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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The 2015 Challenge, day 2: along Loch Mullardoch (2)

The second tent which had arrived after I turned in was indeed Greg's. He insisted he had arrived at about 9; but it must have been later than that or he would have found me awake. He said that I was already asleep (or at least not answering from within my tent) when he arrived. He did indeed make it to the summit of Aonach Buidhe, and how I failed to spot him coming down off the hill as I sat eating my supper remains a mystery, but there it is. He WAS on that hillside (and had been as impressedas I was by the magnificent cornice of the snowfield to the right of the safe descent route), but for all my looking I simply failed to see him.

Greg was some way behind me in breaking camp. I offered to hang about and wait til he was ready, but he said I should go on alone as I was ready to hit the trail and he reckoned he'd be at least another half hour, possibly an hour. I could have waited, but I got the impression that maybe he was hankering after a bit of time to himself in this wonderful and otherwise lonely spot, so I headed along the shore of the loch and started to angle my way up towards the little bealach to the North of Coire na Breabaig.

The ascent was nowhere near as difficult as it had looked from the far side of the loch, and the run-off cuts did not cause any real problems. They were not as deep as they had looked, and by the time I reached the top of the slope I really was wondering why I had been so bothered about them. I was not feeling like any high level heroics, however, and the thought of turning left up Meall Shuas and then tackling the snow-cpeckled upper slopes of An Socach, just to come back down again with only the one Munro to show for it, did not hold much attraction for me this morning. So I just headed straight forward, admiring the distant views of the West Benula Forest (seen in the photograph), and descended through the Coire na Breabaig until I found the path down the Allt na Criche.

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