Ben Macdui used to be a hill with a reputation. Its distance from roads meant that any problems could become serious. Now, the funicular on Cairngorm and the easy mountain biking approach from the south have opened the summit up to families – three on my visit. Its not only the hill which has become tamer. One of the mums chatted to me, which suggests solitary men in their sixties don’t look as scary as they did before their few remaining tufts of hair turned grey.
I had started the day at Bob Scott’s Bothy and finished under my Trailstar in Coire an Lochain. The formally permanent snow patch has gone but the coire is now home to large numbers of ptarmigan. Next morning, I hiked down to the ski centre and arrived just in time to use my free bus pass for the ride down to Aviemore.