This was always going to be tough. Only 4 days after Liathach, and with mountain biking in Torridon and paddling the coast in between, the body still doesn’t know what’s hit it. And the weather has turned, after a glorious week of sunshine. When we arrive Beinn Dearg is only just visible above the mist and clouds, but the wind is already fierce and we consider it likely much stronger than the 50mph forecast.
It’s a long walk in, the terrain fairly easy and only a gentle incline. Not too boggy, the path is good. But, the top seems an unreachable distance away for at least the first 2 hours of walking. Even with the drizzle setting in its not hard to imagine how beautiful this valley would be on a calmer brighter day. Still the purple hue of thistle and heather warms the landscape, and contrasts against the lush green of the forest and valley. Waterfalls and streams weave their way down through the valley. There are frogs everywhere.
By the time we start the steeper climb up, the wind is howling and almost impossible to stand up in. Heads down and pretty much clinging to the rocks we decide to push on, with the promise that the stone wall will act as a windbreak. And then with no visability we literally crawl our way to the large cairn at the summit, completely reliant on the compass. It was pretty wet and the rock slippy, making the scramble at the top pretty challenging against the elements. One near miss (me slipping of a rock) and we make it. WILD!
It took a good 4 hours of battling against the wind to get up. Then not far off that getting back. It’s an easy enough descent but it feels like we’re never getting back. We spied a couple of bikes abandoned at the start of the climb, and thought enviously of these on the way back. Next time (and there will be one because we had to abandon the plan to take in all the tops) I will bike in. Oh and pick a less windy day maybe…..