Glas Maol Trip Report (#22439)
- Signed By: Sven Bugarski
- Date submitted: October 16, 2013
- Date(s) climbed: 26.01.2013
- Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
When we arrived in Aberdeen in the evening of January 25th, 2013, it was colder than usual with even some patches of snow in the airport area. We jumped into our rental car and headed straight to Braemar in the highlands, which was snowy all over and resembled a romantic mountain village somewhere in the Swiss Alps. It snowed heavily and we started to doubt, whether our planned tour would be possible the next day.
After a night in the cozy Fife Arms Hotel, the next day started with blue sky, sunshine and sub-zero temperatures. Due to the heavy snowfall, the road to Glas Maol had been closed and delayed our departure. But eventually they had cleared it and we drove to a small parking space at the foot of Glas Maol at an altitude of 495m.
The masses of snow had covered Glas Maol and all neighboring mountains, hills and slopes and all hiking paths in the area. Our only chance to find the summit was to strictly follow GPS directions, compare our map with the landscape and common sense. We used all the way up our snow shoes and without them or skis the ascent would not have been possible. The route we chose passed the 814m high summit of Sron na Gaoithe and from there over gently ascending terrain to the Glas Maol summit. We did not have to cross any ski slope and hence did not come close to any skiers.
Up to around 980m of altitude, the weather was blue sky, sunshine, below -5°C and mostly calm winds. Only the last 100m of latitude to the summit were covered in dense clouds. Visibility in the fog was limited to a few meters and only with the help of summit GPS coordinates could we find the summit stone.