Prior to an ascent of Morrone on Saturday morning we spotted two Black Grouse and two White-tailed Eagles. While I have seen Black Grouse previously in the Southern Cairngorms, this was the first time I have seen White-tailed Eagles.

Black Grouse in a tree:

White-tailed Eagles:

After the sheer delight of seeing two White-tailed Eagles, we parked in the duck pond car park for an ascent of Morrone. I last ascended Morrone on 31st December 2014 and before that on 6th July 2002.

Hill: Morrone
Date: Saturday 27th February 2021
Company: Myself and Kate
Distance: 6.7km, Ascent: 480m

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the car park we followed the track leading towards Morrone. The start of the walk is waymarked with a sign advising "Morrone 2 Miles". Despite significant snowfall in the past two months, the hill was almost devoid of snow due to the high temperatures of the past week.

View towards Braemar from lower slopes of Morrone:

During the ascent we were treated to lovely blue-sky views looking back towards Braemar and beyond to Beinn a' Bhuird and Ben Avon.

Braemar view:

Ascending Morrone:

Given it was such a lovely day it was somewhat surprising to see so few people out on the hill; during the entire ascent and descent we met only three people.

I suspect many have been discouraged from ascending Morrone in recent weeks due to not only the non-clearing of the car park but also the barricading of the car park entrance with mounds of snow. To get into the car park I kicked-down what remained of the barricade.

I am getting fed up of the shitshow that is lockdown and how it has created so many "you must do this" and "you can't do this" assholes on Social Media. Even during the ascent of Morrone, on posting-up a photo to Twitter, I was told by some random that I should be at home and not out on the hills.

Large snowpatch:

Braemar from marker cairns:

View east towards the Lochnagar range:

Unfortunately, as per on previous ascents of Morrone, the summit was capped in cloud.

Approaching the summit of Morrone:

Morrone Trig Point:

We spent around ten minutes at the summit taking photographs.

Kate atop the summit cairn:

If one thing during this walk demonstrated the sheer madness of lockdown, and the irrational heeding of national rules with no application of common sense, it was the fact the summit emergency shelter was locked. A shelter built in memorial to someone who died of exposure. Sorry but whoever locked this emergency hut is a slight mis-spelling of this hill. It's acceptable for people to now die of exposure (locked hut) because of the almost zero risk that someone could catch Covid from going inside the hut. Sheer madness resulting from scaremongering propoganda from the UK Government, Scottish Government and especially from the media.

Emergency Shelter:

From the summit we returned to the car via the same route.

View during descent:

On reaching the car we next set off to see if we could spot some adders. We were fortunate to spot one basking in the sun.

While these pictures look real close please note that my lens has a minimum focal distance of 3.5 metres so they were taken from quite a distance back.