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Thread: the Cairngorms in winter

  1. #1
    Mini Goon The lesser banishing ritual's Avatar
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    the Cairngorms in winter

    ok im thinking about going to the cairngorms in winter (if we have one!) after looking at the os maps i have noticed the cairngorms covers quite a large area so i would like to know what are the main maps you need ie the harvey maps carngorms and what other maps would you need ?

  2. #2
    Mini Goon
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    I always use OS maps. Have a look at a few books, figure out the walk or walks you want to do, have a look at the OS map for the area, if you go over onto the next map, get the next one, the planning is great for winter nights.


    Advice aside, have you experience of the Cairngorms in winter?, can be great, can be horrendous

  3. #3
    Mini Goon
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    The ones I use most are OS 50,000:1 sheets 36, 43 & 44

  4. #4
    Initiate
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    As snoopdawg says, it can be fantastic, it can be simply horrendous. It's the UK's closest thing to the arctic. I have had many winters there since my first winter mountaineering course in, er, 1976 ish. As I'm sure you'll be aware by now, there are vast, featureless plateaux with near vertical-sided corries cut into them - not the place to be in a whiteout! Temperatures are likely to be colder there than anywhere else in the UK. If you're camping, be warned! Winds can be terrible and you may have serious trouble moving, if indeed that's possible. However, in good conditions, it can be simply wonderful.
    Re maps, the Harvey 1:25,000 is better than the OS in showing steep ground detail. A 50 k for general navigation and the Harvey would be a good combination.
    Re fitness, be aware that you could get a huge dump of snow in a short space of time. I returned to my car at Glenmore Lodge a few years ago to find about 2 feet of fresh snow on it. Getting back through all that required a lot of strength and stamina, so it's worth making sure you're fairly fit.
    Enjoy it - but go carefully.
    Rob

  5. #5
    Mini Goon
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    Over towards Loch A'an is the closest I have been to getting caught in an avalanche. Also came back to the sugar bowl car park to find my car was missing. It had been blown about 50m and was covered in snow-bit of a surprise but the car park was like an ice rink! On the other hand, have topped out in glorious sunshine and belayed in a t shirt, the walk ins can be quite short as you start at a higher level and the hot chocolate is good at the restaurant at the end of a day!
    I think that walking over Bynack Moor past the barns was one of the best winter hillwalking days I have enjoyed, perfectly still and sunny.

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