Happiness is the feeling of warm sunlight hitting you on a cold winters day.
Temperatures have plummeted which has brought us some crisp clear days so we headed to the Highlands.
We parked our van overnight at beautiful Glen Feshie. The evening was stunning. We had no light pollution here whatsoever so the night was dark with the most amazing clear skies filled with the most amazing bright stars illuminated by the whitest of white full moon and temperatures were -6 in the valley. It was going to be one cold night ahead but in these surroundings there was no complaining as it was just perfect.
Next morning we were up and away for 08.30am which would give us time to enjoy this Munro in daylight and be back before nightfall. We were sumitting Mullach Clach a’Bhlàir which sits on the western edges of the vast Cairngorm plateau in the heart of Rothiemurchas Forest.
We followed a fine track which took us through a beautiful Caledonian wood. Temperatures were sitting at -4, although we had blue skies the sun had still not risen high enough to reach us. We walked briskly trying to warm up.
We had two river crossings to make and these proved most interesting. We had read that these river crossings could be tricky to cross unless the water level was low, however it has rained for months here so you can guess how the river looked today!
The first crossing was tricky as the river flowed fast, there was no bridge and rocks were placed in a way that you could not cross easily whilst keeping dry feet. After a while of analising the river we realised it was going to be a case of running through the river as fast and light as one could, it was the only way. So with an intake of breath and after only walking for about 30 minutes our dry feet which had only just started to warm up were now running through a very deep, very cold and very fast flowing river in Scotland, in December. And after successfully making it to the other side without falling over and screaming the whole way (me anyway) we were most pleasantly surprised to find the water had not come up and over our boots therefore our feet remained relatively dry. Now just one more to go.
The second river crossing looked impassible until I walked further up the river to find a massive fallen tree that had fallen exactly across the river where we wanted to cross, you’d think it was meant. So our options were either to get wet up to our knees trying to walk through the river or try walk across this very slippery tree trunk over the river and this was all before we even got to the base of the munro. We decided on the latter and hoped not to slip off. It was a success!
We continued along the forest track then began our hike upwards ascending up from the floor of the glen, leaving the beautiful pinewoods behind.
The sun was out by this time and it was warm hiking, it felt nice.
We were soon high above Coire Caol, and we even stopped for a coffee sitting in the sunshine, topping up on vitamin D, whilst taking in the views down into Coire Garbhlach from a little bealach before continuing upwards again until we reached the flat plateau.
After walking for a short bit we made our final gentle ascent to the cairn on Mullach Clach a’Bhair at 1019 metres.
The flat terrain of the top of this munro robs the view of any depth, so we didnt hang around.
The easiest way to return would have been the same way we had came up but we enjoy doing a circular route so decided not to return the same way. We were going to traverse the rolling plateau towards the other Munro of Sgòr Gaoith which we had sumitted previously before returning down the Hunters Path from the south flank of Càrn Ban Mòr to Achlean.
Pockets of snow covered sections of the mountain here making things look very scenic indeed.
Before we knew it we were slowly making our way down a very icy, snow covered path which was deep in parts and very slippery in others.
Once we were off this section it was a very beautiful, easy and quick descent towards the magestic Scots pines of Upper Glen Feshie and the heather clad slopes.
We were soon in the glen, briskly walking back towards the van with plenty daylight hours left.
This had been a great day out and conditions couldn’t have worked out any better for us.
Hope you enjoyed the video 💙