0Hiro vs Scottish Winter

By Jack Robinson

After more than his fair share of faffing with his sandwiches, jackets, gloves and ice axes, the fourth member of our party, the driver, finally came outside and put his bag in the car. We set off towards Cairngorm car park for a long, intense day of climbing in Scotland’s finest.

It wasn’t to be; Scotland’s finest on this occasion was 90mph winds with 120mph recorded at the top station. With the road up to the car park shut, we dumped the car and decided to walk up. Whilst it was crushingly obvious climbing was not on the cards today, we figured hauling all our gear up the mountain would be a suitably entertaining alternative.

It was pretty blustery but it wasn’t until we rounded a corner out of the shelter being offered by the side of the mountain, that a huge wall of air smacked us in the teeth. I’d heard that it’s pretty hard to walk in that sort of wind but I wasn’t quite prepared for quite how ‘exciting’ it would be.

Bearing in mind that at this point all we were trying to do was walk up the road, the four of us are being thrown around quite uncontrollably. Then there’s a stronger gust, I’m now looking up at Matt stumbling around try to regain his footing, something that had escaped me and resulted in my watching the hilarity from the concrete.

As we got pretty close to the car park it became apparent that this was as far as we were going; the air currents were now starting to throw rocks in our direction; all things considered we thought a wobbly descent involving a woolly hat chase and several stumbles followed by a coffee and a cake was preferable to an old fashioned stoning; we turned around. Hopefully the following day would be better.

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<p><span>It was, or seemed to be at least as we woke up and headed back up to the car park; in the car this time. After navigating through and around the labyrinth of queues made up of skiers we found ourselves in Coire an t'Sneachda, but it could well have been the Alps, perfect snow covering, blue skies and the sun just appearing from behind the crags. The wind was all but gone.</span></p>

<p><span>The Coire was getting busier by the minute so we decided to start plodding up towards the crag on the left, we moved under a few groups who were edging their ways up a few lines that looked much harder than anything we had come to do... The nerves made an appearance, I hadn’t done this for a year... but the sun beckoned us up.</span></p>

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