night-vision as a Landy went past. Far better chance of seeing things without using a head-torch. We were rewarded on the way back to the car by seeing 2 stags rushing away from us across a stream.

Stopped off in Banchory at the chipshop by the river, polished off a fine meal, then headed home.

Summary - 14 miles/23km. A fine day out. 0900 - 1630, including stops.

No blisters. Terrocs behaved well again. Had to keep feet dry as no drying in the weather at all. I had Sealskinz waterproof socks and liners with me in case needed. New jacket was nice and warm (temperature around/just above freezing).

For my legs I wore HH leggings and Montane Terra trousers. Any colder and I'd have added another layer. For snow walking, I reckon I'd really need some dedicated cold-weather trousers, or warmer leggings (or both).

Forgot to put on lip-salve and lost my camera's retaining clip. I'll put that down to still being groggy after fighting off the cold.


Mad Jim said...

I'd have pitched that tent better if I'd known someone would be along to take photos of it. ;O]

Goodies in the bothy were gratefully received.

Cheers mate! :D

AktoMan said...

Glad you found them, Jim. Sorry to have missed you all. I look forward to seeing the photos and hope you all had a good time.

oot n' aboot said...

Aye, it was a nice wee surprise to find all of the goodies you had left. Thanks again, we're owe you one!

As a matter of interest, Neil decided against walking to Aviemore. The weather, I think. Also, he was running out of tobacco, and Braemar was the easier option ;)

Mad Jim said...

Much much easier as it turned out. I gave him a lift to Braemar. ;))

AktoMan said...

LOL! I think he made a wise decision.

Neil was nice and went outside for a smoke when he finished making his rolly-ups in the bothy. It was him who pointed out the bothy-book entry about the entangled stag. Bothies are still new to me, so I'd not even considered reading the book as I brewed up for tea.