The morning was simply beautiful. Still, warm and fragrant with the gorse in bloom in earnest. We made the drive along to the Mullardoch dam from Cannich, and joined a boat full of folks who were being dropped off at various points around the loch. It was idyllic to be whizzing across the millpond-like surface, knowing all the effort it was saving, with the mountains all around, still sporting some fair old snow patches.
We were aiming for An Socach and An Riabhachan, and Angus dropped us and a couple of others just past the narrowing of the loch, so we made a rising traverse onto An Socach's SE ridge. We noticed quite quickly that there were ticks on our clothes as we passed through the nascent bracken, and I mentioned it to a few of the folk I saw in shorts. Watch out!
It was incredibly hot work ascending, with my thermometer reading never less than 24c, and up to 30 c in the coire out of the breeze! There was also the largets hatching of mayfly that I have ever seen, and they plagued us almost to the top. Tickly but benign little beasties. We played leap frog with a chap who kept resting in the heat, and had a good chat with him on the first summit. He was tired, but planning all four munros. We aimed to descend after the second one, and even that one Gordon wasn't sure if he had not done it before, but we wanted to be safe, not sorry, so bagged it.
The steep grassy descent into the Gairbh Coire would have been very tricky if wet, but it was as dry as a stick, so we made steady progress down to the burn, and then picked up a very rough track back down to the stalker's building at the loch side, where Angus was waiting for us. It was great relief to get on the water and get a breeze in our face, let alone the ease of getting back to the dam.
We flew around the route in a very respectable 6hrs, but it's fair to say the heat took its toll. Not many munros left now Gordon...... :)