Most of the highest and coldest land in Britain is contained within the mountain range of the Cairngorms. After Ben Nevis, Britain's next five highest summits are contained within the national park. During winter, wind and cold are an almost constant feature of this ethereal white wonderland. Any venture into the high Cairngorm plateau is not to be taken lightly, as the vast, rolling landscape is difficult to navigate, strenuous to traverse and prone to sudden changes in condition.
I have often heard the landscape of the Cairngorms described as featureless. But this is doing it an injustice. One glance at the northern corries of Corie an t-Sneachda and Corie an Lochan and I was smitten with the fierce climbers' crags and the rocky crest that divided them. Plenty of features here. The crest in question is Fiacaill Ridge, a high spur that narrows dramatically and rises towards the summit of Cairn Lochan at 1215 metres. It can either be a grade one or grade two scramble depending on how bold you are feeling and there are a few vertigo inducing sections. In full winter, with driving winds and plummeting temperatures, it feels brilliantly adventurous. This was a gloriously dramatic way onto the high Caringorm plateau. A true slice of winter mountaineering.