Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ben Hiant

For once my planned alpine start went to plan. Instead of just saying I was going to get up early on my day off, I actually had to do it as I was meeting folk at the other end. I might get into the habit of it too as my drive up the usual A82 was clear and uneventful for a change. I ended up making such good time that I had time for a wee catnap in the motor while the Corran Ferry trundled back and forth.

Gradually the inkiness of the night gave way to the weak light of the morning. There was no spectacular sunrise. The day kind of just crept or sidled in quietly leaving the world with a washed out pastel look. The ferry crossing was quick and the choppy breeze drove the sleep from my body. As I shouldered my pack and wandered up the slip, I spied Steve and Elaina through the window of their hotel. 5 minutes later with a coffee in hand I was catching up on all the gossip while we a made last minute decision on our route.

The clouds were on the move and clearing out nicely by the time rucksacks and arses were being temporarily installed in the the car. The drive to our start point was an interesting one thanks to the bonkers driving style of some locals and the fantastic views of rugged wee hills and remote coastline of Loch Sunart. When we arrived at the start point overlooking Camas nan Geall the decision to strip all extra winter kit from our pack was immediate and unanimous. The sun was out and we saw no sign of this cracking winter we've been having. We had driven past some snow capped peaks but there was none this far west. Pleasant enough in fact for everyone to be wandering along in just a base layer for most of the day.

Thirsty Coo's

Our route followed the coast for a bit until Port a Chamais which made for a nice change to the norm of just bashing straight uphill. I like following coastlines as there's often loads of junk that washes up and terrain that's worth scrambling over which add a bit of interest to a walk. Having some water in your photies also adds some depth and contrast that I find is missing from my usual pics which usually just consist of mountains with more mountains behind.

Skimming stones...honestly just before the shot was taken I had ones that bounced 6 or 7 times. As soon as the camera went on...SPLASH!

As we turned inland our pace was steady and the views behind us were stunning. The sun was doing some nice things in the distant clouds and gave a lot of my shots a nice atmospheric silhouette effect. As we came around Stallachan Dubha towards the bulk of Ben Hiant we came across a large herd of deer which split and ran off in 3 different directions. I even managed to get some of them to not look like brown rocks in the photies.

We stopped for a bite to eat before heading up the main slopes of the hill. There were 2 or 3 differing lines of ascent discussed but when we got onto the slope we realised that it wasn't as steep as it looked from the distance and just went straight up, the same way some of those deer had gone. The slope leveled out into a nicely sheltered wee spot with the hill rising to our left. I was taking note of this as a potential bivy or wildcamp spot as we started off again. 10 minutes later we reached the secondary top we were climbing and I was erasing that last spot from memory in favour of this new one.

The Lighthouse at the Point of Ardnamurchan.

For such a wee hill (528m) Ben Hiant has some very varied terrain with lot of ups down and wee hidden bits. It also has some pretty commanding views of the area. We could see out to Rum, Eig and even make out the snow on the ridge of the Cuillin on Skye. After many photies we dropped down from our false summit and pushed on up the last short slop to the Trig Pillar and Cairn and congratulated ourselves on conquering such a mighty wee hill.

After lingering for a while the thought of a pint of The Red Macgregor eventually pulled us down the first hill path we had seen all day towards the eastern side of the hill and the road back to the viewpoint we parked at.

A lone sheep

A great day oot.


  1. Crackin day wasn't it :-) Glad you came up and joined us

  2. When was this exactly?!?!?!

    There's a guy in shorts.....

  3. That last photie is especially awesome. Great!

  4. It really was good to let off some steam and have a laugh Elaina, when're we gooin oot next?

    Mcalisterium it really was at the weekend there, them Yorkshiremen are harder than you think!

    Cheers Ange, it was hard to whittle the photies down for the post I took so many. My favourite is the lonely sheep. It looks wy better full size, I need to look at my photo hosting so I can get my photo's to open up if you click on em. Anybody know how I can do it in photobucket? Yours does it Mcallisterium does it not?

  5. Yes, but that's all handled by Wordpress automatically, they host the images also.

  6. Why dont you just post a link to your folder in photobucket direct then folk can look at there leisure

  7. Hi Anonymous,

    I don't want to link to the whole album/folder just the picture on it's own. I'll experiment a little later but I'm beggining to think it's to do with the way I'm inserting the pic into the blog post.


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