Glencoe : Wild camping on a Mountain top above Glencoe….
Almost a year ago I decided on a summer solstice wild camp in Glencoe. This was one of my first wild camps with my new SCARP tent and the location was stunning. I picked the Corbett high above the Kinghouse Hotel and had stunning views over to the Buachaille for the sunset and sunrise. (see video at bottom of post) A year later and a few more wild camps under my belt I returned to Glencoe for a midsummer adventure.
This time I was at the other end of Glencoe and heading for a Corbett I hadn’t been up before. Meall Lighiche sits a little back from the road at the west end of the Glen and is often combined with an ascent of the Munro Sgurr na-h Ulaidh. I was only planning on the Corbett though and eventually reached the car park around 17.30pm. Only one car remained from the day trippers and I soon met the owner not far from the road. The forecast was good with cloud forecast to break up as the evening progressed. My only concern was the dreaded midge!!! One reason I often prefer the mountain tops is the presence of a breeze- the added effort to carry the gear up out weighs the fangs of the midge !!
I followed the track up past the farm (with a small detour to honour the locals request to not pass through their gardens- reasonable me thinks J) and to the foot of the ridge which leads to Creag Bhan. The crossing of the burn was easy in the dry conditions but may be a little tricky if in spate. The path seemed to peater out so I took a line and aimed for the col between two crags. The air was still here in the lee of the shoulder so I didn’t give the beasties a chance to land and kept going at a steady pace J After a steep pathless ascent I reached the col and the views opened up with views to the Ballachuillish Munros. I took a little rest here before heading up some more steep ground. A little further and the gradient eased and the views expanded. The bulk of Sgurr na-h Ulaidh dominated the foreground as I reached the summit of Creag Bhan and looked grand. The final ridge to the summit swung westwards, and was now providing some very enjoyable and easy walking and I was standing on the summit before 20.00. The sun was shining with blue skies to the west and some dark clouds remaining further east.
The breeze was doing a grand job of keeping the midge at bay and I soon found a cracking pitch about 20m east from the summit. Tent up, I turned my attention to dinner and soon had my chilli on my fork J The thing I like best about wild camping is the time I get to amble about on the summit. I rarely spend 3 or 4 hours on a summit when walking during the day – always thinking about getting home etc etc brownie points to be kept! However there is something special about lingering and watching the sun set J. Hours can be spent just taking it all in, doing nothing – a few photo snaps here and there, the time just wallows away J This again happened and I eventually retired to my tent. My excellent ground mat had punctured as I was blowing it up which was rather disappointing – I even tried some plasters to stem the leak but eventually it lost all air L Time for a puncture kit me thinks…… Anyway I managed some sleep and the breeze that had been present the evening before had petered out by the wee small hours. The light never disappeared so it never really got dark, something that perhaps caused me to wake at 03.30 AM!! I felt I could get up so I did and quickly got the water boiling for some coffee. I had to drop a good distance off the summit to find water the night before so that extra effort and the early hour made the coffee taste that much better!!
There was not a breath of wind as I took the coffee to the summit and waited on Sunrise… I thought the silence and lack of wind would bring the little blighters out to feast on me, but it seemed it was even too early for them!! I sat watching the pink glow over Mull and the Atlantic and a pink hue from the sun rising in the east. Sunrise done, I then packed away the tent and was on my way for about 0500. A steep descent back to the car and then a couple of hours driving saw me back in the rat race for 0800AM L
Another great wild camp though….
Video of last years midsummer Glencoe adventure below....
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...