No cloud inversions, no Aurora Borealis, no wild summit camps or climbing steep Gullies...... No aerial shots, no timelapse films, no camera an no video.....
After some rather superb trips over the last month I headed out on a short Corbett bagging trip with only one electronic item - my phone! I had no plans to photograph or film just head up a hill in variable conditions - as it turns out , I dd take a few phone snps (I couldn't help myself!!).
Carn a' Chuillin is a Corbett (816m) to he south of Loch Ness near Fort Agustus, and is in an area I haven't really investigated before , well not from the Great Glen side. I needed a short outing due to time constraints and the well constructed road to the hydro scheme allowed this to happen, along with leg power, pedals and two wheels!! I set off on the bike from the layby a few hundred metres from the hydro road and it was immediately steep! The legs were soon warm and I was glad of a few sections which provided less steep pull ups ! Heading up the track I had initially thought about heading up the track o where it bends, here I would leave the bike and head south west across the Coire an t Seilich. It never happened - I got to the bridge over the burn and saw he hill and decided to strike a ways up! I followed th path by the river before crossing and heading for the hill across pathless heathery ground. I soon reached the steeper parts and made my way up. I had no excuses to stop - no setting the scene , no drone readying, no tripods, no walking into shot (and then back!), progress was quicker than usual and with a light pack - what a treat:) It was cold and the wind had picked up and I soon donned the ski goggles, which although make me look silly, are a great piece of kit and certainly stopped my eyes watering form the icy wind! A few large patches of snow were carefully traversed without the need for getting the crampons on and before long I found myself at the summit cairn watching the clouds scud towards me from the Nevis range. The Munro peaks were cloud covered but as is sometimes the case the lower Corbetts were fine and the views worthwhile... To the south and east the contrasting rolling moors looked more wild and remote than the grand shapely peaks that disappeared in to the cloud and although it had not taken too long to summit(thanks to the bike) it did feel a little remote (exclude the tracks to the north and this feeling would have been amplified!). A fine outing a Corbett bagged an fresh air in abundance! No film, just a few phone snaps - liberating ? not sure , but much quicker and less weight carried! Always nice getting out.... Scotland' Mountains
After Sgurr na Stri I thought my next outing may be a disappointment in the views department- how do you beat the view of the Black Cuillin Ridge!! Anyway I set off on a short hill day and decided on Meall Dubh on the way to Glen Sheil. The forecast was ok with some showers forecast but sunshine also expected! I set off from Glen Moriston and the sun was shining, I cursed the fact that I hadn't taken my bike as the track created by the windfarms would have been great to cycle along (didn't make this mistake on next Corbett outing though!:)). As it was, it also provided a grand way on to the hill for my walking boots!. The wind was picking up and a few showers were materialising in the west as I struck off south westward's towards the hill. The terrain was pretty much pathless and lower down the snow wasn't yet deep enough to cover the deep heather, much heather bashing done! The clouds were now darkening and as I approached the steepening near Coire an Eoin the blizzard started. The flakes were big from the start and the visibility immediately disappeared. The curtain of snow soon enveloped me and the map and compass were deployed as I headed upwards. Spindrift whipped around and I was soon searching my bag for my goggles - a very useful piece of kit in these conditions!! Cocooned from the elements I soon noticed the ground starting to level and a quick glance at the GPS revealed I was nearing point 745m on the map. It was at this point that the shower cleared the the east and as it did so the alien looking Turbines appeared one by one as the blizzards curtain revealed them. Their white rotating bodies a stark contrast tot he dark clouds behind...
I could now see the top and the cairn at the top. I pushed on up a little steepening and I was soon gawping at the stupendous view from the summit. I didn't need to worry about disappointment in the views department after Skye, this was grand. The views down Glen Sheil and further afield to the like of Knoydart were grand. This must be one of the finest views points of these hill perhaps ? A grand wee outing and once again a wee hill with big views on the top !!! A few snaps below....
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...