High And Mighty In Rothiemurchus

The forecast had warned of a “stormy day” over the hills and glens of Rothiemurchus.

I’m glad to say, despite a bit of low cloud and drizzle over Drumochter, the Cairngorms were looking fantastic.

Some days you just wish could go on for ever. Yesterday was one of them.

As usual, I packed as much as I could into the day and, as ever, ended up with a few blisters!

This being the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the Cairngorms National Park, I was wanting to revisit the area and find some new photos to illustrate my up and coming feature on the Park.

To photograph the Cairngorms National Park could well be a lifetime’s task, though. It covers a bit more than just the area around Aviemore and the mountain of Cairngorm itself.

The Park stretches south as far as Blair Atholl; west to the Monadhliath Mountains; through Speyside to Grantown on Spey and Glenlivet; Deeside across to Aboyne as well as the Angus Glens. More than 1750 square miles. I like a challenge!

After meeting the talented local artist Ann Vastano for a chat over coffee in the wee Art Gallery at Inverdruie, it was on with the boots for a walk round Loch an Eilein. Ann’s work is much inspired by the landscape around Rothiemurchus and has really encouraged me to get back into painting.

A passing shower was short lived and served only to clear the air and leave wonderful light and colours. No time for lunch, it was then on up to the end of the road and the base station of the Cairngorm Funicular Railway.

But, you can’t get good photos of a train if you’re sitting inside the train so, after a blether to Head Ranger Nic Bullivant, I decided to go up the old-fashioned way – on my feet.

By mid-station I was walking in snow with skiers and snow-boarders scooting by. At one point there was actually a flurry of snow! Four seasons in one day, right enough. These, of course, are the best days.

With the sun still shining, and it just gone 5 p.m., there was still enough time to fit in a walk to the Pass of Ryvoan and the Green Loch before heading home. Think I’ll have an easy day in the garden tomorrow!

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