Martin

Martin

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday 18 April 2012 - Beinn nan Caorach and Beinn na h-Eaglaise

An early start for the Dornbirn Crew had them heading off to Stirling via the ferry to Mallaig. They had enjoyed their food last night, at Coruisk House in Elgol, as had I - especially as Markus (in absentia) was treating me as a thank you for my help with his imminent Fort William to Cape Wrath route and maps. Thanks Markus, you are a star.

As for Sue's shortbread, it received an even greater accolade - voted 'best ever' by the Dornbirn Crew. And unlike other fayre, it wasn't affected by 'Skye Speed' (or lack thereof). Nor was the excellent breakfast at Seaview, where I reluctantly left Penny and Bill, a most entertaining 'double act' after a very pleasant stay at the B+B that they bought on impulse six years ago.

On reflection, on this beautiful morning, I might have reverted to yesterday's 'Glamaig Plan', but having enjoyed yesterday's visit to the Quiraing so much - I've been there many times but it never ceases to enthral me, The Table is one of my favourite places - I was happy to head back over the bridge and beside Loch Duich to Shiel Bridge.

The single track road over Mam Ratagan was busy. I paused for a number of 'photo stops' but the light or the trees always seemed to foil the 'perfect shot'!

Arnisdale welcomes walkers. There is plenty of parking by the seafront. I was today's only walker. Setting off at 10am, I headed around the two Corbett summits of Beinn nan Caorach and Beinn na h-Eaglaise in an anti clockwise direction - a straightforward five hour (15km, 1100m ascent) walk under the unceasing watchful bulk of Ladhar Beinn.

Reflections in the loch were indicative of a windless day, as a heron lazily flew over the greylag geese.

The call of a cuckoo filled the otherwise empty air as I ambled up the excellent stalkers path past the cascade of Eas na Cuingid.

No gloves needed today, just t-shirt and fleece, despite the summit snow.

The plaintive calls of a pair of golden plover rang out as I paused on the descent of Beinn nan Caorach to take advantage of the light for today's image. The second Corbett, Beinn na h-Eaglaise, is on the left, with Beinn Sgritheall's higher peaks to the right.

There were fine views of a vast array of summits from the 804 metre climax of the impressively narrow ridge of Beinn na h-Eaglaise.

After tea and shortbread on this second summit, an unrelentingly steep but safe descent past early lousewort and ptarmigan still wearing their white winter vests, led to a zone of dog violets and primroses. Lower down, lesser celandine, cuckoo flower, dandelions and gorse were all flourishing. A swan flew over the highland cattle - it wasn't mute, it was whooping.

Finally, a large herd of deer, one of several groups seen today, seemed quite at home in Glen Arnisdale near Corran.

After this enjoyable solo outing on the deserted hills above Arnisdale, the three hour drive to Newtonmore passed quickly. Perhaps I slept.

Tonight I enjoyed a seafood platter at the Glen Hotel, just across the road from the Hostel now being run by TGO Challenger Sue Oxley and her husband Neil. They were busy over Easter, but tonight I have the place to myself. I think I'll donate a 'single room supplement'.

3 comments:

Alistair Pooler said...

Sounds like a lovely day out in the hills! In fact I have those two Corbetts on my rough plan for next year's TGO Challenge (assuming of course that I get a place!)

Which hills are in the photo?

Alan R said...

Sounds like you have been an extremely lucky fella. Weather awful here. Shame i couldn’t find me coat but good news, the consultant has given it me back.

Phreerunner said...

Alistair, the hills in the photo are
Beinn na h-Eaglaise on the left, with Beinn Sgritheall to the right, from the northern slopes of Beinn nan Caorach.

I'm delighted to hear that you've recovered your coat, Alan, if a bit late for this trip.