Sometimes you plan with the best of intentions. And later, what had seemed like a good time to go adventuring is actually really inconvenient for everyone. And possibly not the right conditions either.
But it is booked now and we’re going to do it anyway. A weekend in the Cairngorms. No cars. Just mountain bikes, boots and trail shoes.
I should be excited, and I am, but I’m also a bit apprehensive about our first hill outing.
For day 1, the plan is to cycle 20 miles with kit on our backs, then start into an 8-10 hour hike at around mid-day. I’m confident that in good weather we can hike to the plateau and then run easier sections, so we could theoretically get off the hill for about 7pm.
But there’s a chance there’s still snow, and possibly some quite deep pockets of it above 750 metres. We’ll be traversing around 15 kilometres at a height of around 900 metres. We’re not travelling with winter gear.
I am better than I used to be on risk assessment, and I do have a little experience of hiking in poor and wintry conditions. So hopefully that’ll come in handy if we encounter more than a light dusting of snow.
We’ll soon find out.
I’m also worried that the map that James is bringing isn’t weather proof. Maybe I’m being a bit paranoid, but the last time I had to use a paper map in rotten conditions, it disintegrated as soon as we got it out of the map bag. We were left with only one fragile raggedy piece of pulp with which to get us off the hill.
Fuck it, I’m buying as weather proof map tomorrow.