Saturday 6 July 2013

A Wet And Windy Week: Scottish Watershed

A week ago I left the Great Glen in rain and strong winds. Yesterday I arrived in Glen Carron in rain and strong winds. Inbetween, as I cut through the edge of Knoydart and then the hills of Glen Shiel, West Affric, Mullardoch and Monar, the rain fell and the wind blew. The clouds stayed low on the slopes and I only had brief glimpses of the magnificent mountains I knew were there, somewhere. Camps were blustery and rain rattled and, the only bonus, midge free. At one, above Loch a'Bealaich (pictured), the wind tore at the tent and the rain sounded as though it would drill holes in the fabric. Given that the wind was gusting 30-40mph in the glens and passes I reckoned fighting it on the summits was unwise so I took a mostly lower level route, which was wild and challenging enough. Below the mist I could at least see something and there have been rewards in the wildlife, including many deer and.once, gloriously, a golden eagle. I did venture up one hill, 797 metre Beinn Dronaig, and was nearly blown back down, confirming my decision to stay off the tops. The descent down the craggy north slopes was difficult and treacherous with many dead-end ledges and gullies. Finally though the forecast is for improving weather. Maybe the mountains will be feasible.

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