Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A windy day on the Correen Hills

With the wind swinging into the north and frequent heavy snow showers, a day out on hills close to home seemed a better bet than travelling.

The Correen Hills fitted the bill perfectly, and I was dropped off near the summit of the road which crosses the high ground to the east of this fine group of hills.  This was a bonus as my walk would be mostly downhill !  The snow on the high forest tracks was just not quite consolidated enough to bear weight, making for slow progress.

Out of the forest and onto more open ground and the going got a bit easier where the wind has scoured the broad ridges.  And what a wind!  A northerly blast coming all the way from the Arctic, this ridge is virtually the first high ground it will have encountered since crossing the pack-ice.  Blowing at 30-40mph it was searingly cold.

Passing the cairn of Peter Prop, the snow showers seemed to be passing me by

But not for long......  An ominous black line beyond the summit of Tap o' Noth looked like it was heading my way. 

Ducking down to the south side of the ridge line did little to ease the wind; the sky blackened and shortly after this I was hammered by an intense snow shower for twenty minutes or so.  The temperature dipped and the wind increased - fairly hostile conditions for a time.

But it soon passed and shafts of sunlight reappeared.  The view here is across to Lord Arthur's Hill on the left, my final top of the day.

Snow showers came and went on the strong wind as I worked around the broad ridge on which Badingair Hill, Brux Hill and Edinbanchory Hill are little more than undulations. Heading up Lord Arthur's Hill, this long dead pine sapling was outlined perfectly by the snow blown against it.

Another heavy shower crossed overhead as I skirted the summit of Lord Arthur's Hill and arrived at the top of the Fouchie Shank - home not quite visible in the valley below. 

As I descended the Shank, I got great views of several Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) in the larch woods, sheltering from the wind and able to feed under the open canopy.

I'd been out barely four hours, though it seemed longer.  A great short day on the hill!

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