“A lovely day for winter” – in summer

Ascent of Beinn Bhan 896m (2939ft), Applecross

On our drive over the Bealach na Ba we gazed across at the magnificent southern flanks of Beinn Bhan. It is a prominent hill, the largest by far on the Applecross peninsular, but is relatively untrodden since it is not a Munro – missing the ‘magic’ height of 914m by only 20 metres.

As I mentioned in a previous post Neil and I were enjoying a visit to Applecross to accompany our friend, Freddie and his mate who are backpacking coast to coast, Applecross to Beauly, by the high route. We spent Friday night at the well-appointed camp site in Applecross and decided to walk with them today as they took in Beinn Bhan before they headed east.
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Above Glen Dessary

We recently headed west again following a working day for Neil in Fort William. Heading along Loch Arkaig in the early evening, we’d forgotten just how long the loch is and just how much of a roller-coaster the road is and it was getting towards dusk when we were only half way along the loch. Nae worries; we found a wee corner to pull off the road and a wee bit of flattish grass to pitch the tent.

Loch Arkaig

Early the following morning the lighting was wonderful and gave more great views over the loch and to the hills in Locheil Forest, Glenfinnan and out towards Morar and Knoydart.
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Ice and snow in Strathconon

Beinn Mheadhoin, Strathconon

Mention Beinn Mheadhoin and most hillwalkers think of the Cairngroms and Loch Avon. But this is a smaller ‘middle hill’ (mheadhoin = middle) – a lovely wee Graham in Strathconon.

At 10pm at night I clicked on the weather forecast and saw sun predicted for my local area. Glorious sun all day. I quickly followed this by checking MWIS for Northwest Highlands and saw more sun. Sun, 90% chance of cloud-free Munros and little winds. Too perfect a forecast not to head to the hills. So without giving it too much thought I decided to return to Strathconon (having previously climbed Bac an Eich in November).
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Above Glen Carron on Moruisg

Moruisg

I’ve read several reports that say Moruisg is a boring hill – even the SMC Munros Guide calling it “not a very exciting mountain”. But I beg to differ. I think people who have called it boring have either got wet feet – it is very boggy – and fed up, or are mesmerised by it’s bigger, grander neighbours. Either way, I think it is a lovely hill, and like many smaller hills provides a great vantage point to view the larger neighbouring hills.

We tackled this in a day of clear blue skies and high temperatures and had a fairly easy day.
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Early summer in the Caledonian Pinewoods

Abhain Ruigh-eunachan burn, Glenmore
The typical riparian scene in the ancient Caledonian Pinewoods is a mixture of pine, silver birch, downy birch. alder and goat willow.

I’m revisiting the Scots Pine trees I mentioned ten days ago, to show the flowers again. A friend mentioned noticing the red blooms on the trees. These two pictures show how the male flowers are initially covered in red scales which protects the pollen. The red scales are now beginning to fall off and the yellow pollen can clearly be seen.
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