My luck had finally run out. Every other walk report I had posted had been adorned with blue skies and fantastic views. Not this time, what follows is my less libidinous version of 50 Shades of Grey. I could have achieved the same result by sticking my head in an empty filing cabinet for 8 hours
Following the Walk Highlands route we quickly arrived at the wooden hut marking the start of the approach path to today's first Munro, Carn Liath. What the description did not state was just how boggy the approach was. I rapidly began to regret the 'school boy error' to leave my gaiters in the house The path up the mountain is quite distinct, very, very steep and scree like. As we gained height we quickly lost any views back towards Loch Moraig, it was clear that we were not going to be rewarded with great views from the first summit of the day. The forecast from MWIS indicated that the cloud base would be around 700m, with strong winds gusting to 45mph...they were correct. What they were less accurate about was that the cloud would lift as the day wore on....unless of course by 'lift' they meant 'thicken'
Around 90 mins saw the the trig point loom into view, we quickly skirted by it and headed for the summit cairn and a bit of the shelter from the increasing strength of the wind.
Strangely the extremely poor visibility made the navigation across the meandering ridge fairly straightforward. It's hard to describe but basically when heading along the ridge correctly you could see the darker shape of the ground in front of you, whilst an incorrect bearing meant you were heading towards the distinctly lighter grey of the clag and eventually of the edge of the ridge. It was almost like the buffers on the kids 10 pin bowling lanes.....I know I did say it was hard to explain ! This circumstance actually did cause us a slight problem which I'll allude to later.
It wasn't long before we reached the bealach and began another steep climb toward BCCB's summit cairn. Here the conditions had deteriorated badly. The wind was extremely strong, although it was not raining we were getting quite wet due to the moisture in the air. We managed to find a little shelter for some refuelling, no mean feat given the relatively small cairn.
Again the area around this summit was covered in large irregular shaped boulders which made progress quite slow. It occured to me that given the distance back to the car I couldn't think of many places where I would less like to go over on my ankle, and that given the conditions and terrain I couldn't think of many places where it would be more likely !! We eventually cleared the boulders and followed the intermittent path toward and off the nose of the ridge. The descent is very steep and quite boggy back down into the glen.