Something like 80% of all the heather in the world is in Scotland. Much of this is in the Cairngorms and today it looked like it was all in flower. The Cairngorms have turned purple! What a wonderful sight it was for Sue and I as we walked up onto the plateau to do some navigation. Bog asphodels have been doing very well this year as well and we saw plenty still in full flower, sharp yellow counterpoints to the purple haze.
Despite the weather forecast for thick cloud on the tops and persistent rain, it was mostly dry this side of the A9 and we had much less cloud than expected. It was cold though with a stiff westerly breeze that brought out the dachstein mitts and wooly hats. We went up through Coire Laogh Mor and round the east side of cairngorm before coming back over the top and back down through Coire Ciste. We did get some cloud and low visibility on the very top as well as some rain which was useful for the navigation we were doing.
So we now have another fine summer mountain leader. Sue passed today by demonstrating good navigation skills all the way round the walk. I know that the Duke of Edinburgh students she often works with will have a great time with her as their mountain leader. For me, this was a wee warm up to another mountain leader assessment we have starting on Monday. It looks like we will get some mixed weather for that too!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.