New Year this time around saw me turning the wheels, North up the A1 and bound for Braemar, in the Highlands of Scotland. Its one of my favourite places, the centre of so many adventures, and the front door to the heart of the Cairngorms.
In many ways it was a trip back to my roots. I spent 8 years living in Aberdeen, and spent much of it, in to the mountains, taking the 201 Stagecoach bus from Aberdeen out through Royal Deeside, to the final bus stop on route, and then hiking from there with packs for the weekend, heading for the hills. This time it was in a bit more luxury, travelling up from Newcastle in my new van, fitted out with all mod cons as they say!
The conditions couldn’t have been better as we drove up through the Spittal Glenshee heading for our first day out, on a snow covered Lochnagar. It was good to feel the crunch of snow under my feet and the cold sharp air, burning its way in to my lungs, as we pushed up hill under a glorious blue sky!
Lochnagar was followed by several more days of winter walking in perfect conditions, many summits, laughter and good times… And one interesting day trying to teach someone to snowboard on a rather icy Glenshee… I love winter… I love the cold, I love feeling warm!