New Year 03-04 - AVIEMORE
last years successful trip to Tomintoul a repeat trip was organised, this
time a little closer to Aviemore, to avoid the potential threat of being
snowed in (or out as Alan and Kathryn were to find out on Hogmanay!).
Brian, Jacqui, Barbara and Murray formed the advance party arriving on Saturday. They enjoyed a good day snowboarding close to Loch Morlich on Sunday before Steve and Alison arrived on Sunday night.
On Monday Brian, Jacqui, Steve and Alison spent the day practicing ice axe and crampon techniques around Cairngorm. An excellent day even though Alison and Steve made hard work of getting back to the car park!
Barbara and Murray went for a drive, to the Lecht, to have a go at tubing. Unfortunately, now that the snow had finally arrived, the tubing wasn't ready to open!!
That evening Pat and Gillian arrived.
Back at the Cottage the Inshriach Book
club settled down for a wee read and a sip of alcohol, in front of the
fire, while Brian headed out on his mountain bike for a -14ºC ride
on the snow and ice.
Wednesday was spent preparing for Hogmanay and the arrival of Alan and Kathryn as Barbara and Murray made their way home. Unfortunately the weather around Perth forced Alan and Kathryn to make a detour via Fort William where they eventually found a room at the Milton Inn (or was it a stable?!). They eventually found their way to Aviemore on the morning of New Years Day.
Meanwhile Alison and Steve found themselves in the Old Bridge Inn in the company of an Aussie couple and a Londoner - not as bad as it might sound. In fact much entertainment was had as snow began to fall as the Aussies had never actually seen snow falling.
New Years Day saw all of us go for a leisurely walk or cycle around Loch an Eilein, although at times it was more like an ice rink. At least some welcome refreshment was provided in the form of miniature Bailleys from Steve's rucksack!
The final day saw Brian, Jacqui, Steve, Alison, Kathryn and Alan walk up Cairngorm via Fiacaill a Choire Chais, a photo of which even made it on to the BBC website! (see photo 10 in http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/photo_gallery/3382347.stm). Again great weather prevailed and encouraged us to return via Coire an t-Sneachda down what can only be described as an interesting gully. Never has Kathryn been so quiet - not helped by Jacqui's observation that it was just like going down stairs!
And so we returned on Saturday, already
making plans for next year!
Photos Steve Morley and Brian Loye
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