I admit I’ve been very envious recently when several fellow runners (down south, no less!) were blogging about fun runs in the snow, and here I was – way up at 59°North – with not a spot of snow! Such a contrast to two winters ago. Yesterday we finally got a wee covering and I was determined I’d get out and enjoy it. Today I was lucky threefold: 1) eldest son was off work so I could get the use of his car (which is really my car, that he has on semi-permanent loan) 2) running son was free so he could accompany me (and carry the extra gear – map, compass, YakTrax) and 3) the sun was shining briefly during our run. We headed to Abriachan Community Woodland-a community-owned woodland high on the hills above Loch Ness.
We ran a 4.5km circuit starting in the coniferous forest that the community owners are slowly harvesting and replacing with native trees.
The path rises up quite steeply to the open moorland above the forest and leads to the summit of Carn na Leitire.
This gives superb views north over Loch Ness and west to the hills of Glen Strahfarrar, Glen Affric and beyond.
The fresh snow that had fallen yesterday afternoon had frozen a wee bit overnight and had just enough of a ‘bite’ to it that I didn’t need to wear the YakTrax that son was carrying for me.
There was only one other set of footprints leading to the summit and on the descent route I was running on untouched snow. This meant the snow had not become compacted and icy and felt safe to run on, although I had to ‘ca’ canny’ since I was wearing road running shoes, but plan to get trail shoes.
This return route followed the Great Glen Way footpath for about 1km, where it heads south and east to drop down to Drumnadrochit.
On the Great Glen Way looking to Strathfarrar.