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Near Misses

This is one of a series of misadventures in Scotland's mountains - either close calls, accidents or mountain rescues - where the protagonists look back and identify mistakes, they made which could have avoided the trouble. These tales are generally anonymised and are not so that people can point fingers, but so that they can learn from others' mistakes and avoid having to make them for themselves.

I had planned a bike and hike out of Linn of Dee, to take in Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mr before returning via Glen Geusachan.

It was a stunning day, and I was enjoying my first proper hill walk in a couple of years since our youngest was born. As I descended from Beinn Bhrotain into the bealach before pulling back up the other side towards Monadh Mr, I could see that the top of the descent route into Glen Geusachan was pretty packed with snow and ice, and I immediately thought I'd have to return over Beinn Bhrotain as I wasn't equipped to deal with that.

When I returned after summiting Monadh Mr, I had a closer look at the descent path and thought I could see away across the snow/ice to a walkable route. I wanted to try Geusachan as the views of Beinn Bhrotain and Devils Point are supposed to be excellent. I regretted my decision as soon as I started!

I couldn't get back up to the top of the track so I had to try and descend. I quickly lost my footing and slid down the ice, about 50-60ft into some rocks, where I flipped, rolled and bumped another distance before I came to a halt.

I was so lucky not to brake a bone and crack my head as its a pretty lonely part of the Cairngorms. Lesson learned for me; trust your gut, never overestimate your ability and never underestimate the conditions.