Mar Lodge Bunkhouse was the venue for this trip – a spacious converted stable from the old estate allowing comfortable sleeping for our group of 10.
With an entirely unappealing forecast our touring plans were based solely around hiding from the wind. We split into two groups of 5 and headed out to Invercauld.
Having set expectations very low we were pleasantly surprised by clear(ish) skies and no precipitation. We started boot-packing up the track from Invercauld towards the White Mounth summits to the south, managing to get skinning after a couple of kilometres.
The rest of our ascent was very enjoyable, even with a little adventurous ice-river crossing and heather-bashing. The first group made it to the bealach, expecting a prompt retreat to be necessary, but managed to push through the wind to the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor before a hasty transition. The other group made the more sensible decision to turn before the bealach!
Cover on the descent was good, but the snow became increasingly heavy as it thawed through the day.
We all agreed it was an excellent hill day, and a much bigger day than we thought would be possible with the conditions, justifying the large quantities of curry and naan consumed that evening.
Consideration was made to ski the Lecht or Glenshee the following day, but with widespread thaw and the imminent threat of Storm Isha approaching we decided to call it a day and head home. All in all we all agreed that we managed to make the most of some difficult decisions and explored an area that none of us had skied before.