After a fantastic weekend Carole wanted to check out the shops in Pitlochry and after Her sterling navigation work over the weekend, was only fair to allow Her some shopping therapy!!
An hour later I had a tartan blanket, tartan umbrella and Scottish candle that need to be fitted in a already 99.9% full boot, while still being able to put the boot seperator in place..
So ended up heading North from Pitlochry on the "Old Military Road" just before 11am....
All was fine, passing Balmoral Castle (Queens Scottish Holiday Home) with snow showers coming & going.. (Usual "bit like driving in a snow dome"...!!)
...till We got to the turning for Tomintoul:
Having cycled this route as a teenager, every time I heard on the radio that the "C0ck Bridge to Tomintoul" is closed due to snow, I always knew where they were talking about....
...now taking any high level route in a SLK with summer tyres during snow showers is a risk - But We had a good fuel load, full boot, newly purchased tartan blanket from Pitlochry, water, snacks & hot flask, so Hey-Hoo, why not go for it...!!!
>> Map: https://www.slkworld.com/attachments/...bridge-map.jpg
...Well as We climbed above 500m the slush turn to snow, the back end of Tin-Top started to do little wiggles and the ESP light was doing a good Christmas fairy light impression... then with only about a ~mile to the summit, the cars & vans came to a grinding halt on the final incline ahead:
I held back some distance and the motor cyclist that was behind Me overtook and promptly skidded over while passing the cars further up the line – lucky they got out to help Him get the bike back up...
Then I spoke to a local coming the other way who had given up trying to get over the pass & I didn’t need any more reason to continue climbing and did a prompt 3-point turn...
....unfortunately it was a rolling route back down & We failed to get over one of the long inclines (15% gradient up..) to get down the pass, so parked in a lay-by out of the way to watch the 4-wheel drives escape & the front wheel drive Seat Leon's not.... Now as by luck this lay-by half way up a mountain had good mobile phone signal, so while I was giving live updates on "The Pitlochry Pack" WhatsApp Group, Carole was messaging Her daughter, who happens to work in media. So with Carole’s daughter was sending out #Pray
for Carole messages on twitter and SLK member Gareth replied back on the "WhatApp" group kindly offering to drive 50 miles to help tow us out, so certainly didn’t feel alone...
After the snow plough had gone past twice & a police 4x4 was pointing everyone back down, before they shut the pass for the night, due to more snow coming in:
....We made a dash for the incline - "Manual Mode" - "2nd Gear" and when it ESP started cutting in too much near the top, turned it off, which helped to keep the wheels spinning...!!!
>> YouTube - https://youtu.be/GjLPqGNQAgo
Sorry, not had time to edit, but get the idea of how slippery UK wet snow can be..
Though going down round a sharp bend was a wing & a pray, as 0.5mph was to fast on the steep road, but needed to let the brakes off to get any sort of steering control.... The worry being that any slide into the Scottish scenery would most likely be the end of our Scottish Road Trip..
....then with a third pass of the snow plough, made it onto the "Black Stuff" as the police called it -- Phew...!!!
>> YouTube - https://youtu.be/L3g-n0m4Sy0 (Note the silence in the car..)
Getting back to a junction that We had been at 3 hours before:
With the snow stopped for now & the sun out, it was just like a Christmas Post Card driving the long way around to our nights accommodation near Aviemore. Could have put the roof down, but the trees where dropping "snow bombs" from above..!!
Following on from yesterday, got some more good Lamb pictures..!!
So that was our snow adventure, on leaving @Davies "Scottish Spring Weekend - 2017"