16th. July, 2010
Day three of my attempt to celebrate turning 50 with a solo, unsupported walk over the Munros between Inverie and Stonehaven and things took a distinct turn for the worse! Having spent a good deal of the night being kept awake by mice at Sourlies, I headed off in sunshine and showers eager to get to the top of Sgurr na Ciche and enjoying the intricate path east, initially on the right (north) bank of the Finiskaig River and then into Allt Coire na Ciche. Despite a rucksack that seemed to weigh as much as the mountain, the climb to Feadan na Ciche was interesting - spoiled only by the weather taking a distinct turn for the worse - and it was only a fifteen minute run up to the top of Sgurr na Ciche without the sack. Thickening cloud, though, meant no view and things deteriorated as I turned east with the Knoydart Munros now complete. The wind started to scream over the tops, battering me to the ground repeatedly and, despite the massive sack, lifting me off my feet more than once. I staggered on alongside the wall over Garbh Chioch Mhor and literally crawled to the tops of Sgurr nan Coireachan and An Eag on my hands and knees before coming down to the col before Sgurr Beag. The last time I'd been here (with my brother in 1982) things hadn't been very different and, just as it had been time to bail then, it was time to bail now - 28 years later! I found a little fold in the terrain just below the col and threw up the tent, planning to sit out the storm, re-group in the morning and head on east over Sgurr Mor and Gairich.
The storm, unfortunately, had other ideas and, sometime in the small hours, the tent was flattened by an especially malevolent gust, the poles splintered and I just hung in there till daylight. The solo, unsupported walk across Scotland effectively finished there and, despite a bivy out in Glen Garry the next day and continuing east as far as the Great Glen, the dream was over. I packed up and headed back south with my tail between my legs!
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.