Alan tried valiantly to pull together the planned Braemar weekend including several members planning on staying in the Braemar YH and a few day trippers. The list of 10 possibles gradually got whittled down one by one, due to “The Beast” of course, until finally Alan himself sent a moving parting message to the group.
“As I sit here watching the latest snow 'shower' filling in the paths I have so diligently tried to keep clear for two days in the hope that tomorrow morning I can slide our VW Luge safely out the garden and down the Farmtrack Half-Pipe to drive through slush and drifting snow in order to have my face caressed by subarctic 'breezes' while struggling to raise my snow laden boots to chin level, I realise I'm not very keen to go. So I am also reluctantly withdrawing”.
This definitely has tones of the famous Oates quote; “I am just going outside and I maybe some time”, so let’s just hope we do see Alan and Gillie again soon!
But not to be beaten by “The Beast” 3 DHC members (Bob, Iain and Chris) decided to take advantage of the snowy conditions to go on a ski tour in Ballochbuie forest by Balmoral, thanks to Bob's suggestion. We were accompanied by 2 of Bob’s friends from the Aberdeen Mountaineering Club ( Derek and Hazel) and the 5 of us set off from Keiloch car park on Saturday morning in light snow (or was it met office 2 snowflakes?).
We headed over the old Invercauld bridge....
...and up through the forest on the track by the Feindallacher Burn. We got as far as the old shed at 600m and as visibility was pretty poor higher up we decided to strike off contouring NE in search of good snow before then skiing down. We managed to find a few good powder snow patches and did a few runs.
The snow was very soft and deep and it would have been impossible to travel on foot.
The final ski down through widely spaced pine forest was great fun before then joining the main track down back to the old bridge.
Total distance covered 13 km, 450m of climb. Route extracted from Strava is shown below.