Friday, 3 August 2012

My Last Munro, Second Time Round - Part 2

The main reason I am showing you these pictures from yore is that I now have a decent slide scanner. It takes a long time to scan pictures, but the quality is nearly on par with digital. Perhaps, when I scan some properly exposed pictures, I might find it is just as good or even better?

The night before we had driven up and climbed the Corbett of Sgurr na Caorachain near Applecross, (easy from the Bealach na Ba road if not the recommended route to the summit), and enjoyed a glorious sunset. Today we were on unfinished business, and woke from our tent to a dull, humid summer day. I had been up Beinn Eighe before, but only been to the summit, Ruadh Stac Mor, via Coire Mhic Fhearchair. This impressive corrie is reached by a wonderful walk between Torridonian giants, and is a worthy destination in itself. 

In Coire Mhic Fhearchair:

Once on the top we traversed the ridge, green and grey - glas is the word for it in Gaelic - along to Spidean Coire nan Clach, and onwards east over the other tops. To the north lay a Corbett, Ruadh Stac Beag, a considerable drop although still part of the same massif. It would have to wait for another day.

On Beinn Eighe:

My last Munro, second time round, was a quiet affair, quieter than Ben Wyvis had been (which in itself had been pretty quiet, and very wet).

Last Munro, take 2:

Some years after Beinn Eighe, Billy and I climbed Beinn Dorain on a dreich winter's day*, the entire hillside a sheet of ice. But the clouds parted near the summit, and great beams of sunset illuminated the crags on Beinn an Dothaidh and turned the clouds candy floss pink. (Ah, to have slides of that!) To my surprise there was a second cairn on an eminence a short distance from the first, and clearly higher. I remembered climbing this hill before in thick mist and not going to the second cairn (and a look at my map, a hand-me-down first edition of the 1:50,000 map from the 1970s showed that only one summit was marked). "This is my last Munro, third time round," I said to Billy.

Billy with Liathach behind:

But it got me thinking. How many other hills had I climbed and bagged, in all faithfulness, yet not actually reached the summit of? I could think of at least one more cairn in the mist that might, on revisiting on a clear day, turn out not to be the actual top...

*When we descended from this hill we were accosted by an excited couple who were doing market research for their dream to open a chip shop in Tyndrum, and we told them what a great idea it was, there being no chip shop between Balloch and Fort William, a distance of about 85 miles. When we finally got round to visiting the chip shop, the excellent Real Food Cafe, we discovered that the woman, Sarah, was in charge of a thriving business, but that her partner, Steve, had tragically died soon after the opening.


blueskyscotland said...

Some nice photos.The first time you visit Torridon always stays with you no matter where else you go.
Fantastic area when you can see the summits.

billysands said...

Look forward to your back catalogue

Robert Craig said...

Where do you fancy seeing next Billy? Heard a great story today - will email you.

billysands said...

Hmm, Seana Bhraigh, Knoydart in winter were nice epics. The An socach day was also a good one. It would also be good to relive the larig ghru weekend where we fortuitously bagged sgor an lochain uaine, Meal na teanga and Brunachan or the Lurg Mhor trip. Too many to choose from