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A ptarmigan and other fauna on the Tarmachan Ridge

A ptarmigan and other fauna on the Tarmachan Ridge


Postby Emmanuelle » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:36 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 04/12/2016

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wilkiemurray and jaxter have already documented this walk on this very day so I won't add much to their respective accounts, only to say that everything looked really promising for a gorgeous day with lots of winter sunshine and light shows. As I was driving up, the sun was clearing the summits and ridges and directed shafts of sunlight onto spots on the hillsides, spotlighting clumps of sparse trees and bringing out the late autumn colours. From Leny Feus to Loch Tay I felt I was at an exhibition in a dimly lit gallery with only a few choice works of art highlighted in warm light. At other times, I was reminded of these allegorical paintings of the 17th and 18th C. Wondrous.

As I headed up to the path the weather cleared and the grass bathed in sunlight looked like velvet, the contrasts with the snow and the water from the reservoir really vivid. The whole ridge looked like it was going to clear, with wisps of mist still clinging to Meall Garbh and I was salivating at the promise of, if not an inversion, at least clear skies and views across Rannoch Moor. I'm glad we made the most of it for the weather closed in again and the ridge remained entombed in its shroud until mid-afternoon. And then in the late afternoon we were treated to light and cloud shows in the south.

But it wasn't a boring walk - firstly I was in good company for most of it and our conversation ranged from banter, to knee rehab advice and a few poignant stories. That's what happens on the hills - you become quickly emotionally close to the people you meet and we share bits of our lives and it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

Secondly, as I was standing below the summit of Meall Garbh eating and moving about trying to keep warm in the gusts and the whiteout conditions, a ptarmigan popped its head above the crest of the hill and wove in and out of focus for a few minutes, before heading for the crags, where I got a really good view, captured on my mobile phone.

thirdly, I got to put gear on: my micro spikes, quite enough for the conditions, although like the others I steered clear of the verglas coming down bad step.

Fourthly, I did get some wonderful views and I went home feeling very satisfied. On the drive down towards Loch Tay, I looked right and saw the small flat cap of Stob Binnein peaking out of a ribbon of cloud. A few metres further on, it was the top of Ben More, with its own separate band of cloud, which emerged, both summits etched clearly against a very pale and clear sky, backlit by the setting sun somewhere. I didn't take pics. When I drive, I rarely stop. That's my routine but also my personal pleasure: I rush up in my lovely car, listening to some blues or southern rock, I do the walk and will take my time if there are views, and then I rush back down, listening to more music. The perfect day.

Picture at an exhibition:

Image2016-12-04 09.32.52 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

the promise:

Image2016-12-04 10.14.26 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Image2016-12-04 10.14.35 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Image2016-12-04 10.37.41 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Image2016-12-04 10.55.55 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Even Stob Binnein and Ben More looked like they might be clearing:

Image2016-12-04 10.56.01 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

The shroud:

Image2016-12-04 11.19.42 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Jaxter and Wilkiemurray in outline (my best pic in a while):

Image2016-12-04 11.20.30 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Summit (not very eye-catching, you win some, you lose some):

Image2016-12-04 11.21.05 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

The promise?

Image2016-12-04 11.21.14 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Nah!

Image2016-12-04 11.41.51 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Namesake:

Image2016-12-04 12.01.13 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

This one's better:

Image2016-12-04 12.01.03 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Companions:

Image2016-12-04 12.42.17 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Clearing?

Image2016-12-04 13.30.13 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Image2016-12-04 13.32.22 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Adding to David's reputation:

Image2016-12-04 13.35.26 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Clearing:

Image2016-12-04 13.35.50 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroinn:

Image2016-12-04 14.37.49 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

The quarry:
Image2016-12-04 14.45.16 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr

Triangle of light:

Image2016-12-04 14.54.25 by Emmanuelle Tulle, on Flickr
Emmanuelle
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Posts: 142
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Re: A ptarmigan and other fauna on the Tarmachan Ridge

Postby Jaxter » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:15 am

Some good photies there :clap: :clap: you're right, it was a really great day :D :D
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1344
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Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

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