Whilst looking at the map I wondered about, for me, a massive day out; head out from the Cas carpark and up the ridge between Lurchers and Lochan, over the plateau to Ben Macdui, on the way back turn right at Lochan Buidhe and head for Cairn Gorm. It would be the first time back on the plateau, on my own, since my Glenmore lodge navigation (sept08) and winter skills (feb09) courses. I took the sailing approach; I'd head off 'in the direction of' and see what happened.
Looking back to Coire Cas carpark, with a fair amount of high cloud around it wasn't too hot and a good breeze helped.
I was soon on the path up the ridge.
Looking into Coire an Lochan with the great slab in the centre. Some wag had skied along the headwall snow patch... that must have been 'interesting'!
A distant Cairn Gorm.
Getting back on the plateau was an absolutely awesome feeling, hard to describe the elation I felt. To understand I think you would need to have had my 2009, to be there.
The views opening up to Braeriach and friends.
Looking back the way I came, Lucher's crag and the Lairig Ghru.
Sgor an Lochan Uaine and Cairn Toul.
The plateau isn't exactly flat!
Ben Macdui finally appears, it's the top to the right.
I think this is Beinn Mheadhoin (middle hill) with it's summit tors.
The boulder fields provide a few excuses to have a wee photo break, here the great coires of Braeriach.
I think we've left the shire far behind now Mr Frodo.
Still a few big snow fields to cross.
And suddenly I'm there! The direction indicator is a bit weathered, not surprising considering it's been there since 1925.
There were a few people around, one took my photo for me! It was pretty cold and windy on the top, I found a wee shelter to hunker down in and have a quick lunch break - it was much too cold to see if the old grey man appeared!
At Lochan Buidhe I turned right and headed for Cairn Gorm.
On the way. The 1141 top visible at the head of Fiacaill Choire Chais
A rescue chopper was 'having fun' in Coire an T-Sneachda, the wind must have been blowing him straight into the coire headwall as to get near the edge the wind coming up was fearsome.
The fiacaill ridge... maybe one day when I'm with a climber!
Eventually I made it round to Cairn Gorm. What a lot of people about!
The funniest incident was someone videoing themselves at the top saying 'we are on the highest point in britain...', I couldn't resist shattering her illusions! Oops.
The obligatory photo of the weather station.
The views, for once, were cracking!
Back to Ben Macdui.
And of course, I had to get down again. My knee had been getting worse, hurt like hell on the descents, I seriously considered getting the last train down. But I simply could not spoil such a superb day by cheating right at the end. So I walked down the track. Backwards, at times. It was worth it.