An absolute belter of a short adventure arriving late and leaving early. Experiencing sunset an sunrise in fine weather in one of Scotland top mountain areas :)
The Aonach Eagach
Easter 1999 and my hillwalking friends suggested I head off and do a ridge walk with them, suggesting something in Glencoe. Not long into my addiction for the hills, I thought this would be a grand day out – and it was! A borrowed pair of crampon compatible boots and ice axe in tow we headed off up The Aonach Eagach in soft spring snow J It was fun and exhilarating…..
It wasn’t until 2008 on a balmy September day that I returned. We started on a scramble on the nearby A’ Chailleach and continued round to the Pap - another fine if tiring day was had.
So eight years again passed without a return and with limited time I decided on an overnighter on the ridge and an early start to tackle it.
The weather has been fantastic for a number of weeks and today was no different. The car thermometer registered 28 degrees as I parked up – it was going to be hot! I headed off gingerly and slowly around 17.30, mainly due to the large amount of gear but also knowing there was no rush! I met a few scramblers who were sun beaten and on the final leg of their day and the smiles on their faces said it all reallyJ
A little later and I popped out on the summit of Am Bodach and was greeted by the inhabitants, hungry for their tea! A little scouting about and I was lucky to find a cracking spot with the Chancellor below me that was offering a fine light breeze, enough to make the local blood suckers look elsewhere for their tea ;)
A quick pitch and then some tea. The views were amazing as always in Glencoe. The Bidean Massif looked very grand and had me thinking that the Massif is perhaps the most impressive mountain in the UK? May be I have been guilty of taking it for granted due to its accessibility but from this viewpoint it was looking immense!
I had tea and took some photos and watched the sunset- then bed……
It had been eight years since I’d last done the ridge, I spent some time thinking how I would find it in the morning with a tired mind and body! Not to worry the adrenaline was pumping when I woke at 03.30 and it really had not gotten dark at all. I notice maybe two stars above Bidean as I peered out during my doze! By 04.10 I was off and immediately descending Am Bodach – concentration required but no real difficulties… Then the fabulous walk to Meall Dearg with the sun rising behind me… The camp and early start meant I had the Ridge to myself and I lingered on the Munro watching the sun get higher and lighting up the Ridge that was rolling out before me…
Onwards I went – the scrambling becoming a little more sustained until I reached the Pinnacles. What a cracking location and scramble. Care required but again no real difficulties in this fabulous weather…. A little further until the scrambling ended on Stob Coire Beath then I about turned and reversed the route, again no one to be seen and I reached my tent around 0700. A quick strike and I set off back down – taking the Corrie route down which was a little less demanding with my big bag on. The sun was beating down and the streams made a grand refreshment stop.
Back at the car well before 0900 and early home. An amazing adventure. It’s amazing what you can pack into a short period of time J P.S. Not leaving it another 8 years!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...