Bumps and Bags…
Lists….. and ticking things off…… becomes an addiction to many of us… If you are reading this blog then you may also have this affliction in context with mountains and hills!
Some are called Munro Baggers, some just baggers and some look down on this sub section with scorn and ridicule, why do you need to have not climbed a hill to head out etc etc
In some respects I think I fall into both categories (or is it a sliding scale!!?). It really just depends on what mood takes me…. I think the real addiction is just getting out and about and that certainly keeps me satisfied, but then adding in an unclimbed hill and adding to that “tick list” of climbed hills seems to add to the need to get out there!!
There are advantages to this though and perhaps some disadvantages too (there’s always a Yin to the Yang). My last adventure highlights one of the advantages… Craig Rainich in the NW highlands sits between the Fannich Range and the Fisherfield hills with An Teallach to the North. It’s a pretty dull looking hill with a relatively long approach. If I weren’t ticking off the Corbetts - would I have travelled three and a half hours in the car to get here then cycle for an hour to reach the bottom of the hill ?? Probably not… However, as is often the case with the Corbetts, the hill itself is a little rounded but my god the views from the top were well worth the effort! So this little bump of a mountain was put in the bag and another Corbett was ticked off the list…
Of course the fact that there were unbroken blue skies and crystal clear clarity helped, but doesn’t it always;)
The day started at the usual time (no need to get up super early as the days are long , plus the forecast suggested the winds to drop through the day!). A quick bowl of porridge washed down with some Kenco and I was ready for the drive. Past the numerous roadworks I was on the Kessock Bridge by the back of nine. The sun was shining down but Wyvis was cloudy on the northern horizon. It didn’t bother me though as I was headed west and the chances of this North Sea clag reaching the west coast were slight (well according to Judith at the weather centre). Up past Aultguish and then a left at the Braemore Junction. A few weeks earlier I had taken the same road, in the same glorious weather, the only difference was the peaks were white and I was headed for Teallach!
After three and a half hours I pulled up at a very busy parking bay. Looked like the Munro Baggers were hitting The Fannichs! Bike out, bag packed and I was off to bag my Corbett….. An hour later (and after a rather bumpy, gravelly cycle – not sure the bike helped too much on this one!) I as stashing my bike away at end of the loch relatively close to the Lochiveroan Bothy…
White horses skipped along The Loch and I was hoping Judith was going to be right in that the breeze was to diminish through the day! Otherwise it would be a hard fought cycle back!!
The hill looked like a gentle slope from here… According to my calculations I would only be ascending about 600m due to my starting height being near 200m. The going was good – very good in fact.. Although there were no paths, the recent dry spell meant that even the boggiest sections were bone dry!
I was soon on the minor top of Meall Dubh were the view opened up. The sky was blue and Sgurr Ban and Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair looked amazing-a grand time to be having a crack at The Fisherfield Six (or should that be Five now that a demotion has occurred )….
With a big smile on my face I made the short descent and re ascent to reach the Corbett’s summit….
An hour later, after soaking in the views and playing with the cameras, I decided to head back, thoroughly pleased with my experience (and also bagging a new Corbett!;)).
For a remote location, the use of the bike meant it only took about 90 minutes to get back to the car. If only the ca journey were the same time!!
So a fine outing in fine weather and another Corbett bagged – not doing too badly that’s four in last two weeks Maybe a finer achievement than bagging four Munros? ( I’ll leave that can of worms for another blog I think….)
A few snaps
Craig Rainich by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
Graham clouds by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
An Teallach by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
An Teallach from the South by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
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