Julie and Dave set off up towards Lochan Domhain on the Coulags pathDi looked on as we headed along the good path towards Coulags, taking care not to step on the frogs that are just starting to spawn. A dipper hunted by Lochan Domhain's outflow. The stepping stones were well submerged - it would be a wet crossing. Dave headed north to where the river was wider and easier. Julie and I looked at our maps. There was no need to cross here - we could yomp to where our path re-crossed the river.
Dave eventually rejoined us but missed a tea and CCS stop. The rain and wind strengthened. Red deer scooted away from our lunch spot at 500 metres. Then it was up to Bealach a' Choire Ghairbh, where we left the good path in favour of the steep slopes of An Ruadh-stac - at 892 metres our target for the day. Smooth steep rock, slippery in the wet, made for slow progress. Then, after a shallower incline, the terrain turned to loose broken steep rock. This made for slow progress.
After a false summit and 4.5 hours, at 2.30pm, we finally reached the lofty summit of this gnarly Corbett. It was still misty.
Dave and Julie - summiteers
Only the summit was in cloud and the route off was easy to find. On a dry day the rock would be easy and grippy, but in the damp care was needed to avoid dangerous slips.
A short cut avoided the bealach and took us back to the excellent stalkers path. As forecast, the weather was clearing, and looking back we had good views of our mountain.
An Ruadh-stac - the route of ascent is along the skyline from almost the very left of the imageFurther down we passed the stepping stones where the stalkers path crosses the outflow from Lochan Domhain. It was several inches lower than when we ascended, but we still took evasive action.
Maol Chean-dearg and the stepping stones
On the descent the weather improved and we got some views, including sunset over Loch Torridon. The weather had finally acknowledged the presence of Dave O and me.
Upper Loch Torridon, with Beinn Alligin in cloud
We were back at the cottage at 6.15, after which my kitchen staff rustled up a fine Chicken Chardonnay meal whilst I whisked some eggs ineffectually - must really try to learn how to do this!
Here's today's route - 21km, 1093 metres ascent, taking 8 hours 15 minutes, including about 45 minutes of breaks. Naismith would have taken 6 hours.