The weather forecast was encouraging and we made it to the first summit, Carn Liath, in our fleeces. The breeze was light but cool, and it was good to have the roaring of stags instead of the whoosh of yesterday's turbines.
A couple who set off just behind us nearly caught us up here. We thought they had succeeded when two people overhauled us during a long lunch stop at Bealach an Fhiodha, but they were two gents from Glasgow. The first couple were finally encountered as we retraced our steps from the 'there and back' summit of our third Munro, Carn nan Gabhar. A particularly tedious exercise conducted over a slippery boulder field. Anyway, we finally got to chat to this couple, who had decamped from Braemar to Pitlochry's excellent backpackers hostel where they are fortunate to have a room in a turret. Somehow, between us, Sue and I managed to bring my forthcoming marathon into the conversation. We left a card on their windscreen, so it will be interesting to see whether the combined effects of a random encounter and social media trigger a donation. Regardless of that, it was nice to meet you if you are reading this, and we trust you got down more easily than the other two gents. They passed us on the south west slopes of Airgiod Bheinn (a Munro 'Top') as we took a break to empty our flask, then they proceeded to leave the steep path, finishing up over a kilometre behind us.
During the day we saw lots of deer and grouse, presumably trying to avoid stalkers and shooters, and many more stags were heard roaring in the glens. But we didn't have the pleasure of observing a family of stoats - that was yesterday - I forgot to mention it.
Once down at the base of the hill, and well away from the persistent shower that seemed to have accompanied us most of the way from Carn nan Gabhar, I could take off my waterproofs and enjoy the 7 km walk back to the car along a newish path that presumably replaces a rather squelchy one.
The evening was spent with TGO Challengers, Ali, Marian, Mike and many more, on account of it being a reunion weekend.
Looking back to Loch Moraig
The view through mist to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from the descent of Carn Liath
Lunchtime at Bealach an Fhiodha
The view north from Carn nan Gabhar
Walking out along the new path