Black Mount Bivvy

Drive up and down the A82 often enough and you soon realise that the views towards the Black Mount hills and the lochs in the foreground are a very popular stopping point for those with a camera. How often does does such postcard scenery coincide with a layby (some don’t even bother with the laybys)? Throughout the year and in all but the worst weather thrown at the place, there is no need to walk far to get a stunning view.

We headed into the area below the hills with a mind to catching up and enjoying a wintry bivvy somewhere with a lot of scenery but not too far to carry in fuel for warmth.

Like all trips on days selected months ahead, there were plan B’s in case the weather didn’t make this a good option, but thankfully they can wait for another time – the forecast bode well and was consistent for the days either side.

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That said, it did start misty and our destination was hidden as we walked in via a surprisingly good path, across an otherwise very boggy area. Occasional glimpses of the higher ground ahead of us and the nearest water to our side soon increased in frequency, largely clearing to give more extensive views by the time we met up with the old military road comprising part of the West Highland Way.

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A lone West Highland Way walker – perhaps there were others – passed whilst we were getting setup and voices we heard the following day suggested others walking the long distance route too.

Time was taken to get the tarp rigged so that our firebox and sleeping space would be arranged ideally for the long night ahead. Then it was time to relax and enjoy the surroundings. By now the mist around us was gone and only clung in pockets to the lowest ground in the distance, highlighting edges and bumps, which would otherwise have blended seamlessly into their surroundings.

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Darkness and temperatures fell together, but the fire kept us comfortable all night until we turned in with starry skies above us. We woke to a grey sky but views of the hills were clear showing fresh snow having fallen on higher ground through the night.

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Our route out was less direct, getting up close and personal at times with the bog, as we aimed to see more of the water in the area close up, but the lie of the land hid a lot of it from us. In such a flat landscape, even just a few feet higher up would afford great views and a route linking together the surrounding small hills (Beinn Chaorach and Meall Beag) should make an ideal outing with spectacular views over this much photographed landscape.

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