Back in early November the signs were promising for a cracking winter ahead – high pressure, new snow, freezing temperatures and blues skies. Just the sort of conditions I was after for testing my SCARP tent on a winter wild camp!
“No need to rush in” I told myself – wait a while and the high pressure will return at some point……….. 5 months later and here it was!!!! Anyway off I headed and I arrived at Druimnavuic at the back of 3 in the afternoon. Just over three hours till sunset so I was keen to get going and get up to the top and pitch the tent in time to to enjoy the sun setting – I knew it may be tight!! The destination for the wild camp was for the summit of Creach Bheinn – a Corbett which was still on the tick list – and which also had fabulous sea views sitting west of Glencoe and Glen Etive.
The sun was shining and it was warm. So warm that I was in my tea shirt right all the way up through Coire Bhuide and onto the ridge. I reached the ridge around 16.40 and the shadows were already growing long! I carefully picked my way up the steep side of the 804m summit trying to avoid the deep snow drifts- the snow was not frozen here and I found myself thy deep at point so tried my best to stick to the grassy ridge!! The views back east and south towards Glencoe and Glen Etive were simply stunning. The peaks were white capped and against the blue sky looked amazing! I was looking forward to getting a good sunset (and I was not disappointed!!).
I decided to pitch the tent near the 804m summit as I would need to return hear to hear back down the north ridge in the morning anyways. I pitched as quickly as I could then literally ran to the summit to try and get some shots of the sun setting. The view was amazing – all I can say is see the video!! The red light from the lowering sun lit up the rock and I can easily see why so many hills are called Beinn Dearg!! I eventually pulled myself away from the summit and made my way back to the tent just before all light was lost. For a while the wind died completely but it soon picked up and I had a rather disturbed sleep with the wind waking me up at regular intervals through the night……….
I was glad when 05.30 came around and I made some coffee and headed to the summit for an amazing sunrise. The sun came up just west of Ben Starav and the beams of sun light shone through the haze. A memorable 30 minutes was spent taking it all in, however I needed to get back for family commitments so soon headed down the ridge and steeply back into Coire Bhuide – soon reaching the track I had taken on the way in. I was back at the car by the back of 09.00 and speaking to walkers heading off for the dayJ A great first outing for the Scarp and new sleeping bag and mat – was cosy even though there had been a substantial frost at all levels through the night J
Occasionally you hit the jackpot and can find yourself in the right place at the right time……
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...