Monday, 4 January 2016

Lonely Monadhliath

Today was still a Public Holiday north of the border. You wouldn't have known it---once away from the car area we saw nobody all day. Plenty of deer, hare and ptarmigan though. To be fair, a cursory glance at the weather forecast this morning may have made even the determined roll over for another 40 winks.....gale force winds, 0% chance of cloud-free Munros, and blizzards. Hmmm. Deeper in the forecast was some more detail though---that the hills west of the A9 such as the Monadhliath would remain predominantly dry with higher cloud bases. And so it faired...thank you MWIS! Even the wind wasn't much of a problem. We climbed Carn Dearg 945m from Glen Banchor above Newtonmore. We biked up the glen and then up the track alongside the Allt Fionndrigh before switching to walking mode to head over into Gleann Ballach and thus onto the summit. We weren't expecting much snow, and there was none to be had until around the 800m mark, when there were fairly hefty patches of mostly old snow, requiring some step-kicking. A late start meant we were chasing the gloaming as we wheeled easily back to the car. A great day out!

Biking up
Up the glen

Some tramping

Taking a breather

At the snowline

Spot the ptarmigan?

Booting up

Moody view across to Lochaber

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