15th. July, 2010
This was the second day of my attempt to celebrate turning 50 with a solo, unsupported walk over the Munros between Inverie and Stonehaven and, having hauled a desperately heavy rucksack over Ladhar Bheinn the previous day, it was time to head east from my campsite in Coire a' Phuill near Mam Barrisdale. First on the list was to find a way up Luinne Bheinn in the mist and wind. The climb up from the pass was remarkable only for the very wet conditions underfoot before the final steep slopes but, once on the top after another bag-hauling tester, everything became more fun. It was great to be finding my way along the ridge in thick mist and, for the first time, I began to feel capable of carrying the rucksack uphill for sustained periods... and it would get a lot lighter as I ate the food over the next couple of weeks! A quick stop for a bite to eat at the Bealach Ile Coire saw me up the final section of ridge onto the distinctive top of Meall Bhuidhe - another summit without a view. A quick bearing south east from the eastern end of the top saw me heading down the ridge onto Sgurr Sgeithe in increasingly heavy rain but, when the ridge began to turn east, I was able to drop down steep slopes between crags to just east of Mam Meadail and, finally, to drop out of the cloud. After that, the well graded path to Carnoch was a real pleasure and it was a simple stroll round the corner to Sourlies in improving weather with the tide out. The sun even appeared briefly to illuminate a heron hunting in the mouth of the Finiskaig River as I approached the bothy and a number of deer ambled out onto the seaweed. The bothy was a cheering refuge and it was not too long before I was installed in a hammock hanging from the beams and reading John Prebble's sickening history of The Clearances with only a noisy mouse for company. With luck, tomorrow should see me in Glen Garry...
Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.