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After my successes on Quinag, I fancied going off to Ben Macdui for a wee bit more distance and ascent. Choosing to get onto the plateau via the ridge between Coire an Lochain and Lurchers Crag would mean I would have other options too should I need to change my plan.
A Cairngorm stravaig
Coire an Lochain - the Great Slab
Better weather over Meall a' Bhuachaille and northwards.
I was slow, I'd started okay, but as the slope increased to get on to the ridge between Coire an Lochan and Lurchers Crag I slowed a lot. I couldn't seem to find that sweet spot, an alpine pace, that I could keep up continuously without stopping. It was not helped by the low cloud hanging around. More snow across the plateau than I really wanted put paid to thoughts of Beinn Macdui.
Just above Lochan Buidhe, my decision made, I headed NNE to pick up the path over Stob Coire an T-Sneachda, and the 1141m top at the head of the Fiacaill a' Choire Chas.
Skye looking for the view
View across Lairig Ghru to Lochan Uaine and Cairn Toul
I gave Skye her lunch on the grass near a near a pool of snow melt. I'd make another decision as I neared Cairn Gorm. Well I'd probably climb it but given my lack of oomph I was certainly considering wimping out.
The view down into Coire an T-Sneachda was as fantastic as ever.
The uninviting way to Ben Macdui
Beinn Mheadhion under a leaden sky
Despite the snow patches and the climb over Stob Coire an T-Sneachda I felt up for Cairn Gorm. Skye was very much in control here, I just plodded up after her, occasionally calling for her to wait. It's a short but steep climb so it didn't take too long before the weather station aerials became visible.
Skye having a break before takleing yet another snow patch
Top of the Goat Track and crags of Fiacaill a' Coire an T-Sneachda
Looking back to Beinn Macdui
Cairngorm across Windy Col
Weather and relay station on Cairn Gorm