Early Winter - Lairig Ghru V12

Back in January I decided that it might be both interesting (and fun) to visit the Cairngorms regularly throughout the year.  This evolved into a plan to walk up into the Lairig Ghru from Loch an Eilein on the Rothiemurchus Estate at least once each month during 2015.

Early December marked the end of the project.

Having started the year in snow - I also pictured finishing the year in snow, and fortunately (despite the crazy warm start to winter we've had) the weather co-operated.

It co-operated so well that the A9 presented challenges to traffic although it did look very pretty as I waited for the lorries and the police to sort themselves out near Blair Atholl.

Winter on the A9

On the day I'd designated for this months walk I was fortunately to get low temperatures, but with bright sunshine and almost no wind.  This meant plenty of snow underfoot and also the start of the winter ice forming on the Rothiemurchus lochs.

At lower levels in the temperatures had been wandering up and down around zero - the result being that some of the paths were a bit hazardous to walk on.

Slippery paths

However, higher up the ground was properly frozen, and it was a delight to have snow under my boots again.  One of my regular view points, Top Tree guarding the entrance to the Lairig Ghru, looked very dramatic in the fresh snow.

Top Tree - with Lurchers Crag on the left and Braeriach on the right.

I walked up as far the 'the way mark stone ' which I decided was a suitable turning point, in December even on a clear day the daylight hours in the Cairngorms are limited.

Lairig Ghru waymark stone

At Lochan Deo after a cold clear day you could see the water surfaces gradually freezing over - in some places as a fairly featureless surface, but in other places fantastic ice crystals were visible.

Ice Edge Lochan Deo

Ice Saltire Lochan Deo

And to mark my last Cairngorms report for 2015 - a still winter evening at Loch an Eilein.  I've probably visited here on about 50 days during 2015 - and photographed this view more times than is sensible. Won't be long until the ice slides across the water.

Loch an Eilein, Rothiemurchus Estate

There are a few more pictures from the December visit on Flickr

And blog posts from all the other months elsewhere on this site 

North South Images, December 2015

If you happen to be in/around Headington during December I'm going to be taking part in three pre-Christmas activities.

At all these events I'll be happy to enthuse about photography in (mostly) cold places and give you the chance to buy pictures, cards, calendars, mugs, notebooks, key rings, fridge magnets and rulers!

On Sunday 6th December I’ll be at the St Andrews Primary School Craft Fair (11:00-15:30, London Road, Headington OX3 9ED)

On Tuesday 15th December I’m doing a Live Advent session at 16:00 at the Skipton Building Society in Headington http://liveadvent.org.uk    (138-140 London Rd, Headington OX3 9ED)

On Saturday 19th December I’m doing a one-day version of my Artweeks show - I’ll have pictures on show at home from 12:00 until 17:00 
(34 Stile Road, Headington OX3 8AQ)