Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A (very) snowy walk in the Pentlands

We drove up to Scotland on Monday 28th on a glorious sunny day and the start of a serious thaw of the snow in Lostock Hall. , the temperature gauge in the car read -7C at a particularly exposed part of the M74 and that was in the sunshine! It had climbed back up to a balmy 0C by the time we hit Glasgow though dropped down to -4 as we got into West Lothian which was totally white, not seen anything like it since I was a kid. My parents road was tricky.

We got out for a short walk in the Pentlands on the 29th, they aren't particularly high and there are no cliffs to walk off so they felt like an easy choice. The plan was to park up at Flotterstone and walk to Allermuir and Caerketton on the Edinburgh side. We weren't really banking on so much snow. The intial climb up to the firing range was nice shallow powdery snow, two fell runners passed us heading up.

A bit of a bitter wind and driving snow made things a little unpleasant, it stopped but the cloud remained.

The further up we went the, deeper the snow got. It was quite drifty, so some fairly deep patches. Then we passed the fell runners heading back down, they had turned back, we soon found out why!

We battled to the the bottom of the last pull up to Allermuir, spoke briefly to a skier who was making better progress than us then decided to turn back. It had taken quite a while to get there, would take jut as long to get back and neither of us were prepared for anything more than a bimble. We could also see people coming down sinking and generally struggling in the deep snow. We needed snowshoes!

My lower legs were starting to get very cold too. We seemed to find even deeper snow on the way back, at one point Jez disappeared up to the top of his legs and had to crawl out, the same drift was up to my waist and had me crawling on knees and elbows commando style for a good ten metres before I found some shallower snow to stand up in (then fell over again on the next step).

It really was stunning and fun.

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