Friday, 4 May 2012

Above the clouds on the Buachaille (posted by James)

Breaking through the clouds, heading towards North Buttress

Another day, another memorable experience in the mountains! What a week I have had….almost unbroken sunshine since sunday, a rare blessing in the low-pressure dominated Highland climate.

Unfortunately for me it has coincided with a very busy week at work with little spare time. I've been in a state of permanent fatigue since about tuesday but there's no way I was going to let work get in the way of me enjoying one of the few periods of good weather we are treated to each summer. I've been busy, to say the least.

That having been said, on thursday morning I had planned a bit of sleep, tired from my climbs on Aonach Dubh plus a draining shift on wednesday, and the day before, and the day before….

But at 7am, I was woken by bright sunshine shining through my window. I peeked out the was already warm. A thought stirred in my head. It had been a scorcher on wednesday, followed by a cold night, and now warm again….there was a good chance of that most magical of things, a cloud inversion.

A cloud sheet where Rannoch Moor should be

Despite aching pretty much everywhere it didn't take much effort to drag myself out of bed and head towards the Buachaille to see if I would be in luck. As I reached the Meeting of the Three Waters I drove into a bank of fog, a promising sign. I nosed my way up to the start of North Buttress and started climbing through the fog.

North Buttress

My instincts had been correct. Very soon I climbed above through the gloom and into the bright sunshine above, and I was treated to the experience of looking down on a huge sheet of cloud covering the entirety of Rannoch Moor. 

Sgurr Eilde Mor over the cloud

Schiehallion in the distance, always the landmark, Ben Nevis to the North towering above everything else, Meall a'Bhuiridh being tickled by wisps of cloud…. there is nothing quite like a cloud inversion.

The Blackmount above the cloud

It felt tiring, climbing the familiar crux chimneys of North Buttress and then running from the summit down Coire na Tulaich. But my tired muscles didn't seem to matter anymore, it had been yet another brilliant day during a memorable week.

The weather has changed today, so now to rest and try and catch up with some ordinary day-to-day life stuff. Hillwalking and running next week I think, until the next high pressure arrives.


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