Total climbing: 1374 m
Total Time: 10:18:52
8.18 – Blair Castle
We left the cottage at 8.10 am in glorious weather.
We cycled past Blair Castle, and the familiar deer stared at us for a while.
As we cycled on, the weather got very mixed and soon it started to snow. Then we got hail.
We saw a white-tailed deer around here, and a mountain hare later on.
There were plenty of grouse everywhere, and we also saw a male pheasant and some small pretty birds.
11.24 – The Allt Scheicheachen bothy
We cycled all the way to the Allt Scheicheachen bothy, and got there just after 10.30.
It’s an MBA bothy with two rooms. The one on the left has a fireplace, a table, plenty of chairs, and two wooden “beds”.
The second room is large enough to leave the bicycles and panniers.
This bothy is the same one we tried to see from above on a previous trip. But it wasn’t quite where we thought, that’s why we couldn’t find it then.
Simon ate something at the bothy. We then put all our warm clothes on, locked Liath and Mounty to the panniers, and letf the bothy at 11.25.
11.25 – View of the burn from the bothy
Next to the bothy there is this burn. It looked beautiful when the sun came out.
12.02 – At a crossroads
The weather was often very sunny, but we also got a lot of snow. On and off, there was tiny painful hail blowing from our left.
12.16 – Panoramic view from ???
We had sandwiches before the summit, while the weather kept turning every five or ten minutes.
12.46 – View of Beinn Dearg 14 minutes before reaching the summit
There was a constant, very strong north wind as we climbed. I fell to the ground a few times because of it, but we weren’t going to abandon our adventure so easily.
12.46 – Looking down at the path we had climbed
There was some snow on the ground. Alas, not enough to use the crampons. We’ll have to wait till the Autumn to use them again.
13.48 – Close to the summit
It got very rocky for the last twelve minutes.
13.48 – Looking down, from near the summit
Soon before reaching the top I lost my hat. The wind just took it away.
But I was soon reunited with it when Simon managed to rescue it after it got trapped in the rocks.
14.04 – Simon, conquering the summit. Did he see it?
We reached the summit at 14.00 and stayed there for about ten minutes.
According to the weather forecast, the wind reached 50 mph with gusts of 70 mph. And it felt that way.
15.09 – Simon enjoying the blizzard
On the way down we used the poles, partly in compensation for not having been able to use the crampons.
Also, at times the path was very narrow, and there was ice here and there.
15.15 – Maria, six minutes later in full sunshine
As one could guess, I was wearing four layers at the the top and three at the bottom. I’m not sure why I was wearing sunblock.
15.15 – Maria, hoping MI5 doesn’t see this picture
I felt warm and cozy all day. I’m glad I didn’t lose my hat to the elements.
My phone misbehaved after this photo and couldn’t use it anymore.
The wind slowed down as we descended, but the temperature was very low all day. However, neither of us was cold all day, due to the multiple layers.
We got back to the bothy at 16.20.
We stayed at the bothy for an hour. We had soup, the last sandwich and some cake.
When we left, it had started to hail again, but soon the sun came out and most of the ride back was in beautiful sunshine. The weather had settled, and it was beautiful riding through the forest and the Blair Castle grounds.
We got home at 18.34, after going past the Spar shop that I thought should be open, but wasn’t.
We didn’t see anyone all day until we reached Blair Castle. On the castle grounds we saw lots of tiny lambs, and also the familiar white horses and deer.
All in all, it took us 2.5 hours to climb Beinn Dearg from the bothy. And about two hours to descend.
The ride back home was only 1 1/4 hours, mostly downhill.
It was a wonderful day and a great experience.
When we cycled past Diana’s grove, in Blair Castle, there was a sign saying it was closed, due to high winds.
Well, the wind didn’t defeat us!