Hill: The Buck o' Cabrach
Date: Monday 12th February 2018
Company: Myself, Becky and Cuillin
Distance: 4.8km, Ascent: 305m
Time: 2Hrs 30Mins

It was not my intention to ascend a hill on Monday but on waking, looking out the window and seeing wall-to-wall blue sky, a hill ascent was definitely in order. I therefore quickly packed a rucksack and we were off by 7.30. With no hill plan in mind, I chose a hill which Becky had not ascended previously. I had always been hesitant to take Becky up the Buck o' Cabrach as it is a notoriously wet, boggy hill. However, given the sub-zero temperature perhaps conditions would be ideal for a dry ascent?

On arriving at the starting point we put on all our warm clothes and set off towards the hill. The ground was frozen solid and as a result there was no boggy ground whatsoever. Superb!

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

The Buck o' Cabrach:

Despite the blue skies overhead and a temperature of only -2C, it felt considerably colder due to the strong wind and windchill.

Looking back with Tap o' Noth in distance:

Looking back:

We had fun during the initial ascent with the occasional snowball thrown towards Cuillin.

Heading uphill:

During the ascent, the initial easy going became signifcantly harder as the snow depth changed fairly instantly from an inch or so to at least a foot deep. The soft snow was covered with a hard crust which was not strong enough to bear our weight. I therefore broke trail taking small steps such that Becky could follow in my steps.


Despite wearing two thermal tops, two fleeces and a waterproof jacket, Becky was still feeling the cold. I therefore stopped to give Becky my down gilet and to put on another jacket from my rucksack. My gilet was coat-length on Becky and it was I am told, "nice and cosy". While I was getting out my jacket, I asked Becky to continue on ahead in order to keep warm by moving. On telling Cuillin to go to Becky he ran ahead to join her.

Becky and Cuillin leading the way:

I quickly caught up with Becky (so no Colin, I am not getting slow in my auld age ) and we progressed on towards the summit.

Just below the summit:

It was very windy at the summit, and seriously cold, so Becky clung to the trig point while I took a few photos before descending back to the shelter below.

Getting wind-blasted at the summit of the Buck o' Cabrach:

At the summit of the Buck o' Cabrach:

We returned to the car via the same route following the Aberdeenshire / Moray border fence. On reaching the car the heating was put on full blast and we enjoyed some food and drink having decided not to hang around at the summit.

A really enjoyable short day out.