The White Mounth
December 29th 2020 Day walk
All the forecasts were for a bitterly cold and windy day. Road conditions near Banchory were not ideal before 7am but improved on heading west. Eight vehicles and 11 DHCers gathered at Keiloch and crossed the road to gather up at the Invercauld Bridge. It was cold but not freezing and windless as we made our socially distanced way through Ballochbuie Forest to follow the track by the Feindallacher burn.
Soon after leaving the shelter the trees we came upon an animal shed at the end of the main land-rover track, decision time. On starting off none seemed to keen on the Munro option but the conditions were much better than forecast and four of our party; Chris, Susan, Gillie and Gordon, set off to tackle the Munro, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor. The remaining group opted for the lower hills of Meall an t-Slugain and Creag an Loch to the south west. The high tops were shrouded in mist and so there were no takers for The Stuic and/or Lochnagar. We did enjoy fine views back across the Dee valley to Culardoch and Ben Avon.
We watched our colleagues cross the burn while we made our way up the gentle slopes on the shoulder of Meall an t-Slugain following a white 'blue' hare. The wind did pick up as we ascended but not nearly as much as expected and we were soon on the fairly insignificant top; we dropped down a little to find a sheltered spot for lunch before continuing along the ridge to find the even less significant top of Creag an Loch. Cairnwell and the towers for the ski tows came into view for a short while and from the end of the ridge we looked down on a frozen Loch Callater.
Time to return and we dropped down into the glen to pick up the source of the Feindallacher and followed it back downstream. We soon saw the smaller Munro group ahead of us and had plenty of daylight to return to Keiloch.
The group that tackled Carn an t-Sagairt Mor fortunately managed to safely cross 2 burns on the ascent.
The weather was much better than expected with light winds and mostly soft snow underfoot. We stumbled across what we at first thought was a mysterious monolith embedded in the snow, but of course this was just the well known wreckage of the RAF Canberra jet that crashed near the summit in 1956.
Summit photo with partial views.
The descent to the NW down to the Feindallacher Burn proved the trickiest part of the day with several icy patches encountered, but they could generally be avoided and it didn't prove necessary to don crampons on this occasion.