Friday, 8th. August:
This was the eighth day of a trip introducing a group of teenage lads from the south of England to the rigours of wandering the Scottish hills and, after a good day on the mountains to the south-west of Loch Mullardoch, we decided to head out to Glen Shiel, taking in Ciste Dhubh and the Brothers. Despite some of the lads heading off direct to Cluanie from Alltbeith Youth Hostel in Affric, we were still quite a big group and not especially quick over the ground. It was, though, interesting to call in at the Camban Bothy (where I'd stayed with my brother in 1982) and then head across the Allt Cam-ban and straight up the grassy northern slopes of Ciste Dhubh - steep going to the top! Heading south along the sharp summit ridge, we were soon descending to the Bealach a'Choinich to be faced with another long, grassy climb up Sgurr an Fhuarail; everybody except one of the lads (Marcus Parkes) decided to peel off for Cluanie!
We, however, trudged on and, with our big sacks, gained height slowly to gain the top and then continue to Aonach Meadhoin where, sadly, the mist began to blow in. From there it wasn't far to the terrific summit of Sgurr a'Bhealaich Dheirg - spoiled only by strong winds and thick mist - before we headed on in improving weather to Saileag. After dropping west to the Bealach an Lapain, we then failed to enjoy the steep, wet descent south to the A87 before missing our lift and having to flog along the road for a bit towards Shiel Bridge. It had been a good day, though, even if the views had been blotted out for a good deal of the time.
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