Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Monday 6 April 2009 - A Good Day Out - A' Ghlas-bheinn

Sue and I were joined by Pam and Paul today for the amiable ascent of this pleasing hill - conducted at a more normal pace (calculated by Paul as 1.6 mph compared with yesterday's rather pedestrian 0.8 mph!).

Parking beyond the mountain rescue post in Morvich, we set off in fine weather along the 'new' path towards the Falls of Glomach. We soon branched off right up the superb stalkers path to Bealach an Sgairne, encountering four others en route. Waterproofs were donned to combat the elements, and this simple act secured our freedom from precipitation for the rest of the day, which was nevertheless somewhat grey, with an occasional weak sun.

Today's wildlife was minimal - some goats in the glen, and hooded crows observing our progress from the tree tops.

But coal tits and sparrows abound in our garden, and we've seen bullfinches in the other cottage's garden. David, who knows a bit about these things, reckons the dying deer we saw yesterday may have been starving to death - maybe nature is lending a hand to control the excessive numbers of deer that humans are reluctant to attend to.

Wood anemones and dog violets accompanied primroses on today's walk, and there was lots of sweet smelling bog myrtle lower down the glen.

In Gleann Choinneachain, looking towards the distinct notch of Bealach an Sgairne

The view west from Bealach an Sgairne, with Beinn Bhuidhe ahead and the Corbett, Sgurr an Airgid, poking up on the right

Beyond the bealach a windy path led north towards the summit through easy crags. I startled a chap when passing him - he was deeply immersed in his own world and hadn't noticed our approach.

Above the bealach, on the start of the undulating ridge leading to the summit of A' Ghlas-bheinn

After 2 hours 50 min, at 12.40, we reached the blowy summit, beyond which lunch was taken in a sheltered spot nearby.

On the summit of A' Ghlas-bheinn, with Beinn Fhada in the background

We were joined for lunch by our startled friend, a Munro bagger who had driven up from Glasgow today, and would return home tonight with just this solitary tick. He had been Munro bagging for 50 years, and still has 50 summits to go. I fear that at some point he got distracted.

He may of course have got more ticks than he bargained for - of a different variety - later Sue required a couple of 'extractions'.

The descent down the west flank of A' Ghlas-bheinn was easy and uneventful. We reached the Falls of Glomach path by the forest junction and strolled down the track to Dorusduain, where the bridge over the river to rejoin our ascent route was nearly missed. But our wits were with us and we got back to the car at 3.20 after a five and a half hour, navigationally successful, stroll.

Primroses near Dorusduain

On the last lap back to Morvich, with the long ridge of A' Ghlas-bheinn behind us

Meanwhile, Chris had enjoyed the road to Arnisdale so much yesterday that he returned with Avril today. Andrew dragged Max around a 12 mile, low level, circuit. Ken and Anne had set off with them, but peeled off half way on the pretence that the BBC needed them to sign a contract in connection with Escape to the Country's exposee of their house (actually true!).

This was the evening of our combined meal for the two cottages. It went very well. We hosted Andrew's beetroot and goats cheese starter, followed by our Chardonnay chicken with parsley mash, before transferring en mass across Plockton to the other cottage's meringues, ice cream and apple pie, with copious toffee sauce.

Luckily, it remained dry whilst we staggered back to Duilisg, after a most enjoyable day.

Here's today's route - 14 km with 990 metres ascent, taking us about 5 hours 30 minutes, including stops:

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