Sunday, 22 July 2007

Cluanie horseshoe day 1

After Ben Wyvis on Friday, we drove to Loch Cluanie. I was running slightly late because of stopping and taking photos like these.
Towards Glen Shiel
Loch Cluanie sunset
But was then further delayed by rescuing a mini-bus of dusky maidens heading to Skye. Nobody bothered stopping to help a vehicle with its hazards flashing. For 3 1/2 hours. Ceud mile failte my erse.
So, it was after 9pm by the time we left the second car at Lundie (the first was left at the finish point near Caorann Bridge).
Loch Cluanie
300m of ascent to a pitch for the night and Friday was finally over.
Saturday above Cluaine
Simon's Akto on the left, mine on the right. The side-opening doors allows a civilised throwing of biscuits, weather reports, etc, between tents whilst the main body is still parallel with the wind direction.
South Shiel
We're at 540m, with Loch Cluaine below and South Shiel to the...well, south.
Towards Carn Ghluasaid
After breakfast and breaking camp, this is the morning clamber up to the 900m plateau of Carn Ghluasaid. Less than a 400m ascent - one of the advantages of wild camping.
Coire Lair
We would be skirting the upper edges of this Coire later in the day. It contains Gorm Lochan - invisible until we were right above it.
Low cloud on Carn Ghluasaid
The low cloud would be at about 940m elevation almost all day. Here, Simon's following the path to Carn Ghluasaid. Considering how rocky and bumpy the plateau is, and how many cliffs there are around - you really don't want to get lost here.
Towards Sgurr nan Conbhairean
We caught a glimpse of Sgurr nan Conbhairean through the cloud.
Carn Ghluasaid [Munro 34, 957m/3140ft]
Simon and me on the summit of Carn Ghluasaid [Munro 34, 957m/3140ft]. I've had to lighten the picture as the clouds played havoc with the camera's automatic settings.
Nearing Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Much of the 3km trek to Sgurr nan Conbhairean was in this weather. I kept the waterproof layer on until we were off the hill on Sunday.
Simon on Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Simon on Sgurr nan Conbhairean.
Sgurr nan Conbhairean [Munro 35, 1109m/3638ft]
Duncan on Sgurr nan Conbhairean [Munro 35, 1109m/3638ft]. Okay, so I didn't notice that I had the buff on upside down.
Back towards Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Looking back towards Sgurr nan Conbhairean. The trek to Sail Chaorainn involves dropping down to 914m and then back. We would contour the Sgurr to the right of this shot on our way to that night's pitch.
Coire nan Lochan Uaine
Dropping down below the cloudmass opened up enticing views, like this one of Coire nan Lochan Uaine.
Sail Chaorainn [Munro 36, 1002m/3287ft]
Duncan on Sail Chaorainn [Munro 36, 1002m/3287ft]. We passed a chap who described the route to the Munro as being past here and with a bit of a "down and up" section. We reckoned he'd overshot. The gps came in handy, though the altimeter was being fooled on occasions by the cliffs. 7m accuracy on a ridge can be a bit lower than the path.
Around Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Heading back to Sgurr nan Conbhairean from the third and final Munro of the day. We would contour round the Sgurr.
Allt nan Lochan Uaine
Contouring lower from Sgurr nan Conbhairean opened some great views. Here, Allt nan Lochan Uaine.
Gorm Lochan
And, Gorm Lochan, concealed from below by the corrie lip.
Drochaid an Tuill Easaich
Walking over Drochaid an Tuill Easaich with A'Chralaig beyond and a bealach in between.
Sail Chaorainn in cloud
Sail Chaorainn in cloud, showing what we had walked through. We pitched by an unnamed lochan, which I wanted to name lochan nan doirbeag as it was home to the wee things. I even had one swimming in my hydration sack before releasing Nemo back to the wild. It might explain the cats - named on the map, but missing from view. Cup of tea, dinner, snacks and listened to the news, relaying information about the flooding to Simon's tent. BBC Scotland then had a piping show, starting with "The Cameronian Rant" - threatening to put this on the radio's speaker rather than earpiece, we joked about cairns, wind factories, pylons and other topics in the tune.
We had trekked 14km and were camping at 890m altitude. Four Munros in 48 hours and two more on Sunday, hopefully. I went to sleep trying not to worry about words like exposed, airy, interesting, pinnacles. At least I wasn't thinking about paperwork.


John Hee said...

.........and where the dusky maiden pixs then?

AktoMan said...

No photos, John, I was busy driving. Simon, and possibly Iain, could back me up that I wasn't dreaming it.

Simon said...

No, Duncan wasn't dreaming. Or perhaps he was. He did three round trips to ferry them all. When I offered some of them a lift they perfered to walk. But accepted his offer when he went back for them. Now you've seen our pictures, wwhat has Duncan got to offer that I haven't?

AktoMan said...

Size matters.