|One of three summit cairns at around 699m.|
Loch Ness stretches to the west along the Great Glen.
On the drive along the east side of Loch Ness the other day, a mountain on the west side came into view, the sun illuminating its higher elevations. It was simply stunning.
|Across Loch Ness, Meall Fuar-mhonaidh.|
It was a distinctive hill, the most prominent along the loch. Checking the map, it could only be Meall Fuar-mhonaidh. Its Gaelic name means, "hill of the cold slopes" or "cold round hill".
Looking through the binoculars, there was a tiny shape at the summit - a cairn? Yes, it had to be. This barely discernible, human construction of rocks served as an "invitation".
|A summit cairn, just visible.|
Two days later, in Inverness, the skies were clear in the morning. The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) was forecasting "windy and showery" in the high country. It appeared, however, that the rain would hold off until the afternoon. As it happened, neither one of us focussed much on the "windy" part. (After all, the report of "gusts 65mph" didn't sound excessive when you normally think in the metric "kph". We are, however, learning.)
The trail head parking is well marked at the hamlet of Grotaig, at the very end of a single track road, south-west of Drumnadrochit. A sign, just before the trail, was very tempting - a cup of coffee or a pot of tea did sound good. Undoubtedly there would also be scones, butter, and jam. :)
|A left turn was very tempting!|
|A very brave, albeit toxic, mushroom.|
|Joan navigates the giant stile.|
|"Bog factor 3", the summit in the distance.|
As we gained elevation, the skies began to darken and the wind gained velocity.
Wind is simply air in motion. Air moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. We can't see the wind, but we can see what it "animates".
Now, with regards to the MWIS forecast of "65mph gusts"...
|Joan, trying to keep a grip on the ground.|
|I think I can fly, preparing for take-off!|
|Looking east, towards Inverness.|
Releasing the child from within, if only for but a few moments, is good for the spirit, and therefore, the body and the mind. The experience is cathartic. It washes away the adult tiredness, the worry, the weight of responsibility, the concern for the future...if only for awhile. It is enough time, however, to gain new strength and renewed determination to live fully...in each moment of time.
|Refreshed and exhilarated...a last look.|
And as if to punctuate a most marvellous day on a mountain...
Total km: 9.3
Elevation gain: 540m (1771')
Sighting of Loch Ness Monster: Not yet.
Number of scones with butter and jam: None (today)
1) Read the MWIS forecast - carefully.
2) Release the "inner child" more often. :)