Inverlael Gully (II*), Beinn Dearg
There's a particular moment on the road near Loch Glascarnoch when An Teallach suddenly comes into view. Always a pang of excitement…you know are you are about to enter the incomparable landscape of the far North.
Despite temptation, I try to limit my number of visits to this incredible area of wild land. There's a certain aura surrounding the whole place which I love, and by going there only occasionally I've maintained a sense of mystery and unfamiliarity which leaves me feeling almost like I've visited another country when I return home to Glencoe.
First light on An Teallach
Despite having climbed on 10 new cliffs this winter, none of my routes had ended on a new summit for me. Beinn Dearg has a legendary place in Scottish winter climbing…I'd never climbed there, or stood on its top, so that is where I found myself this morning after a pre-4am departure from Glencoe.
Cadh' an Amadain
Looking towards the sea from Inverlael Gully
Beinn Dearg's West Buttress. Inverlael Gully is the deep gully on the right.The extent of the wild land that can be seen from the summit of Beinn Dearg is quite amazing. Torridon's noble outline is made even more outstanding by the fact that it is framed by the Fainnichs and An Teallach, and as for the wilderness beyond Seana Bhraigh…how many people ever tread there?
A view of views towards Torridon
Today was my 30th winter route of the season. I've long stopped expecting each one to be my last of the year and just let 'em come. What an amazing winter.