It’s Wednesday, so… I’m up a mountain?
I’m on holiday in Scotland. After practicing on the Alps, the Scottish mountains
seem to have shrunk, so I’m now walking up all the mountains from my childhood
which I never climbed because they were too scary.
Today: Fuar Tholl, known locally as Wellington’s Nose, and Sgurr Ruadh. Total
ascent: 1300m. Total horizontal distance: 24km. Time: 6h45m. The two mountains
are only 907m and 962m respectively, which makes them Corbetts by Britain’s
baroque mountain classification scheme, but they’re both extremely impressive
and with more technical bits than I was expecting. Outstanding views, of course
— this is Scotland, after all…
This time I remembered to put on sunblock. Shame I’m still sore from Sunday’s
dose of sunburn.
Near the summit of Fuar Tholl, looking west. Loch Carron (a sea loch) is on the left; to the right, the summit ridge curves round into the great Mainreachan Buttress.
In the bealach between the two mountains looking east. It's a rocky, lumpy place with the barest skim of soil of the stone. Every little hollow fills with water. The shoulder of Sgurr Ruadh starts on the left; in the distance, Liath Mhor rises. Only the biggest of the lochans have names. The one on the left is Loch a' Bealach Mhòir, which, disappointingly, means 'Loch in the big mountain pass'.
Near the top of Sgurr Ruadh, looking west. Loch Carron is on the left; Loch Torridon on the right; both are sea lochs. In the centre is Maol Chean-dearg, which one day I will climb. The distant mountains on the horizon are on Skye.
Looking north-west from Sgurr Ruadh. Loch Torridon is on the right, and you can see part of the Torridon range of mountains, which are some of the most impressive in Scotland. In the foreground, you can see my path, which goes over the brow of the hill and then vanishes completely. Which is convenient.
Looking north east from Sgurr Ruadh, down into Coire Lair. I have to get down there, somehow. The far mountains are the Torridons.
After descending from the summit, this is Coire Lair, which lies between Sgurr Ruadh and Liath Mhor to the north. Even just walking up the path is impressive. The buttress in the distant right is Academy Ridge, which has to be a name with a story behind it.