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]

Thursday 19 May 2016

Cnap Chaochan Aitinn (NJ 146099; 715m)

Thursday 19 May

Let’s compare and contrast my speed/distance/ascent stats for a couple of this week's hills:

- Meall an Tarsaid in fine conditions on Monday 16 May: 1.3 miles with 700’ of ascent, taking 1 hour, averaging 1.3mph.

- Cnap Chaochan Aitinn in wind and rain on Thursday 19 May: 12.3 miles with 2400’ of ascent, taking 3 hours 50, averaging 3.2mph.

As you may deduce from those stats, whilst today’s hill was quite a distance from the nearest access point, it was a very easy walk. (Post blog note: In fact, it was such a long walk in, that I couldn’t fit the route onto a single screen with any detail included, so I’ve had to split it across two screen grabs, below.)
That I set out going very noticeably downhill wasn’t ideal, and there were quite a lot of minor undulations on the way, but what made me choose this hill today* was that the map showed there to be tracks leading to within about 300m of the summit. As it went, there is also an unmapped track, which took me to within 50m of the top.

I can’t report on the views, as I had none. I also got rained on for over half of the outing, although not so noticeably on the way back, as by then the wind was behind me.

I was all done by lunchtime, and whilst I did give passing thought to visiting a second hill this afternoon, I decided against. So, by quarter past one I was parked up for the night. I think I’ll spend the afternoon with Sherlock Holmes for company.

(*The other thing that brought this hill to my attention was that Mick was due up there today too. As it was a 6 mile walk from the NE for me, and a 14 mile walk from the NW for Mick, and as our respective routes had only the summit in common, it was always very unlikely we were going to meet. Having been up there, I very much hope Mick decided to take his Foul Weather Alternative. As he is not actively collecting Marilyns, there was no point him subjecting himself to head-on wind-driven rain along the ridge, without even a view by way of a reward, when he could just walk a perfectly good track down in the valley. I don’t expect he’ll have phone signal today, so I’ll probably not find out until tomorrow whether we did, in fact, both stand on the same top, a matter of an hour or so apart.)


  1. It doesn't look very nice weather! Our trackless saunter further north was 'cold but dry'. We were sorry to miss you at Culloden, but the visitor centre was a good place to spend three rainy hours...

  2. Just back from Chamonix. Over 500 miles driving on Friday. Overnight at Dunquerque, arising at 4:20am to catch early boat. Over 400 miles driving and two Marilyns (Cheriton Hill, Folkestone, and Wendover Woods) on the way yesterday, therefore a bit weary today and behind with blog-following. That one looks pretty remote. You are getting a real taste of proper Scottish hill climbing. Scottish Ms looks like a very good projexct.