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Winter obedience class

Winter obedience class


Postby Pastychomper » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:55 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Ben Hiel

Date walked: 23/12/2020

Time taken: 2.3 hours

Distance: 5 km

Ascent: 480m

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The sun was out and the mountaintops had an agreeable dusting of white as I made my way into Sutherland, hoping for a short walk before my last w*rk day of the year.
Hope.jpg
I wanted to pick off one of two little hills on my list, although when I saw they were both below the snow line I was tempted to put it off until it was a bit whiter.

Still, brown is a perfectly respectable colour, so I parked in an equally-brown layby and (since black apparently goes with anything) set off up the Black Crag towards Ben Hiel.
CrgDbh.jpg
Creag Dubh
The first stage followed a well-used track towards a little clearing with some old concrete structures and a low wall that reminded me of an abandoned train station. I don't think it was one, and don't know what it was, or whether it had anything to do with the old quarry next door.
blocks.jpg
quarry.jpg

Next was an easy climb over heather to a series of lumps leading, eventually, to the big one. On the way I was disproportionately pleased to find little rings of snow lying in the grass - an early bit of winter venturing towards the warm lowlands.
snow.jpg
Token snow

Clouds were blowing in from the north and a couple of grey banks passed over on the way up. The first furnished a fleeting flurry of frosted flakes, in what could almost have been a symbolic snow-shower for the sightseer's sake.
snow2.jpg

Further up there was some crunchy snow lying in the sheltered spots, and some of the pools had an icy crust.
pool.jpg

Ben Loyal was nicely dusted.
Loyal.jpg
The second bank of cloud put some fog around her and Cnoc nan Cuilean, but it soon passed leaving a clear view across Sutherland.
suth1.jpg
Borgie and Stumanadh
suth2.jpg
Loch Loyal
suth3.jpg
Cnoc nan Cuilean

cairn.jpg
Cairn
It looked to me like the little cairn had become the highest point on the hill, despite not being built on the highest point - that honour went to the split rock nearby.
top.jpg
At the top

down.jpg
Going down
Towards the bottom the grassy landscape was criss-crossed by 4x4 tracks, some of which were almost heading my way. The going was fairly even back to the lay-by.

I'm a fan of this part if the world anyway, but this little walk proved better than I'd hoped with some frosty views and a top to match - definitely worth the drive. And the obedience class? Well, I spent a good hour walking to Hiel. :angel:


Hiel.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Pastychomper
Wanderer
 
Posts: 175
Munros:5   Corbetts:2
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Sub 2000:8   
Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2018

Re: Winter obedience class

Postby Geohalray » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:22 pm

What a difference a week makes! That dusting of snow gave you totally different views from mine just one week earlier - great pic of Ben Loyal.
Geohalray
Walker
 
Posts: 11
Munros:1   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Nov 7, 2020

Re: Winter obedience class

Postby litljortindan » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:09 am

"The first furnished a fleeting flurry of frosted flakes, in what could almost have been a symbolic snow-shower for the sightseer's sake."
Quality aliteration (and punchline at the end!).

A hill also I've pondered so good to see an account of it and that it has views to inspire a visit there.
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1990
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Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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