Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. Our B&B, Cuilcheanna House, provided an excellent breakfast. Thank you Kirstie.
By 9.30 we had met up with friends staying in the Alex McIntyre Memorial Hut, and were marching up Gleann an Fhiodh with Martin S, Graeme and Alastair.
Everyone was very jolly. It was a perfect day for a long walk in the Highlands.
After elevenses, with brownies and CCS both on offer, Martin S said his goodbyes and toddled off to bag a couple of Grahams – Sgorr a’ Choise and Meall Mor. By coincidence he met Kirstie whilst descending from Meall Mor.
Meanwhile, others in the group may have encountered Gibson, proprietor of ‘Afoot in the Hills’ on Beinn na Caillich, across Loch Leven, where I enjoyed a fabulous wild camp back in May. Gibson has some nice images from the same day, on which we may appear as pinpricks, here.
Views across the Mamores and over to Glencoe opened magically behind us as we mounted the long grassy slopes of Fraochaidh, accompanied by newly arrived migrant birds, perhaps Fieldfare or Redwing, and the roar of distant stags.
It took us 4½ hours to reach the summit, where we met the only other person seen all day. He kindly photographed us by the cairn.
The views were superb, with the Rum Corbetts and the distinctive profile of the island of Eigg clearly visible some 50 miles distant. The view down Loch Linnhe to Ben More on the island of Mull is shown at the head of this posting.
With the sun on our backs, the leisurely descent was a delight, with the Pap of Glencoe gradually reasserting its dominance in our viewfinders as more distant hills receded behind the foreground.
This tree caught the last rays of the sun before we descended into the shade of the Glen.
Autumn is noticeably much further advanced up here than it is at home.
Here’s our ‘there and back’ route – about 20km, with 1250 metres ascent. It took us around 7½ hours, including some lengthy breaks.
Martin S kindly collected us just as the last colours from the sunset reached Cuilcheanna, and we enjoyed a sociable evening with the XXL club members in the Memorial Hut, before a late night stumble back to our B&B.
Sunday was overcast, cloudy and mizzly, so we said our goodbyes and returned home via Oban.
A slide show covering the whole weekend (our rainy Sunday may make some folk feel a bit better!) is here.
Thanks for your company, XXLers; we look forward to joining you again soon.