In the north of Scotland, summer – all two days of it – seems to have merged seamlessly into winter, with the first flakes of snow sprinkling the high tops of the Cairngorms.
I went back to Carn Glas-choire, the 659-metre summit of Nairnshire on the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park, three years after I climbed it for the first time. It’s not a hill to set pulses racing. Carn Glas-choire will never be mentioned in the same breath as its neighbours Ben Macdui, Braeriach or Cairn Toul.
The obvious ascent is by the 4×4 track to Auchterteang Cottage. A sign on the gate grandly says: “Cawdor Estate. Private grouse moor.” Don’t be put off; keep walking. Within 90 minutes, I was on the summit, where a ferocious wind threatened to lift me off my feet. The Cairngorms were obscured by low cloud, but Ben Rinnes was visible to the north-west and Ben Wyvis to the north.
On the summit, the gloopy sphagnum moss is so white it has the appearance of snow. Soon it will be the real thing.