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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Monadhliath Munros (1)

I decided there was probably time for one more trip to Scotland before the weather turned; and I really wanted to try to get a few more Munros in to get my tally up to 50. So I booked into the Newtonmore Hostel for the nights of 18 and 20 October, and trains North on Saturday 18 October and back South again on Tuesday 21 October. (I still don't understand how the systems allowe them to sell me a railway ticket to Newtonmore for a day when they know that the rail service to newtonmore will be replaced by a bus service which will not stop and Newtonmore ... but we'll skate over that as lightly as possible, as I am sure I will go made before gettign any kind of enlightenment ...)

My plan was to do a two day expedition heading up over A'Chailleach and Carn Sgulain, then along the ridge to Carn Dearg, before heading down to a wild camp by Lochan Uisge. On the second day I'd make my way along the ridge to Geal Charn, then down Glen Markie to the Spey Dam and out by road to Laggan. However, Ali kindly left the mountain weather forecast outside my door on Sunday morning, and it was VERY clear that this was NOT going to be a night when one would want to be wild camping out on the hills. So after a hurried conflab with Ali I recast my plans: I would do an out-and-back to A'Chailleach and Carn Sgulain, then come back in for a night in the hostel. On Monday, Ali offered to drive me to Garva Bridge, from where I could make the ascent of Geal Charn, then drop into Glen Markie and out by road through Laggan as planned. It would leave Carn Dearg to attempt on another occasion (probably on a Challenge, approaching up the River Fechlin and past Loch Killin); but it would give me the three Munros I needed to get my total to 50.

And it wouldn't leave me camped out on a wild and stormy night.

So off I set, up the beautiful road beside the River Calder in lower Glen Banchor, with the beautiful autumn colours bathing the hillsides, and a gentle rainfall spattering my camera lens (oh I'm SO glad I invested in the weatherproof camera ...)

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