Aonach Meadhoin, (m), 1001m;
Ciste Dubhe, (m), 929m;
Woke at 6am to an inversion in bright sunshine. Look:
Chilly but what a gorgeous way to wake up. This will be one unforgettable day. The landscape was like a one large white duvet with pointed summits poking out. In places the cloud peeled over ridges and spilled down into hanging valleys. Occasionally, wisps of cloud seemed to pass by at knee level.
Breaking camp and collecting water took nearly 3 hours. I watched the clouds fall over the ridges, as the deer watched me. One solitary antlered head stood on the horizon 200m away. Then it vanished only to reappear leading a herd over the spur to the north.
Not 15 minutes later, another herd split south and downhill. I think I was near their morning watering hole.
Anyway, I set off eastwards to resume my route. A few summits passed easily. Then a big descent into the bealach where I’d planned to spend the night. It was darker down there, under the cloud. Bogs broke out of the grass and looked less appealing that the bealach I left a few hours earlier. This is the place I visited last year on that short walk up Am Bathach from Cluanie. Time for sandwiches before a big climb up the last munro.
I say ‘last’ because I have scrapped the idea of climbing up Beinn Fhada. One guy, yesterday, said that was a 9 hour walk in itself. So a change of plan, head for the SYHA in Glen Affric and then back to Morvic.
I can’t see how the original route could have worked, there was no sign of a river crossing north of Ciste Dubhe. You have ot divert a few km east to reach a little suspension bridge near the Youth Hostel. There, I found a sign offering tea & coffee. People in there was very calm and friendly, nice to chat to as I drank from a large pot of tea. However, they did tell me that the walk to Morvic is five hours. Blimey, five hours! that’s five hours to add onto 18.30pm. That means arriving at the car after 11.30pm, better press on then. Of I went only to stop in a dip to cook some cous-cous.
I did briefly consider stopping the night at the bothy at Camban, 2km west but it was filled with a noisy group. The walk down the glen was wonderful despite the building rain. I wrapped up and eventually passed a steep down-section by a very fine waterfall at the top of Allt Grannda. The cascade itself was only part of it, the falls were framed by majestic and sublime black sharp cliffs. I must go back there, this is no time to stop and take photos.
Eventually, the path wound round to the south and crossed a wooden bridge by a hut- Glanlichd House. A rumbling landrover drove up to the house so I moved on. Then the rumbling came back, was he suspicious of me walking by the house? I stuck out a thumb.
That hitch back saved me hours and hours. We belted along in that landrover, it rattled and ground along a quite a speed, even the cattle had to run out of the way. He was kind enough to drive me right up to my car.