Wednesday, 25 March 2009



John, Lionel and I took our adventurous Winchester cadets on a snowholing expedition yesterday. We started off from Coire na Ciste car park and headed up the ridge past Cnap Coire na Spreidhe to Ciste Mhearad. It was a bit blowy but not unpleasant so after stopping for a break and a chat with Al (http://alanhalewood.blogspot.com/), who was there with a Glenmore Lodge group, we headed off towards Stac an Fharadh which was our planned destination for the night. The weather was none too friendly around the south side of Cairngorm and the windslab was getting deeper and deeper so we backtracked to Ciste Mhearad.
There was one snowhole already dug out and as it looked very comfortable, we designated this as "the leaders' lodge"! The guys were keen to get digging so off they went, tunnelling at great speed into the snow.
By late afternoon, it was drizzling though this changed to snow as the evening went on and the wind was picking up. We were all glad to be inside by this time. During the night, the snow and spindrift came pouring into the corrie and I went out a couple of times to check the entrances had not become blocked. The guys' snowholes were fine but we had to dig our entrance out a couple of times.
After a leisurely start this morning, we walked back on good, frozen neve and ice with some drifting fresh snow past the Ptarmigan restaurant and then down alongside the ski area and on to cups of tea and warm showers at Norwegian Lodge.
The two other groups of cadets set off yesterday on a camping trip to walk from Linn of Dee to Achlean and they experienced strong winds yesterday then a lovely walk out through Glen Feshie today.

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