Wednesday, April 06, 2011

125-126. An Coileachan (266), Meall Gorm (215). 01/04/2011

It was a blustery April morning that saw Christian and I set out along the road to the lodge on Loch Fannaich. The Plan was a three day tour of the hills, taking in some quality ridges and high-level campsites.

Progress along the tarmac was rapid and despite drizzle, we were soon tackling the shoulder of An Coileachan. However, the closer we got to the summit ridge, the most the wind began to take on biblical proportions (the forecast had predicted gusts of up to 100mph). Thankfully by this point any precipitation has disappeared and the clouds had lifted, but the wind had us literally on our knees. Still, we battled to the top and even found that being picked up and thrown around by the elements was quite fun.

Walking along the ridge to Meall Gorm was therefore quite tiring and at several points we just found it easier to lie down, since it was impossible to rest standing up. It was a bit like walking through jelly (I know, having tried this on many occasions) and I think our speed would definitely have been less than 1mph. The view was pretty good though and there was a nice stone shelter near the summit, behind which we cowered to admire it.

After the top, we descended into the corrie to the west of Sgurr Mhor (where we imagined it would be sheltered) to set up camp. We were only slightly daunted by the white horses on the corrie loch and the fact that we could actually see the gusts of wind churning up the air as they whipped around the corrie. It was slightly damp, but we found some clear ground in the lee of the ridge and had a pleasant evening feasting on couscous and sipping on Laphroig. The question was whether we would be swept away in the night...

Demonstrating the windspeed

South from Meall Gorm to Loch Fannaich

A sheltered campsite...


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