Short film here : https://www.facebook.com/steaming.boots.71/videos/615153092006693/
We chose the 2nd to head out on a brisk New Year’s hike and eventually we settled on a relatively nearby hill - the magnificent Beinn a' Ghlo:) The forecast was for some buffeting up high but when we stepped out of the car the wind was nil and there were promising signs for a smashing sunrise.
As with many of these "local hills" it’s been ages since I've been up them, gallivanting to the far flung reaches of Scotland "bagging the Corbetts!", and I've been missing out. What a cracker this fella is. I've lost count on how many hundreds of times I've hit the dual carriage way and looked up the face of Carn Liath and used it as a judging station as to whether I may get views on the hills I’m headed for! It always looks close to the road and accessible but the feeling you get as soon as you head past its summit and towards the interior of the massif is somewhat different!
As we took a leisurely pace along the farmers road the skies caught fire above Ben Vrackie and shafts of light filled the sky as the sun rose under a blanket of cloud off to the south east. A cracking start to the day….
The path up Carn Liath is pretty straight forward if not relentless and it soon spits you out on the summit. It is here the walk starts to open out and on the descent to Bheinn Mhaol the views to the rest of the mountain open up (or clag in depending on the weather !). On our journey the winds had now hit their forecast speed and the constant hail/snow was pelting any part of bare skin. Hoods up, googles on and cocooned in our own wee worlds we continued to a sheltered spot at the low point between Liath and our next objective – Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain. Lunch was had and plans hatched. We would summit the next Munro and then head back to this spot and follow a fine stalkers path that headed back to civilisation. The wind wasn’t letting up (either were the machine gun pellets!) so we hit the summit, took some bearings and turned on our heels. Dropping back down below the cloud and following the stalkers path, you get a great feeling of the size of the mountain and the giant rounded corries makes it feel expansive and wild. The tops were still covered but the giant spurs and rounded shoulders make you feel totally insignificant. I reckon a wild camp may be in here later in the year when the nights start to stretch out. Definitely a hill I’m going to explore more off…….
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...