My long day started with a 6:30am alarm followed by a quick breakfast before the relatively short drive from Inverness, the road unsurprisingly quiet!
I arrived in Dalwhinnie just before 8 and before long was ready for the cycle along Loch Ericht. Both previous Munro outings had been relatively short and fancying a big day out, this one trip definitely fit the bill. Given the weather for Ben Vorlich earlier in the year, the sight that greeted me at the head of Loch Ericht was very promising.
I had borrowed dad's bike for the day out and really wished that I'd tested it properly and raised the seat beforehand! Nevertheless, the cycle was enjoyable down the loch. The climb uphill away from the loch wasn't difficult but did go on for a bit longer than I would've preferred! Soon, though, the two peaks of the day came into view.
I reached the bothy around 9:30 and got started on the first of the two peaks, Ben Alder. The weather moved between blue skies and overcast throughout the whole day, Ben Alder benefitting from the light the former!
The climb up the Long Leachas ridge, as described in the guide, felt relatively simple. The path was clear the entire way up and just one part where there was a steeper section that I remember.
Once on the top plateau, the mist started to roll in from Geal Charn. Thankfully it wasn't too bad, didn't want a repeat of the visibility on last outing.
A few pictures from the climb and the trig point, which gives a terrific spot for some early lunch!
The drop down to the bealach was quite steep and I did manage to take a slight slip, hurting only my pride thankfully! The climb back up to the Beinn Bheoil ridge is quite steep but I wasn't wanting to hang around with a slow ascent. The path makes it really easy as well. The blue skies made another appearance on top of Beinn Bheoil with some superb views up Loch Ericht towards Dalwhinnie and across Rannoch Moor.
The descent of Beinn Bheoil to the stalkers path was probably the least enjoyable part of the day for me. A lot of the descent spent avoiding hidden bogs, once unsuccessfully. Once the stalker's path is reached though, the return to the bothy is extremely straightforward.
Upon return to the bothy, I was delighted to find my bike still there, something that had crossed my mind on the Beinn Bheoil descent! The cycle to Dalwhinnie slightly quicker on the return despite the tired legs. A final look back towards the two Munros of the day.
A great day in the hills and a great sense of isolation the whole time. Once the lockdown is over, I've earmarked the Aonach Beag Munros as the first trip.
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