Part 2: Maol Chean-dearg, 933m.

Rain cleared before dawn. 12°C, building breeze.
Woke before 6 and fixed breakfast. Re-packing the bag took a while but I made time for sweeping out the bothy.
My sleep in the night was good but had a strange interruption. From deep sleep, my mind was penetrative by a sound. At first like an approaching steam train, all thundering and chuffing. The sound got closer to the bothy, the thundering deeper and deeper. And an unearthly grunting and chuffing. It was a herd of deer, maybe in stampede. I have been spooked by deer before, at Glenfinnan for example. Still wary of them.
Anyway, back to my ‘adventure’. I left the bothy at 8am and got to the bealach by 10. The climb only took an hour and a half. It starts over brittle, sharp quartzite. More quartzite, loose and steep, then to more friendly sandstone. Quartzite seems less likely to be consolidated by organic matter, and much looser on steep slopes. The summit is found after several ledges of pillow like sandstone. It has the best cairn I have seen. It has six shelters arranged like an asterisk.
The summit was a bit cold to spend long there. The strong wind saw to that.I met and chatted to few people on the way down, but I was definitely the first up.
Something caught my eye on the way back to collect my stash. The Mountain opposite. It lifted from the same bealach as MCd. But the curves, textures and shapes in the quartzite captivated me. The way the inclined layers blended into the bealach reminded me of those fascinating forms you can find in comes. I will have to spend a day with this mountain.
On the walk out, I took my time. The loch beneath the day’s summit has beaches. I couldn’t resist washing my feet in it’s pure, clear waters. Lovely.
The day drew to a close with improving skies and stronger wind.

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