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]

Sunday 30 April 2017

Stob Coire Creagach and Beinn an Lochain

Saturday 29 April

Stob Coire Creagach (aka Binnein an Fhidhlier; NN230109; 817m)

Late yesterday afternoon we watched a chap set off up this hill and watched his progress with interest until we lost sight of him beyond the gully through the first set of crags. He returned an hour and a half later (whereupon he changed *all* of his clothing, causing a prudish "I say!" to be uttered as I happened to glance out of the window at an inappropriate moment, as I cooked tea).

We were rather slower as we made our way up there this morning. Some of the slowness was from us taking time to make sure we were taking a sensible route through the crags, some of it was the result of having tackled quite a collection of hills over the last week.

Whilst the day was very grey and seemed to threaten rain, the cloud was above the summit when we got there... us excellent views over most of the hills we've been up in the last four days:

Our steps were (more or less) retraced to get us back down and we arrived back at Bertie having covered 2.7 miles with 650m-ish of ascent.

Beinn an Lochain (NN218079; 901m)

We had caught a 10-minute shower on the way down this morning's hill, and over lunch it rained again - rather more than the forecast of 'isolated showers' led us to expect.

Mick therefore decided to sit out this afternoon's hill, which is exactly what I fancied doing too. Knowing, however, that strong wind and low cloud are forecast for tomorrow, and not wanting to sit at the foot of the hill and wait for the best part of 48 hours, I girded my loins and set out fully waterproofed.

It rained on me most of the way up and all of the way down, and cloud was shrouding the top when I reached it. That was a shame, as I particularly enjoyed the route up this one (some scrambly bits, some exposure, but not enough of either to scare me) and it would have been so much better if it had been dry, with a view from the summit.

In spite of appearances in this summit snap, the second summit is the lower of the two; the one bearing the ice axe being my objective. However, as there's only a metre difference between them, I did visit both, just to be sure.

And then I hastened down as fast as my little legs, on wet slippery rock, would allow me.

This one came in at 4.9 miles with around 800m of ascent.

Tomorrow has been declared a day of rest, to which I am very much looking forward after the exertions of the last 11 days.