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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Day 8. Tuesday 28th April

Beinn Domhnaill - NH 679 967 and Creag a'Gobhair - NH 655 939

From track south shore of Loch Buidhe - NH 661 983

and from Clashcoig - NH 639 940

Being solo on a trip/holiday like this does give me freedom. Last night I had talked myself into having a rest day, but on awakening to glorious weather and feeling that sleep had given me sufficient rest, I decided to set off, but only with the intention of climbing the first of the above Marilyns.

Back at the car after that ascent it was still only 12:00. I had pre-plotted all the Marilyns in this area on iPad Memory Map and it was only then that I scanned to see if there was another modest ascent nearby. I was away again on a ten minute drive to number two. It is difficult to explain, but I sort of rebel against planning, and I find satisfaction in this kind of free-flowing decision making based on my own experience and whims.

These two Ms were a bit nondescript, well relatively; what a joy it is to be back in Scotland with good weather and remote and diverse hills. When I step outside the car here at some remote spot and take a deep breath something powerfully invigorating happens to my being, "...I get no kick from champagne, mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all..."

The terrain is hard going with hardly a footpath, but that adds to the sense of wildness - it is not for the faint hearted and navigation skills are constantly put to the test. Finding that featureless point in the edge of a forest where you emerged onto the hillside on the ascent when you are returning is a source of satisfaction and perhaps smugness, but if you mess it up there is only you who knows and you can choose whether to find your own way of dealing with the humiliation, or maybe use it as a self deprecatory post on the blog.

Yesterday I had ascended the first kilometre on a track before striking onto the hill from its terminus. On the return I had to use a compass bearing to find the end of the track again and despite it being a sizeable feature in the landscape it was not visible until I was within twenty yards.

Including Burnhope Seat which I climbed on the way on my first day I have not seen a single person on nine hills. I am not saying that is good or bad, but from memory that must be some kind of record for me. I don't mind meeting people now and again but in larger numbers the attraction for me of remoteness and peace and quiet is spoilt. Walking on a lowland backpacking trip is a different kind of experience altogether.

Just for the record - from the summit of Beinn Domhnaill

From Creag a'Gobhar. I think this zoom shows Sron Gharbh and Scaraben

Summit of Creag 'a Gobhair

From Creag 'a Gobhair


A NOTE TO FELLOW BLOGGERS: Posting comments on blogs is a problem with the kind of signal I have most of the time, but I am more easily able to read your posts, and rest assured I am doing that. Will try to catch up later.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Gayle said...

It's sounding like an excellent trip so far.

I'm just about to start plotting a set of Scottish Marilyns myself, from which I can pick and choose whilst in Scotland over the next couple of weeks (I'm taking Mick up for the TGO Challenge in the middle of next week and then have 10 days free before I head over to Challenge Control).

gimmer said...

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