I first wandered up the long track toward Beinn Dearg a year ago, when Daffy insisted we leave it at an early stage and clamber up through snow-covered heather onto a large rounded ridge which seemed to go on forever before finally nearing the summit of Eididh nan Clach Geala. Fortunately no such deviations were ordered this year, which was just as well since I was on strangely good form viz-a-viz walking, and enjoyed setting a pace up the stream-crossed path until it eventually disappeared, at which point I reverted to my more familiar snail’s pace.
I’m always intensely pissed off when I reach some semi-remote location only to discover that not only have countless people been there before me, but they’ve also erected a plaque, built a restaurant, or undertaken some similar task. Well, Beinn Dearg boasts a dry-stone wall close to it’s summit, the reason for which totally evades me.
Just as I was considering the wall that stood mockingly before me, a Tornado (the plane, not the weather phenomenon) shot past beneath us, a short distance away, which was quite a spectacular sight, and brought home how much height we had gained.
The wall soon disappeared under a layer of ice-covered snow, and it became necessary to don the crampons which I’d been kindly lent by Fiona (cheers, Fi!). Although we easily reached the plateau a few minutes later, finding the actual summit cairn was more than a litle tricky due to the density of the mist up there.