You might remember me extolling his Munros Guides elsewhere. Well, a section of the book that particularly caught my eye was - predictably enough - the part containing instructions on how to get to the top of Sgorr nam Fiannaidh and Meall Dearg without troubling the tricky little section in between. It's two separate days oot, admittedly, but well worth it if you ask a nervous hillwalker like myself. I took great comfort from the following passage:
"Let's get one thing straight: giving the Aonach Eagach a bodyswerve does not diminish your hillwalking credentials. Just because you have your mind set on higher matters than groping rock all day doesn't mean you have to hang up your boots and go lie on a beach. There are too many guidebooks...that devote no more than a derisory sentence or two to any way of bagging the two Munros other than by crawling like a knuckle-grazing proto-humanoid across their connecting ridge."
See, he can get away with saying that because he's no' scared to do it in the first place. I'll confine myself to simply applauding the sentiment.
Thus it was that last Saturday saw me and Molly (it was her turn, much to the Wee Black Dug's chagrin) set off for Glencoe, and a handy carpark next to an electricity substation place just along from the village on the minor road that leads to the Clachaig.
The route description in the book is spot on, as ever. Through a gate, up a landrover track, turn right across a bridge, turn left two streams later, and follow the path till it runs out. Given the unexpectedly fine weather we had, once you get to the bealach between the lower slopes of Sgurr nam Fiannaidh and the Pap of Glencoe, the onward route was obvious, path or no path.
It was a busier walk than I had thought, but that's probably partly because it seems the best approach route to the Pap as well. A lot more folk coming down, than going up, for obvious reasons. And they were all understandably delighted to be coming down other than by helicopter.
It was a cracking walk for Molly - no livestock issues on the hill, and nothing fall-offable at this end, even for excited labradoodles.
Plus, I was able to do my civic duty by giving three hardy souls who had done the hill the traditional way a lift back to their car at Allt-na-reigh.
A good day, all told. Especially as I had been doing my best to talk myself out of a walk at all on the Friday night. Andy's been a bit no' weel the last week, so it meant a solo jaunt, and the forecast wasn't great, etc, etc. As it turned out the weather was much better than MWIS wanted me to believe, and as Andy will no doubt want to do the bloody ridge when he climbs the hill, which means I'll be nowhere near Glencoe that day, it all worked out for the best.
Anyway - dug photos:
Fresh as a daisy
|Looking back towards Glencoe village
|Posing relentlessly in front of the Pap
|Caught unawares by the camera. For once.
|Slightly less than daisy-fresh now. Bidean behind her.
|The onward route from the subsidiary top
|Flagging a trifle. Sitting doon now. Bidean again, incidentally!
|Dug, bit of ridge, bit of Glencoe
|Dug, big bit of ridge
|Big bit of ridge, very wee folk
|Molly at the summit
|A rare photie of blogger and dug
|The route back down - the path has slightly lighter coloured rocks in it!
|Two minutes later the mist rolled in
|Words fail me. Five minutes fom the car, she was.