Friday, 21 August 2015

The Source of the Allt Fascadale

What makes dull, wet weather - of which we've had far too much this summer - even more depressing is when both the BBC and YrNo forecast a lovely morning and bright sunshine, encouraging us to go out into the wilds of West Ardnamurchan and walk, and then it rains; and rains. So this is a photograph of the three Ardnamurchan Estate houses at Fascadale in this morning's sunshine and blue skies, looking across the Minches to Eigg and Rum (lost in sunshine).
I can't walk without some sort of objective, so today's was to reach the source of the very pretty (especially in the sunshine) glen of the Allt Fascadale. The burn drops down the hillside fairly quickly, cutting a steep-sided gorge in places, so working our way up it, particularly as there was a force 4 southerly headwind blowing cold sunshine into our faces, was hard going, relieved when we stopped to watch two eagles - their tails suggested sea eagles.

By about half-past eleven, when we were supposed to be in brilliant, wall-to-wall sunshine, the first gaps appeared in the clouds, but any patches of sunlight were sent racing across the hillsides by the wind. Looking up, one could see three layers of cloud, a high cirrus which had large gaps in it, a mid-level cumulus which had fewer gaps, and a....

....low level murk out of which the rain was falling, which only sat, like a grey blanket, on Ardnamurchan and Rum

However, it was worth persisting, as the murk began to clear and the gaps in the cumulus to open up, so the moments of sunshine became longer, until the top of the glen was picked out, as if by a searchlight in the gloom. It was good too when the rain began to ease.

After an hour and a half's walking we looked over the watershed and down the open glen of the Allt Rath a' Bheulain, with almost exactly the same view towards Ben Hiant and the Sound of Mull as when we were climbing Meall nan Con on Monday.

By this time we had about 80% sunshine, warm, cheering sunshine which lit up the glen of the Allt Fascadale and turned the sea beyond to Caribbean blue.

Throughout the walk we were watched, perhaps with some amusement, by a small herd of red deer hinds with this year's young. As can be seen, by this time the BBC and YrNo were finally right.

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