Saturday, 15th. August, 2020:
This was my sixth day out on a trip from Loch Awe to Dalwhinnie and, while nothing very much could have matched the superb views I'd had from Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain on the previous evening, high pressure was in charge and I was reasonably confident of more sunshine. It was, therefore, sensible to leave my small tent (pitched at the confluence of the Allt a'Ghlas-choire and the Allt Feith Thuill) pretty early. The clag was down and the midges were out in their billions, coating the outside of the tent - but I reasoned that it would be baking later in the day so made a move to pack and headed down the valley before the sun was up.
I soon hit a path and then the wide, unbeautiful tracks of Strath Ossian before making rapid progress to the foot of the extensive western slopes of Beinn Eibhinn. In many respects, this promised to be an easy day but, having crossed the main river, there was still a fair climb ahead carrying a big bag. It seemed, though, to go relatively easily as the mists thinned and it wasn't very long before I topped the steep grass and broke out onto the gentler, sunlit slopes above Creagan an t-Sealgai. From there, the rest of the day unfolded as a magical stairway through the clouds with huge views to distant island peaks standing on the horizon above cloud filled valleys. Ben Alder filled a fair bit of the southern horizon but, as Beinn Eibhinn gave way to Aonach Beag and then Geal-charn, it was possible to see half of the Highlands before the atmosphere became too hazy. I was in no hurry - having a doze in the sunshine on the south side of Aonach Beag - and it was great to feel able to wander along the ridge into the wilderness without feeling a need to reach a specific destination. The most interesting part of the day was the descent from Geal-charn which revealed a chaotic scene of crags, melting snowfields and waterfalls above Loch an Sgoir with a perfect, high level campsite by two small lochans evident at 482748... I was tempted to stop there and then but it was still relatively early and I wanted to add a bit of distance to my day's total. Instead, therefore, I descended leftwards from the ridge, having a good look at Loch Coire Cheap and its unusual, weed-filled neighbour, Lochan an Fheoir, before heading down to the Allt Cam and camping on a beautiful, grassy sward just west of its confluence with the Allt Loch a'Bhealaich Leamhain. The sun was still strong and it was an idyllic site at which to dry out the soggy tent and air my sleeping bag before cooking some chicken noodle soup and dried pasta.
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