Redwings and ravens in the Red Cuillin

Sun, Nov 8, 2015

Sgurr nan Gillean

“It’s a bog”, I said, in response to Graeme’s “should I wear gaiters” question and here we were, up to our necks in glour and gloop. The path from Sligachan starts off good but as soon as you branch off into the trees it becomes a quagmire until you get to the bottom of Druim na Ruaige.

Well it’s a bit of an exaggeration really but it is very very boggy and we went in up to our bahookies a few times before reaching the safety of the ridge. All that solid granite of the Red Cuillin has to drain somewhere.

The ridge is a superb walk up the side of Am Fuar Choire (the cold corrie) and the light on the Black Cuillin was stunning as the clouds came and went.

Sgurr nan Gillean under black clouds

There were a few discussion about the best way back as the descent to Bealach na Sgairde is notorious scree but not as bad as the Glamaig side.

Discussing the route, Red Cuilin

Our first objective was Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach though and the wonderful views of the Cuillin mountains across the glen.

Red Cuillin mountaineers with the Black Cuillin behind

Sun bursts through the clouds over the Black Cuillin

Lots of banter about the good old days along the ridge and the steep ascent of Beinn Dearg Mhor.

Beinn Dearg Mhor from Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach

And my old friend Blaven seen from a new angle.

Blaven hunkering down under ominous clouds

The light was both harsh and soft depending which way you looked but it just felt black and white and I sort of knew what the pictures would look like. The detail in the clouds and the landscape speaking softly to me.

Blaven from Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach

Beinn Dearg Mhor from Beinn Dearg Mheadhonach

A flock of chittering redwings followed us along the ridge while off in the distance two ravens cronked at each other as a rainbow drifted lazily across the prehistoric Storr landscape on the horizon. I wondered if they were my old pals from Blaven come to say hello. A lone ptarmigam took off from the summit of Beinn Dearg Mhor just I got there and glided round in full circle, making me dizzy watching her before her white undersides swooped deep into the corrie.

Sunshine coming onto the Black Cuillin

A scree run down to Bealach na Sgairde and a fine romp back along Teanga Mhor, back across the bogs in the dark as the heavens opened and the rain began in earnest.

It was a grand day out with old friends.

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