Wintry Walks – Lochaber

Two wintry walks, our first of Winter 2012/13. Though the tops were shrouded to a varying degree, there were still good views on the way up and down and even the odd tempting glimpse at the distant peaks and islands.

An inland hill, Beinn a’ Chaorainn was our first walk, starting off with a stretch through forest which limited our views of the day ahead. Soon enough we were out in the open though, with views up to our hills (later hill) and west and south towards other familiar peaks and areas walked in the past. Great colours with the evergreens, and varying degrees of snow-covered ground, some bare and brown, some dusted and some plastered. Snow up top was deep in places but largely dry thankfully. Not much lingering up top as there was a biting wind eating away at our digits, that and time cracking on persuaded us to return via the same route, leaving the second hill for another day. Great views in to a weakening sun were enjoyed all the way down and we finished off with an entertaining bush-whack.

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Taking account of the forecast, a resulting break in the homeward journey and potentially good views, we opted for a walk up Mam na Gualainn the following day. Sitting above Loch Leven and facing on to the Mamores, the hills of Glen Coe and out over to Ardgour – good things were possible if the evident clag were to lift. As it happened, it did not fully retreat but we stayed dry throughout and did get some glimpses of what must be amazing as a whole vista. A reason to return! We got to enjoy guessing at times what was a summit and what was a pointy cloud in the place we’d expect one to be.

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