Saturday, 10 February 2007

Bimble to Bob Scott's

I said 7.30 for 8.00am. Mike came round to the flat at exactly 7.30am. It's a Mike thing. I had already breakfasted and had packed my gear the night before so I wouldn't forget things. That just left the bacon rolls and thermos of coffee to make and pack.

(c) Mike ClarkLeaving a wet Aberdeen, the snow started, and got worse the further up Deeside we drove. The plan was to got to Inverey and walk down Glen Ey to Altanour Lodge, and have a day out. This plan was scuppered when we couldn't even get parked at Inverey as the car park lay somewhere under deep snow. Quickly inventing a plan that didn't involve gear shops in Aviemore, we parked at the Linn of Dee and decided to head to Bob Scott's bothy then decide whether to push on for a photo op at Derry Lodge.

The car thermometer showed 0'c, a couple of degrees warmer than the Met Office forecast, but a biting wind had been forecast on the MWIS site, and we were dressed for that. I was also carrying a lying-up-kit of tent, sleeping bag and cookset, plus extra layers. Mike was travelling light in his favoured flecktarn German Army gear. Don't be put off by people and the kit they can afford, it's goretex, warm, and his boots are by Salomon. Look at that face, he's someone you know you can trust in an emergency.
(c) Mike Clark
Two skiers went by, and we said our "hellos". It was the lass' first time, and she made a snow angel when she fell later. But she recovered gracefully, and handled the descent to the bothy without removing her skis.

Leaving the forest and entering the open of Glen Lui, the gusting wind caught our backs. This would make walking back to the car 'interesting' on our return.

(c) Mike ClarkTabbing it up the track, there was not much to see in the way of wildlife, but the drifting snow would occasionally make interesting patterns. Oft reminiscent of sand dunes seen on tv. A few deer were seen off to the west, and the odd cowering bird. It was a day to admire running water, ice and snow.

I was toasty wearing my winter gloves and hat, merino leggings (and boxers) under my Montane trousers, and t-shirt, fleece, and Montane fleece-lined jacket. The smartwool socks and Scarpa ZG65s worked well in these conditions and my feet were warm. Only on the return did I need to add a buff (sorry WD) to keep the driving snow away from my mouth and neck.
(c) Mike Clark(c) Mike Clark

I didn't bother checking my watch, as I was having a great time in the snow. About noon, we reached the bothy.

Inside, in the warmth were the two skiers, as well as some 5 people who'd stayed overnight. Bob's was just too cosy. There was even background music [1, 2]. Taking our time to finish the coffee flask, sarnies and absorbing the warmth, we had already decide just to head back to the car and visit the gear shop in Braemar. We kitted up and headed south, noting that 45 minutes was all it took for the blowing snow to obscure our footprints.

Mike ambushed me on the way back, when it took me a few seconds to realise he was recording our chat. It enabled me later to obtain this, the first, and possibly last, delve into YouTube (if it all works properly).

We returned to the car, drove to Braemar and had a civilised time in the gear shop. Mike was won over by the free coffee, while I looked at the Paramo Cascada trousers and pondered. I bought one of their mugs, and a book.

We did try getting to another gear shop on the way back to town, but it had locked up early for the afternoon, despite there being someone lurking in the shop. They didn't come after the custom, so we went away. Hey ho. Nevisport had phoned to say that the gps cable had come in, so I'll collect that on Sunday.

All in all, a nice day out in conditions that would have kept me away last year. Besides having kit do deal with it, it is also about having the correct state of mind. Billy Connolly wasn't 100% correct - but I'd never say that to his face.
PS: Some of the photos here are Mike's, the rest are mine. Don't steal our photos and pass them off as your own. It wouldn't be nice. And you will go to your grave knowing that you did things to other people that weren't nice. Why go through life with that burden on your conscience? It will niggle at your soul, keeping you awake at night. You'll be in a job interview and won't answer a question properly, because it was about copyright and you suddenly remembered what you did to me and Mike.


mike pitt said...

looks like a great day out,sometimes wish i was in the south as i would love to get out in weather like that,oh well

AktoMan said...

Where are you based, Mike?

George Griffin said...

Definitely looks like a good day's walk. We've had snow twice in the last three weeks in London but its disappeared within a day :(

John Hee said...

vid works great - but what the bloody hell were you on about? Candles.

Nice inclusion on the blog though all that cold white stuff's got the brain working busier

AktoMan said...

Mike had asked me about sleeping in a bothy, so I babbled on, then noticed he was holding his camera on me.The only bit that didn't have me umming and ah-ing, was this bit, about candles.

Michael G Clark said...

Nice blog about the walk, I don't half look a nutter in the ski mask though. Jazz hands!

AktoMan said...

But you also look a nutter in the photo without the ski-mask, mate.