Sunday, December 21, 2008

76-78. Carn Dearg (225), Carn Sgulain (271), A'Chailleach (251) 16/12/08

Given a good day with clouds at around the 900m mark, we looked for some lower hills in the hope of gaining some clarity. This search took us to the Monadliath, NW of Kingussie and we were rewarded towards the end of our walk with some clarity. This ring of three hills took us most of the daylight hours due to the long plateau-like ridge between the first two peaks. Carn Dearg was the steepest and its ascent was the only part of the day in which which we were going into the wind. Of course, this turned out to be the only part of the day with precipitation. We gritted our teeth through the sleet and raging winds and were soon at the top. The sleet subsided as we turned onto the ridge and walked north with the wind behind us. Navigation was also made easier by the fence running all the way to the next peak marking the edge of the Cairngorms NP. Whilst I don't always notice such things, it was very obvious that there was a huge amount of wildlife up here. Apart from the usual grouse, there were lots of mountain hares as well as ptarmigan and possibly dotterel. The coverage of snow was not nearly as complete as in the cairngorms, so there were rocks and some vegetation around, making the scenery more varied and probably helping to encourage the wildlife. By the time we were at the second peak, the mist was beginning to lift off the hills and we reached the third, A'Chailleach in sunshine. The hills had developed a pinkish tinge in the fading light and we descended with clear views of all but the highest of the Cairngorms.

Looking back at the top of A'Chailleach in the clearing skies

Ben at the top of A'Chailleach, with Carn Dearg in the distance.

Ascending Carn Dearg neaxt to the roaring Allt Ballach


Post a Comment

<< Home