Thursday, 11 September 2014

Creag an Airgid

Creag and Airgid, the silver crag, rises to the east of the Sanna road where it passes this rock, on which, over many years, people have placed a pile of stones.  The crag has an interesting history.  The 1518 battle of Creag an Airgid, in which the chief of the MacIains and his two older sons were killed, was the beginning of the end of Ardnamurchan's Clan MacIain - see the MacIain site here.  It's also said that, as drovers returned home after delivering their cattle to the market at Falkirk, it was beside this rock that they were paid - presumably in silver.

Certainly the crag itself isn't silver.  It's a gaunt hill, a bit of a dark lump sitting against yesterday's glorious weather, but it offers....

....superb views as one climbs it.  In this picture, the west side of the great ring dykes of the Ardnamurchan Tertiary ring complex is visible, with the Sanna road trailing away towards the sea.

Creag an Airgid has a slightly unusual cairn at its summit, being slightly asymmetric.  The dark hill immediately behind it is Beinn na h-Imeilte, with Meall Sanna away to the right.

From the top we walked roughly eastwards, along the high ground of the eastern section of the ring complex.  This is dissected by small burns which cut steep-sided glens, each offering slightly different views of the low land.

It's an empty place, populated by a few sheep and red deer, the latter disappearing as soon as they're spotted.  Our only constant companion was a raven which objected to our intrusion upon his privacy.

We stopped for a bite to eat on one of the many rounded rocks of the great eucrite, the variety of gabbro that forms the most prominent hills of the concentric ring dykes.  The sun was warm on our backs but the southeaster behind us had a chill edge to it, a remainder that autumn is upon us.  The only movement in this immense view was the occasional car on the road far below, and the slow passage of ships rounding Ardnamurchan Point.

We dropped down from the ridge to the low land in the centre of the ring dykes, following the headwaters of the Allt Uamha na Muice back to the road.

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