Well, I don't like midges, I really don't. As soon as I was back on the boggy path along Loch na Sealga, they started pestering me again, regardless of the fact that I was a wee bit tired after the long way up and down Beinn Dearg Bheag and Beinn Dearg Mor.
'Come on lads, will ye give me some rest?! Can't you just go play somewhere else and bugger off, you bullies?' No immediate reaction. 'You're just gonna get yourselves killed, I'm warning you...!' Still no reaction.
So I tried to start running again, despite feeling my poor old legs quite a bit, and I'd like to believe that I was able to shake some of them off, at least momentarily.
Gruinard river with the salmon jumping about and the generous Landrover track alongside it offered some good going until I reached the loch. Afterwards, it was a long and boggy slog along the shores, going up and down, until I finally reached Allt Doir' a' Mhadaidh. From there I went up diagonally to Allt na Doire Gaineumhaich (that's when I realised that I should have told the midgie bullies to leave me alone unless they knew how to pronounce this name...) and up to the Lochain. Still no easy way up, couldn't find any traces of a path right up to the ridge, and I would have checked my compass carefully on the way up in bad weather.
The epic views from Beinn Dearg More made up for the long haul in, and the sun was still on from time to time, even though the clouds had already started coming in from the south.
When I finally reached the summit of Beinn Dearg Bheag, I could see down to Loch na Sealga, which made it quite an easy decision to try the north ridge instead of going all the (same) way back again.
The scrambling across turned out to be delightful, with great views in every direction!
I hate to contradict Walkhighlands here, but I wouldn't tackle this ridge on the way up, especially the last climb down to the bottom of the ridge was hellishly steep.
I don't need to go into the details of the way back, I was just happy to see the boats again at the head of Loch na Sealga, and I had some really stubborn dimwits for company again ('So glad to see you again, guys!').
All in all, it's a long but memorable day out, just make sure to pack some sunshine before you go, otherwise it's just a never-ending slog...
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