The low winter sun was just about clearing the summit of Millstone Hill at midday; the air among the trees frigid, still and sharp. I found myself moving slowly and carefully, subconsciously tying not to break the delicate silence.
Above the trees the south facing slope of Bennachie's Mither Tap had been stripped of snow by the sunlight and the air was noticeably warmer - the summit boss a thrust of granite into a perfect blue sky
....although in the shade the snow still clung. A tiny lichen caught the eye, strikingly scarlet in a monochrome miniature landscape and a good excuse to pause on the climb.
There are a few routes by which to climb to the top of the granite boss forming the Mither Tap - you can take one of the relatively easy paths or try finding your own route up slabs of varying challenge. The rock is rough and offers good friction, but these slabs are a different prospect when wet or icy!
The Mither Tap is a "proper" little summit, it's small, well-defined with steep drops.......
To the east, the remains of the Iron Age hillfort can be made out - massive tumbled walls and a paved entranceway
To the west, the highest point of Bennachie, Oxen Craig, is the foreground to a wide skyline filled with the distant and snow-covered Cairngorms. Bennachie demands a fair effort for such a small hill, but the climb is well rewarded!