I encountered my first real snowfall on 19 December 2003. Coming from Hampshire, right on the south coast, we rarely got any snow of significance. A few snowflake flurries and that was my lot, no matter how much I willed it to get heavier.
We went for a drive into the Ochils and the higher we got, the deeper the snow. I was so excited, like a child at Christmas. Here was proper snow!
White out in the Ochil Hills
We ended up driving up the A9 to the Hermitage. The place looked beautiful, covered in its winter layer. As we were walking we heard a crack, then a crash. On our return, we discovered a fallen tree across the path! A narrow escape.
We drove onto Queen's View, nearly getting stuck in the carpark, as it's on a slight gradient to get out onto the main road and the car didn't like it and kept skidding. Panic! Thankfully, my other half knew how to drive in the snow and it didn't take long before we were free from the frosty clutches. Unlike some people who were reviving it as hard as they could back in the Hermitage car park, and were probably still spinning wheels a few hours later!
Not much of a view at Queen's View!
29 December 2003
We took a drive up to the Cairngorm mountains to do a spot of sledging - my previous attempt was some 13 years ago, so I was like a big kid again. Somehow it seemed a lot less frightening all those year ago!
Balsporren Cottage on the A9 near Drumochter Pass
The snow was deep, in places it was about 3 feet in depth. Coming from the south coast of Hampshire, I had never seen so much snow! The scenery was amazing, huge fir tree branches were weighted down by the heavy snow.
Meall a'Bhuachaille (left)
Sunset over the Grampian hills
The road to Tomintoul