Saturday, 9 January 2010

Auchtertyre Hill,Lochalsh.

Everyone else was heading for the Kintail hills and despite endless cajoling on my part I couldn`t get anyone interested in nipping over to Skye.Just as well.It started raining the minute I crossed the bridge.!

Called in at the chemist in Broadford to get some distilled water for my car battery.In the few minutes I was in the shop the rain stopped and it froze instantly turning the pavements into a skating rink.Nevertheless I took a chance and headed up the single track road up Glen Arroch hoping to bag Beinn na Seamraig and Ben Aslak from the 500 foot level.The rain progressively turned to big snowy flakes and bearing in mind Alistairs warning regarding the timing of the gritters hereabouts and my low profile tyres I turned round,not without difficulty,and inched my way back down to the main road and headed back to the mainland towards the better weather.

Auchtertyre Hill was now the objective.Foolishly,the lure of a 500 foot start up the Lochcarron road was enough to override my common sense with regard to the snow conditions.The only parking place was taken up by what looked the local stalkers truck and I had to return a mile or so back down to the road.

This meant that I now had to traverse Maol Beag and Meal Mor before reaching the Marilyn.Waist deep snow in the drifts between the hills had me cursing but once Auchtertyre came into sight I knew I had it licked as a nice ridge climbed steadily up to the summit and looked like I could link up a few snow blown rocky patches.And so it proved.1 1/2 miles roughly and 1,300 feet of ascent took nearly 3 hours.

Although the weather was good in general it seemed to be a matter of chance as to how lucky you were.There were other club parties on A`Ghlas Bheinn and the Five Sisters whose day was blighted by cloud and deep snow whilst a mile or so across the road Neil and Craig enjoyed cracking weather doing the Forcan Ridge.

The Five Sisters early in the day.The road at the bottom of the pic is where I parked.


Close up of the Sisters.....



Beinn na Caillich over on Skye makes an appearance.....


A boat makes it`s way towards the Sound of Sleat with Mallaig and Ardnamurchan in the distance...


Maol Mor,the hill I had to come over, and Sguman Coinntich lurking in the background...


Torridon was spectacular in the sunshine.....Beinn Alligin....


Zoomed shot of the Skye Bridge.....



A trig to bag.....


Five Sisters in better weather later in the day....


A close up....


The weather and snow conditions on the Five Sisters that day.Photos courtesy of Scott...



6 comments:

fatdogwalks said...

I looked at the second last photo and immediately thought - why? (lol)

Just checked out Auchtertyre Hill on the map - then I thought - he could have gone all the way from Balmacara by track - then I noticed where the track ended. They look like serious crags on the west face. It appears from the photos to be a cracker of a viewpoint up and down the loch.

blueskyscotland said...

Dom the fell runner broke a trail for them all the way up to the ridge Ken.They then had a 25 minute glissade from the ridge to the road for 500 metres :)
The problem with hill access was that the ploughs had moved all the snow from the road into the parking places.Impossible to park under A`Chralaig on Sunday as the large layby was under a few feet of snow.

The Glebe Blog said...

Brilliant views as usual.Great stuff!

Robert Craig said...

Auchtertyre hill - that's somewhere I really want to go. Cracking view of the 5 sisters.

Have you ever been up Boc Mor / Boc Beag in that area? They look pretty cool from some angles.

blueskyscotland said...

Never been up them Robert but they do look good.The warden at Ratagan put up a few rock climbs on Boc Beag in the early 80`s.Suspect that they are still awaiting second ascents :-)
Alex.

Debra Storr said...

Hi
I'm opening a holiday let at Reraig below Archtertyre Hill. Is it OK for me to link to your blog and may I use one of your photos to show how brillient the hills can be in snow?
Thanks
Debra