Sunday, 13 December 2015

White Heather

When we climbed Glas Bheinn this morning most of the heather, and a lot else, was white following a clear night and a hard frost.  We had left the car.... the entrance to the Water Works track near the fire station and walked first up Glebe Hill - in the foreground in this picture - from the top of which we had a good view of the fire station area and, standing above it, Beinn na Seilg.

From the summit of Glebe Hill we looked across the township of Ormsaigmore, its fields pale with frost. We wondered how many nights of frost it would take to cover the shallow lochan visible at centre with ice thick enough for the children to skate on.

We had left early in the hope that the sun would burn off the high cloud and give us an hour or two of sunshine before the frontal systems came in which are due to give us rain this evening, but the sky remained overcast. This is the view from the higher slopes of Glas Bheinn, looking down the Sound of Mull to the distinctive peak of Beinn Talaidh.

There are no less than four stone cairns scattered around the extensive and rather flat summit area of Glas Bheinn. This is the largest, sited nowhere near the highest point but on a low rock outcrop where it is visible to the communities below. The true summit is an inconspicuous grassy mound with an apology of a cairn near it.

The clouds may have refused to clear but at least they continued to produce interesting patterns as the morning wore on. This picture looks across the Sound to the highest ben on Mull, Ben More, with Tobermory Bay and Calve Island visible to the left.

We walked around the summit visiting this cairn last. Again, it is some distance from Glas Bheinn's highest point but overlooks the view to the west, along the centre of the peninsula with two lakes visible - Lochan an Aodainn by the Sonachan and, further away, Loch Grigadale - beyond which Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse can just be seen. The area of greenish grass in the right distance is Achosnich, with Beinn Bhuidhe behind it.

On the way down we passed three highlanders, all unconcerned by the sudden drop in temperature. They probably prefer the cold dry weather to the wet we've had over the past couple of weeks.

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