Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Putting the boots on Aigan
Viewed from Little Conval, the nearby hill of Ben Aigan is quite prominent and, since it was early enough in the day, I hoped to climb it on my way home. After driving the short distance from Dufftown to the Forest Enterprise car park at the foot of the hill I set off in less than promising conditions.
The morning sunshine had been replaced with overcast sky and as I set out it began to snow quite heavily. Where the Convals are heathery hills with open views, Ben Aigan is hemmed in with forestry on all sides which extends near to the summit. A subsidiary top also sports a large transmitter tower which is at least a reference point among the trees.
Unusually, I found myself not really enjoying being out on the hill, especially after taking a wrong turn on a wet forest track. I had a quiet word with myself - I'm very fortunate to have the time, location and health to do these things! Perhaps it was a combination of being a bit cold from starting out again after being in the car, or just a bit of tiredness....
....and as I climbed higher and warmed up a bit the view began to provide interest - surely few hills can have as wide a view of the Moray Firth, stretching from Findhorn past Lossiemouth to Spey Bay and Cullen, it's a grand sweep of the coast. Below, the River Spey winds like a silver ribbon from whisky country to the sea.
Ben Aigan is a fairly short ascent and I was soon onto the gently domed summit which sports a trig pillar which is unusual in being rectangular shaped. At just 471m/1545ft, it's certainly not a big hill but it does have a big view. My earlier grumpiness was completely gone, blown away by the view and the wild wind.
I was very glad I'd put my boots on again, on Aigan!