Thursday, 5 February 2015

A Walk in the Snow

We drove east a mile out of Kilchoan and, leaving the car at the first bend, crossed the Allt Choire Mhuillinn onto Ardnamurchan Estate land with the intention of following the old road out of the village which passes through the gap to the left of Beinn na-Urchrach (pictured) and rejoins the present road near the new track to the wind turbine at Beinn Buidhe.  Lying snow isn't so common here that we're used to walking in it, so the crisp feel of it underfoot made a pleasant change.

Looking back towards Kilchoan one could see the effect of the warm sea on the amount of lying snow, and the way the snow line rose towards the west.  Mull lies across the Sound to the left, the hill to the right is Glas Bheinn, and the snowy peak beyond it is Beinn na Seilg.

From further up the track we looked across the wide glen of the Allt Choire Mhuilinn to the snow-capped peak of Meall an Tarmachain.  The single house visible beyond the field comprises the present settlement of Caim.

To the north across the same glen we had good views of West Ardnamurchan's second highest peak, Meall nan Con.  All this would have been so much more beautiful if the sun had come out, but it must have exhausted itself in yesterday's sunrise.

 Wildlife becomes very visible in the snow.  We saw a number of stags of different ages....

....the tracks of what we took to be an otter....

....and, very visible in the snow, the recently excavated soil from the tunnelling activities of moles.  The groupings of molehills are often widely spaced, which raises the question of how they managed to spread out across this area of very open rough grassland.

We turned towards the coast and made our way back to the car along the low ridge that parallels it. This gave us views down onto Mingary Castle and across to Mingary Pier, where the Tobermory ferry can be seen at the slipway.

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