Posted by & filed under Mountains & hills, January 14 2008.

On Saturday last weekend I walked to the 841m summit of Ben Vrackie near Pitlochry. It was a perfect winter day for hillwaking with still air and crisp clear skies. The temperature was -6C at my car as I started the walk, and there was snow all the way, deepening considerably as I got higher (although crampons and ice-axe were never needed).

Views from the summit were breathtaking – the atmosphere was at its clearest and I could see the summit of Ben Nevis to the north and the Pentland Hills to the south. All the summits were covered in a thick blanket of white snow which was dazzling under the totally blue skies – sunshades were a definite requirement, even with the sun as low as it is at this time of year.

I had the walk up and summit to myself as I had started quite early, but I passed crowds of people on the route back – an early start is a must for this hill I think.

The walk to the summit of Ben Vrackie is pretty straightforward, even in winter conditions, but it’s a good practice route for larger hills. The views from the summit are out of all proportion to its height though, and a fantastic view can be had of nearby Beinn a’Ghlo.

Days like this seem to be a recent rarity in the Scottish hills, here’s hoping there are more to come!

Photos I took on the walk can be seen on my website here.

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