Central Highlands - streapadair

Aonach Eagach and beyond, from Stob Coire nam Beith.

7pm, 07/09/91

~ I enjoy going up hills in the evening when normal people are coming down them, and I enjoy their reactions when we meet - surprise, concern, bafflement, curiosity, maybe even a pang of that envy which I always feel on the odd occasion when the boot is on the other foot, me descending and some other solitary eccentric heading upwards to see what secret wonders the night may bring.

And it was with high hopes (not entirely fulfilled) that I plodded up the Coire nam Beith path to an t-Sron and on to the Bidean, pegging out the Phoxhole a bit west of the summit. It was a serene sunny evening, with more than a hint of an impending inversion, and by the morning I think there probably was one.

Probably, because the cloud ceiling proved to be higher than the Bidean's 1150m. At times a shy pale sun disc would appear, or a scrap of eggshell-blue sky, and my hopes of a view would revive, but they all came to nothing.

At 9am I gave up in some disgust, and headed down the brutally steep SW slopes for Beinn Maol Chaluim, and then a second dose of vertical (if not overhanging) scree on the descent to the Bealach Fhionnghaill. The day still being fairly young, and the weather overcast but dry, I took in Sgor na h-Ulaidh and the reclusive Corbett of Meall Lighiche before returning by Gleann Leac na Muidhe.