Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Wild Wild West

View over East from the plateau


My alarm woke at 5.30 after a poor night’s sleep, every ounce of me just wanted to stay in bed. After a short argument with myself I forced breakfast down and dragged myself into the car. 1hr of Swedish House Mafia later and I was ready to either blast up some Munros or go to an all-night rave. With the rave scene in the North West highlands being somewhat limited I started the long walk in to Seana Bhraigh, one of the most remote Munros in the country. The recent thaw had stripped the lower slopes of snow making progress quick up to the patchy snow line.
The 13km walk in took me into some very wild feeling terrain and from the summit I couldn’t see any sign of man’s influence on the land.

Seana Bhraigh summit

Choire Ghranda

Satisfied that Scotland can still evoke this feeling of isolation and wilderness I left Seana Bhraigh behind and headed over toward the Beinn Dearg chain of 4 munros.
The hard snow made for quick progress and my speed was only hampered by a strong fresh wind bringing in hail showers, stinging my exposed skin. Barely stopping for a break on Eididh nan Clach Geala the plateau took me up to the summit of Meal nan Ceapraichean. Feeling like I was motoring now I just kept walking and bagged Cona Mheall in half an hour. Now the final summit of Beinn Dearg loomed and the clouds had built up to the West. The wind picked up as I ascended the ridge and a quick turnaround at the top saw me descending into a blizzard and ferocious spin drift storm! I was forced to wear my goggles at this point and had I not had them I would have been in serious trouble!
Staggering into the wind for the last 10km saw me back at the car after 11hrs on the hill covering 33km and 5 more precious Munros. Although the really satisfying thing about the day was not seeing another soul and the feeling so far from the rest of the world only 15km from the nearest road. Time too eat my weight in Christmas dinner!!


Beinn Dearg range from Seana Bhraigh

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