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Culter Fell

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South was the direction of choice for today's Craggy adventure to one of the first hills I ever climbed - Culter Fell.

It was great to have some old friends from Outdoorsmagic, Ben and Jo, join us as well as Karen, Archie and spaniel Lottie.

We were surprised to be the only cars parking up when we got there.  Suspect everyone was heading to the snowy north to join the A82 carpark!!

It was a tad chillier, windier and cloudier than we expected from the forecast as we set off but we were clinging to the hope it would improve as promised.  There was still a fair bit of snow around but thankfully not too deep so the drag up Shin Fell wasn't too bad.  Unfortunately the summit of Culter Fell was clagged in and not very hospitable. 

As we headed for Moss Law it eventually started to clear and the sun even attempted to come out.  We stopped for lunch at Holm Nick and looked up at the very appropriately named Gathersnow Hill with its cornice.  The original plan had been to head up onto …

Just the Luss Hills......... AKA Super snowy Beinn Dubh and Glen Striddle Horeshoe

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For once the weather gods were in our favour.  The only issue was being able to get to the hills to play in all this glorious snow that had been dumped during the week.  It was a no brainer.  There was only really one contender.  "Just" the Luss Hills for Craggy crew of Alan, Kathryn, Niamh, Claire, Fiona, Jean, Roddy, Steve and myself.  Route details available here from Walk Highlands.
Thankfully the roads were OK and we all made it to Luss though the Gaffney's did deploy the snow slippers to escape their campsite.
Well I had Lou Reed playing in my head all day as it really was a Perfect Day.  The deep snow may have made it more energy sapping (code for calorie burning) but it was an absolute pleasure to be out on this blue sky perfect winter day.  There were a lot more folk than we would normally see on this route all with the same idea - to make the most of these gems of hills.
Needless to say lots of photos were taken and there was lots of playing in the snow which…

Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy for some

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Deciding what hill to do in winter involves a number of factors including being able to get to the start of the route.  The Munros at Bridge of Orchy are perfectly placed being right on the A82.  So for the second outing of this winter weekend Beinn Dorain was the target for today's Craggy crew of Steve, Kathryn, Niamh, Malcolm, Roddy with special guest appearance from Micky and Cluanie.

This route is normally tackled as 2 Munros but with deep snow anticipated we knew only one was on the cards for being ticked off today. It was a bit of a contrast to the last outing we had on these hills when we had a mini heatwave back in June 2016!!!!!
The hill turned out to be a lot busier than we'd expected  The good weather had brought out loads of folk as well as Oban Mountain Rescue Team doing a training session.  Niamh said the ascent looked like a scene in Everest the way the people were snaking up the hill.  It was well and truly frozen underfoot and when we hit the snow progress wa…

Tinto plus..........

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Tinto is Lanarkshire's default hill. I've lost count the number of times I've done it since my first ascent from Wiston Lodge aged 12 on a school activities week. 
Today's Air Na Creagan outing we had 6 in the group who were experiencing it for the first time.  
The cold blast had given us some snow though not as much as we'd anticipated. We headed up the usual route and were on top in good time. As usual Tinto's wind vortex was in full swing so a quick summit shot before finding shelter to discuss return routes.
This is where Steve shared his cunning plan to avoid a wind blasted slippy descent via our ascent route. We were to be treated by heading west over Lochlyoch Hill.  What a treat too with all the powder snow on this side making the route back to the minor road very enjoyable.
Our alternative route may have doubled the distance but it added loads to the enjoyment of the day.  As always, The Tinto Hill Tearoom provided a welcome post walk treat.
Route in…