walkhighlands

Inversions over Loch Lochy Munros

Munros: Meall na Teanga, Sron a'Choire Ghairbh

Date walked: 18/03/2016

Time taken: 5 hours

The weather of late has been fine with some high pressure, lots of clear skies and ideal walking conditions as verified by the cracking photos in the recent walk reports . Unfortunately work gets in the way sometimes for some and as we know and it is not easy to break free.
An opportunity arose for an escape and I took it. It was bit late when I set off but I felt I could make the summit of at least one munro and hopefully catch a decent sunset. I cycled from Kilfinnan along the cracking road and stashed the bike. Soon I was on the old coffin route and heading up to the cam Bhealach. A few walkers passed me on their descent clearly having enjoyed a great day with the superb conditions.
As I gained height I could see that the clouds were moving in and I hoped for some good inversions. I also feared that the summits would be shrouded in cloud and zero visibility.
I entered the swirling cloud level at 710m. The temperature dropped and it was noticeably chillier. Visibility was not great but there is an obvious well-worn path that heads up to the right. There was some snow around but none on the path so it was easy walking. I was glad as I had left the ice axe and crampons behind in favour of the heavier camera.
I met three men descending who confirmed that they had enjoyed great views at the summit. They soon disappeared into the clouds and I carried on to the summit plateau.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The views to the NW were among the best that I have experienced.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The low level clouds were filling in all of the valleys and corries leaving just the peaks of the surrounding hills poking out. A view back over toward Meall na Teanga.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I sat on the summit for a wee while and fired away with the camera.
A view over to Knoydart
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

A view down to Ben Tee
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Down the shoulder back to Kilfinnan
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Over to Meall na Teanga and Nevis Range
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

A view to the West..
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I sat down and loaded up with a chocolate ripple and wee bottle of Lucozade. I wondered if I could make it over to Meall na Teanga before the sunset. I reckoned I had an hour..so the decision was made.
Unfortunately I kept stopping to take shots of the dynamic scenery that was evolving around me.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I then entered the cloud base and descended to the bhealach. It seemed a lot darker in the dense cloud and for a minute I thought about heading back to the bike. No, there was no rush to get back to the pub yet. A short ascent took me back above the clouds and a return to the great views.
A view back over to Sron na Choire Ghairbh
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The sun was getting low in the west and it was reflecting off the white clouds.

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I negotiated a short icy section on the leeward side which led onto the shoulder of the ridge where the sun had cleared the route. Then it was up onto the ridge leading to the cairn. And time to sit back and watch the sun going down.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

Out West
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
It was strange how the cloud layer had filled in the lower hollows of the landscape to the north and west yet over toward Ben Nevis it was sparse.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The clouds seemed to be rising like the high tide against the prominent ridges. The sharp peaks from Streap and over to Knoydart protruded impressively through the fluffy white layer against the contrasting backdrop of the tropical blue sky.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The sky remained clear as the sun began to set creating some lovely colours.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

Loch Lochy was not visible as the clouds on that side were cast in shade and too dense.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

After a wee bit of faffing around on the summit looking for the ideal money shot (my favourite snap)..

ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I began to get some wind chill and remembered that I did not have a full winter pack with me.. I felt it would be wise to start the descent whilst I could navigate easily with the naked eye.
Once again I kept stopping along the ridge to take even more shots.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

As I walked the sun was on my left and cast my shadow into the clouds above Loch Lochy. This created the ideal conditions for a nice glory (rainbow) ring or Brocken Spectre.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

When I reached the snow section I noticed the moon was prominent and had to take another shot.
ImageLochLochyMunros by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I then got a step on. Thankfully the ground was dry on the main path and it was easy to maintain a descent pace back to the bike. In the woods I struggled to locate the bike initially. Then it was a short ascent followed by a rapid descent to return to the car in total darkness.
All in all a cracking evening with superb views which more than made up for the last visit here when the clag and midges won the day.
Apologies for including as many images but for me I had never seen a cloud inversion as big as this one except from an airplane window..I hope you enjoy the views.

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scottishkennyg


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Statistics

2016

Trips: 2
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1

2015

Trips: 7
Distance: 98 km
Ascent: 6085m
Munros: 26
Corbetts: 2

2014

Trips: 17
Munros: 21
Corbetts: 7

2013

Trips: 31
Distance: 111 km
Ascent: 3450m
Munros: 85


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