Saturday, 15 October 2011

Autumn in the wilds of Inverlael (posted by James)

Cona Mheall in striking morning sunshine

Anyone knowledgeable about the Scottish hills will know just how strong a reputation some of them have acquired.

Seana Bhraigh is a mountain with an almost mythical reputation - situated in the middle of the stunning Inverlael wilderness, it is often cited as the most remote Munro.

Seana Bhraigh - "The Old Height"

Early yesterday morning Jamie Bankhead and I started the long drive North to climb Seana Bhraigh and it's neighbour Eididh nan Clach Geala. As soon as we got to sunrise it was already shaping up to be a good day, with the brightest morning sky I've seen for a long time. It's been a dull autumn here so far, following a dull late-summer, and every moment of sunshine seems all the more valuable!

Amazing lighting during the morning drive up North

Just as we reached Aultguish we were treated to startling lighting - a low sun shining bright onto the hills with black clouds behind. That kind of lighting is always a photographer's dream, but added to the golden autumn hues all around and the sound of roaring stags, it was positively sublime.

Stac Pollaidh from Cadha Dearg

The walk itself was brilliant, and amongst the longest routes in Scotland for only two Munros. There is some very wild scenery to take in on the long haul to Seana Bhraigh - the huge corrie of Cadha Dearg being particularly striking.

An Teallach looking grand, seen from Eididh nan Clach Geala

And the view that reveals itself upon reaching the summit is awe-inspiring - An Teallach and the Fannaichs on one side, and the bizarre sky-line of Inverpolly on the other. Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, Ben Mor Coigach…..some of the very oldest mountains in the world.

The Inverpolly skyline - one of the oldest landscapes on Earth.

It seemed a very long way to continue to Eididh nan Clach Geala, and it was. But a landmark for Jamie B - his second to last Munro. A tiring day (7 hours driving and 28km walking) but a great day, in one of the finest places I've seen in Scotland.


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