Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Walk

On Christmas morning we set off to climb Meall an Tarmachain, ptarmigan hill, one of the higher points on West Ardnamurchan and one which offers great all-round views.  The weather forecast had been for a clear, frosty morning with little wind but, in the event, there was no frost, and the biggest problem turned out to be low mist which was blowing in from the east.

We set off along the track that leads from the Kilchoan-Sanna road to the Kilchoan waterworks, heading past it along the banks on the Abhainn Chro Bheinn - a name which seems to mean the river of the sheepfold hill - until....

....we came to a tributary which joined it from the north, which we followed up a steep section with several pretty waterfalls until we came out into open, boggy land, in which lies the burn's tributary....

....this little lochan, Lochan a' Choire Chruinn, which means something like the lochan of the crown corrie.  Tucked into its little glen, the waters of the lochan were like mirrors.

From it, we could just about see the summit of Meall an Tarmachain some 200m above us, but the mist that was still rolling in made us think twice before climbing higher.

We were glad we did venture upwards as the mist cleared and we were treated to fine views - this one looks northwest across the hills around Sanna towards Muck and, beyond it, Rum on the right and the flat land of Canna along the horizon to the left.

This was the view looking slightly more to the west, along the ridge which we had followed, with Lochan a Choire Chruinn far below us, while....

....this looks to the southwest, almost back the way we had come, towards the Sound of Mull and the flat land around Kilchoan, with the mist still lingering in places.

We made our way back to the car by dropping down the east side of the hill until we hit the Estate fence, and following it south until we were back on the Abhainn Chro Bheinn.  By this time we'd been out three hours and, as Mrs Diary commented, had broken a record - the latest we'd ever managed on a Christmas day without having a celebratory drink.  We made up for it.

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