The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 6 March 2017

Creag Dhubh (NN677972, 756m)

imageEnough sitting around and strolling gently! Today I nominated a hill, albeit with not a lot of thought as it wasn't until we caught sight of it, as we drove SW out of Newtonmore on the A86, that I realised it wasn't a little hill. Being 20 feet shy of qualifying as a Corbett, it was far from a biggie, but it was still high enough to be holding a notable covering of snow (although not on its NE side, which is mainly steep/vertical rock).

A short hop and skip along the A86, from the deep layby where we had abandoned Bertie, was a gate in a deer fence and, to my surprise, beyond it was a clear grassy/snow covered track. In fact, this hill involved a lot more 'path' (mainly just trodden lines) than I expected.

The snow didn't become a consistent blanket until we were above 500m. From there we were most pleased that some chap had walked our route yesterday. More time would have been spent path finding, and progress would have been slower slogging through the snow, if we hadn't had some nice big footprints to follow.

It took us an hour and a half to get to the top and just over an hour to get back down - a fact I mention because it was startling how much less snow there was on the lower slopes as we descended than there had been such a short time earlier. In place of that snow were paths now masquerading as streams.

The outing came in at 4.8 miles with 550m of ascent. Here are a few snaps:

Mick, shortly before I nipped past him to make it to the top before him

I'm the king of the castle...

View to the east from summit

And the view to the west

Heading back down

Definitely less snow down here than there had been an hour or so earlier. Still stunning snowy views, though.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great with the snow. It is tricky in Scotland because OS doesn't show footpaths, except for the old established stalkers' paths, but there is nearly always a path of some sort once you are embarked. My friend Pete lays great store by finding 'footprints" and is never daunted when I tell him the perpetrator may also have been lost.