Friday, 29 July 2011

Daily Postcard from the Scottish Highlands #12

My last postcard :-( Decided to crown the holiday by taking on Ben Nevis, highest in Scotland and Britain. Sadly, cloud persisted at the top while I was there, which restricted views.  Pictures below:

 Pleasant shade near the beginning of the route uphill. It wouldn't last long.

Looking into Glen Nevis from the ascent path.

Halfway Lochan is misnamed, because it isn't yet halfway!

Looking across Glen Nevis.

And looking down into it.

The only patch of snow on this ascent path, though the northern corries have some more.

The summit in sight. Despite the sun shining, clouds obscured much of the view from the summit.

Ben Nevis cliffs. Unwary walkers trying to find the way down can find themselves here if they're not careful.

Glimpses north from the summit.

Crowds at the summit. Summit cairn to the right, remains of the old observatory to the left.

Another look at the cleft, showing how easy it is to stray into it from the summit, particularly in cloud or snow.  Summit in the background.

Looking along Loch Linnhe on the descent.

And along Loch Eil towards a very distant Skye.

And on the descent, an example of how easily things can go wrong.  This is the Search And Rescue helicopter, hovering over a casualty somewhere below me.

Someone with - so mountain rumour has it - a suspected broken ankle.

 Assistance in the form of a doctor being winched to the casualty.

Another view of Glen Nevis. Note the cloud has gone now I'm on my way down!!

Close up of the SAR chopper. The casualty was airlifted into Glen Nevis where an ambulance took him to hospital.

Right, that's it from Scotland for this year :-(  From next week, my usual Snowdonia/North Wales postings will resume.

Until the next walk, be well all.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Daily Postcard from the Scottish Highlands #11

Today's walk was from Spean Bridge to Corrour Station via Lairig Leacach.  This is a delightful fifteen mile yomp along mostly good paths, gloriously alone and that even the poor weather failed to spoil.  Pictures below:

 Looking ahead to Lairig Leacach from Coire Choille.

Looking along a gloomy Glen Spean.

The "Wee Minister" allegedly for luck.  Mind you, I caught the train I expected in good time, so maybe there's something in it...

 Looking into Lairig Leacach. Not even reached the watershed yet.

The stalkers' road stretches into the distance.  Next week the deer stalking begins in this area and walkers won't be allowed to use the path.

Lairig Bothy. Note the spade outside - that's for digging your latrine!

 The way ahead splits at the bothy, this path  leads into Glen Nevis.  Not the way I'm going today.

This part continues through Lairig Leacach, desolate, lonely and wonderful. Speckles on the lens from one of the many rain showers earlier today.

Creag Ghuanach in the far distance.  The Glen Nevis path to Corrour is on the far side of that, the path I join with later. The bump to the right is Meall Beag.

Looking back up the burn; this was a delightful stretch of walking.  There is a waterfall nearby (Easan Dubh), but not much water.  Another time.

First glimpse of Loch Treig.  The trees in the distance, on the far side of the loch, betray the presence of the railway line. My way back to Spean Bridge.

Creaguaineach Lodge, locked up at the moment.  This is a shooting lodge.

A moody Loch Treig.

And now the walk is nearly over, the clouds begin to lift.

If this had been yesterday, or at least yesterday's weather, this pool would look a lot more inviting...

A glimpse of Loch Ossian and Ben Alder.

Leum Uilleim, now clear of cloud.

The restaurant at Corrour Station. A welcome place to stop before the train.

That's it for today. Until the next postcard, be well all.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Daily Postcard from the Highlands #10

Although the weather clouded up in the afternoon, this morning was lovely - and hot! This is one of my favourite walks. It is neither long, nor hard, nor high. But I have spent many happy hours basking here. It's on the Isle of Skye and is near the Point of Sleat. Acarsaid an Rubha, despite appearing in most walking books, is surprisingly unvisited.

(see also Daily Postcard from the Highlands #5)

Pictures below:

 Distant Coulin Hills, taken from the ferry, leaving Mallaig.

Rhum and Eigg from the ferry.

On the way to Acarsaid An Rubha, picture of the mainland.

The walk-in has little to commend it - at least to the uninitiated, but the scenery is spectacular.

Somebody enjoying a sail.  OK, maybe you can't see it...

...now you can!

Ruined croft house near the harbour, showing that this area was once more densely populated than now!

Acarsaid An Rubha, where I've spent many a happy hour.  One of my favourite places.

Acarsaid Harbour.

Looking back at the sheltered harbour.

Rhum from the promontory of Acarsaid An Rubha.

Eigg from the same place.

The (Black) Coulin.  Now that is a serious undertaking!

Zoomed in on Sgurr na Stri.

Seal on the rocks. It's been a good week for seeing them.

Right, that's your lot from today's walk.

Until tomorrow's postcard, be well all.