Archive for April 4th, 2010

April 4, 2010

Spring? in Wanlockhead – Scotlands highest village

by backpackingbongos

I am now back in ‘civilisation’ after spending a week in the wilds of the Lowther hills, 1530ft up in tiny Mill cottage located in the village of Wanlockhead.

My plans before setting off had including gamboling up many hills, generally spending every minute of daylight hiking gently rolling hills and deep steep cleughs.  The weather clearly had other plans for me.  Monday afternoon brought snow and gales which unfortunately got progressively worse over the next 48 hours.  I woke up on the Wednesday to find that I was well and truly snowed in, being a soft southerner I have not seen so much of the white stuff since I was a child in the wilds of Suffolk.  This was the view from the front door that morning.

With a quick video shot barefoot in the snow.

I spent most of the day on Wednesday looking out of the window at a complete white out, gale force winds bringing down the same constant steady snow.  However later in the day things started to improve and I could begin to make out the outlines of the hills on the other side of the valley.  I excitedly kitted up and headed out into the deep snow, I got roughly half a mile up the hill behind the cottage and gave up!  One minute the snow was ankle deep the next I was swimming up to my waist, the strong wind making my face hurt.  I decided that I would be crap on the Cairngorm plateau during a winter storm.  I took a photo, shot a quick video and headed back to the woodburner.

As I got back to the cottage the sun finally came out (shame it did not do so on the hill!) and the forecast for the next day was looking good.  The snow was already beginning to thaw and a mini avalanche off of the roof had wiped out the garden fence!

Over the next few days I will do some posts of the days when I did manage to get into the hills.  It really is a cracking area to explore