Forecasted 'substantially dry', despite low cloud, and with temps. of 4c on the summit, it wasn't THAT bad....but it rained pretty much all day, heavily. And the wind strengthened on the last summit to 40mph+ just to add to the pleasure. There was almost no lying snow at all, and the terrain was pathless and very boggy. Grand.
The plan was for Sgiath Chuil first, from the track to the top of the huge hydro water pipe and up the ridge. Almost immediately my heels started to feel sore. I was wearing some boots I had gotten from a friend, as he couldn't get on with them, and they had a lot of wear left in them - They made his heels sore apparently! Thankfully I had a good supply of zinc oxide tape, and taped them good and proper. The boots (Meindls) have a raised seam behind the lining of the heel, a very poor design. Shame we haven't a receipt, or else they'd be sent back.
The summit was shrouded in mist and didn't invite a lingering lunch, so I dropped steeply down to the boggy bealach at 600m, and following my nose, back up equally steeply to just south of the summit of Beinn Cheataich. I must admit to being pleased with my dead reckoning in the featureless terrain so very different to the hill walker who did them all those years ago, who would have found today very challenging!
I could then follow a faint path to Meall Glas and back. As I approached the summit cairn, I couldn't believe there was someone else there. Not only that, they were sitting atop the cairn, apparently looking at a map, in that wind! As I got nearer, I was just about to call out, and realised it was just the rocks forming the figure. Look at my photo, and see what you think?
It really did feel like the old days, out on the hills in awful weather alone in the middle of the week. I felt quite nostalgic, but also felt my added years and bad chest, so was happy to get below the cloud. My last obstacle was the fording of the river at Lubchurran, as the bridge marked on the OS isn't there anymore. I knew this, hence why I went up via the water pipe track. It wasn't too deep, and I got away no wetter than I was after 6hrs of bog-trotting really.
Today was one of those days where you really question your motivation - I mean, look at the pics...not exactly inspiring eh? But that's how you build your resilience, your fitness and your experience, and how you make the good days even better. And it's how you tick the munros. And by heck, the shower, meal and pint are all the sweeter when you get home :)