Saturday 7th November 2020
“There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” -Percy Bysshe Shelley
Some people love the summertime, others love the cold of the winter. More than anything though, I love the changing of the seasons in general. It really doesn’t matter from what season to another, what I love is watching the natural environment change and transform. Right now I am loving Autumn, the colours of the trees being the biggest attraction!
Today we were being told that we were getting a break from the wet and windy conditions we have had of late. “One hundred percent cloud free Munros” – I don’t think I have ever saw that before 100% cloud free Munros!
So we were up and away early driving out the village surrounded by thick mist. We drove for around an hour through this thick mist and then suddenly we were hit with piercing blue skies….just like that…we were in a whole new world!
As the sun shone on the trees they glowed. There were leaves of brilliant yellow, bright orange and subtle red tainted slightly by the brown crispness of late autumn. Autumn leaf colours are mesmerising.
We parked the car and began our hill walk in full shineshine….with no jacket on….in November….in Scotland!
We were going to be undertaking two Munros today Beinn Udlamain and A’Mharconaich. These Munros could probably be classed more as ‘hills’ rather than true mountains. They are very accessible and easy enough to summit as the terrain is pretty straight forward…however on clear days views are said to be amazing.
Today was a great day to be summiting these Munros!
Firstly we were heading up to Beinn Udlamain, the highest of the four mountains on the west side of the Drumochter Pass. The most common interpretation of the mountain’s name from the Gaelic language is “Gloomy Mountain”…today it was certainly not living up to its name!
We started off on a land rover track which took us most of the way up to the bealach.
From here we headed up some steeper ground before heading off to the right which would take us upwards to the broad summit of Beinn Udlamain.
Views were pretty spectacular of Ben Alder and across Loch Ericht, infact we could see mountains full circle.
Conditions were so amazing that we decided to picnic at the top of this Munro, enjoying the calm, the sunshine and the panorama..it was pretty special.
From here we headed back along the track we had came which would lead us to the bottom of the bealach which we needed to cross to join on to a minor track that started to climb uphill over grass onto the wide, wind-swept crest of A’Mharconaich.
We were met with two small cairns, the first being the summit, the second a small shelter to escape westerly winds…today was still.
From this summit we were once again rewarded with great views over Loch Ericht to the Ben Alder group and beyond.
After admiring the views and enjoying the conditions we headed back downwards through a pretty straightforward route which turned slightly boggy and wet nearer the end.
Today was a nice short and pleasent hill walking day and we were back off the hills by 2.30pm…a short day by our standards but nonetheless great to be outdoors, surrounded by nothing other than nature – true perfection!