Loch Lochy Hill(s)

Clear skies had not been forecast, but it was particularly disappointing to have heavy rain falling during breakfast at our base, not very far from our chosen walk for the day. However, four of us set off from Kilfinnan after a forty minute drive under patches of clear blue sky and with all signs of precipitation having departed.

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A quick walk along a forest road, much quicker than it looked on the map, soon had us panting and sweating our way up a good but steep path towards the col between the two peaks of Meall na Teanga and Sron a’ Choire Ghairbh, the snow line was soon crossed and up ahead it was obvious a set of dirty streaks fanning their way down one of the slopes was debris from an avalanche, one of many occurring across the country this year already.

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From our vantage point way below, we could see a large group of walkers gathered close to the debris and when we caught up with them they passed on the news that this avalanche had not long occurred with them getting to see and hear the full event.

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A chat at the col had us decide to go have a look at a possible ascent of Meall na Teanga with a route that would take us well clear of any dangerous slopes. Soon though, after skirting round the edge of Meall Dudh (a subsidiary peak of Meall na Tenga), we discovered big slopes and cornices ahead and opted to turn about leaving the summit for another day.

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Despite the views from here down both sides of the col being so impressive, two of us were keen to get as high as we could safely on this side and so we carried on to the top of Meall Dubh for a look at the views south and over Loch Lochy. Impressive again though cloud to the south, at this time, was obscuring the view of much beyond the first wall of mountains.

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Zig-zags of Sron a’ Choire Ghairbh…
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Meall na Teanga…
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After lunch at the col, we split, two going back down and two of us heading up Sron a’ Choire Ghairbh, following the good zig-zag path to the top with relative ease.

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Views from here to the east, up the Great Glen were the most impressive, and colourful, whist to the north the light level was a bit more subdued. Hills to the south were now a bit more free of cloud than earlier giving us quite an extended range of white capped hills in all directions.

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Views up the Great Glen with Loch Ness in the distance…
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A straightforward and reasonably quick descent followed with chat along the way with members of the big group we had met on the way in. It seems the avalanche had a second slide that they had witnessed, and which we had missed by being round the corner from it.

The following day was another one to enjoy winter, but this time more lazily, all of us headed for home after breakfast, but an hour spent in the sun by the River Coupall was a very pleasant break in the journey for myself. These are the views from that spot looking up at the rocky buttresses and ridges of one of my favourite mountains, Buachaille Etive Mor, plastered in heavy accumulations of snow. This is not exactly a remote spot, but with the river noisy enough to drown out all signs of traffic just a couple of hundred metres behind me and no sign of anyone on the hill, it may as well be miles from anywhere.

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Wind and sun effects on Creise…
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