We walked into the farm at Kernsary then through a muddy forest trail onto the open moorland then worked our way for a further seven miles to the secluded bothy at Carnmore in the middle of the last wilderness in the UK. The weather at this point was fair but low cloud was shrouding the hills but the forecast was for an improving picture during the day.
Not that it was uppermost in my thoughts on this day it was quite good for birds, with Black and Red-throated Diver seen plus lots of Dipper and a Cuckoo being fed by couple of Meadow Pipits.
We crossed a man made causeway across the Dubh Loch then started a ascent on a good stalkers path until we reached the stream flowing out of Lochan Feith Mhic-illean. Unfortunately due to yesterdays heavy rain this was in spate and we had to remove our boots and wade across!
We then climbed to the col at 750 metres between our two final hills, it had taken over five hours to get this far and the cloud showed no sign in lifting. We then started to follow the path south-west up the slopes of A’ Mhaighdean and 40 minutes later we were standing by a cairn with another cairn 30 yards away. Neither were substantial and I was not happy, visibility was really poor so I headed off 400 yards to north-east to make sure we were in the right place, the ridge just fell away, I went the other way and it also dropped away. The others were convinced we were at the summit – I wasn’t entirely happy but well you can’t loose a summit can you!
|On top of Ruadh Stac Mor looking a little chuffed, 10 minutes later it was a different story!|
|Ruadh Stac Mor|
|The view from the summit of Ruadh Stac Mor|
Emotionally I am quite stable but I have never had them switch from elation to disappointment quite so quickly. What a cock-up! The look on the faces of the others when I pointed out that we had to climb A’Mhaighdean again was something else, Colin’s face resembled a startled Pollock! Joy nearly ripped my head of my shoulders pulling the binoculars to her eyes. The Munro’s were having a final laugh at our expense!
Surprisingly the climb back up A’ Mhaighdean wasn’t that bad and when we got there we realised what had happened we had just carried on climbing until we stopped whilst a faint path snaked off to the north-west. However, when we got there this time in contrast to 90 minutes earlier the views were absolutely stunning. I would be lying if it wasn’t an anti-climax and there was none of the emotion of earlier but in a strange way it was more satisfying. By now it was just after 3pm and we made our way back down to the col, half way down Joy just screamed out “Yes, we’ve done it!”
|A’Mhaighdean with summit centre left and where we were the first time centre right!|
|The view from the summit of A’ Mhaighdean|
|Ruadh Stac Mor & A’ Mhaighdean in the late evening sunshine. (They are about three hours away)|