Creag Mac Ranaich - 809m
Cam Chreag - 812m
Meall an t-Seallaidh - 852m

Sunday 22nd January 2017

Weather/Conditions: Settled, wintry weather. Mist on the hills, almost no wind, a strange silence and calmness with all the hills disted white. Attractive and bleak all in one.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 15.8km / 1050m / 5h 05m
Accompanying: Struan

Struan gave me a shout that he'd be out on the hills on Sunday, and suggested two Corbetts at Lochearnhead: Creag Mac Ranaich and Meall an t-Seallaidh. They were two hills I hadn't done, and an obvious set to go for in an area where I'm getting close to having climbed the Corbetts.

For the first time I had the novelty of driving south for my Highland hills! Struan was coming from Edinburgh and I was coming from Ballachulish; we'd meet somewhere in Lochearnhead.

In spite of the weather, there was a kind of magic to the place, a mist that broke and swirled around the silent white hills. We absolutely marched up Glen Kendrum, a good landrover track goes all the way to the pass between the two Corbetts. It's really clear that this is sheep farming land: the hills are stripped bare down to the bone with the grazing. Very little woodland is to be found here, save for one mature pine by the river in the glen.

As we gained altitude the crags of Creag Mac Ranaich came into view. I was amazed to see a whopping great prow sticking off the side. This has been climbed at E6 and it looked it too. There could be scope for more on this hill, at more modest grades too.

From the summit of the track, we headed off to the side, then for a moment, while I told Struan about my newly-sprung asthma, we stopped for a moment. Dead still. And we listened.

For moments there was nothing. Not a whimper of sound. Perhaps the distant high frequencies of a tinkling stream came dancing through the air. But for a moment we caught ourself shocked, a contrast to the furious pace we'd held, that for a time there was nothing but the utter silence of the hills.

We scrambled up gullies on Creag Mac Ranaich. The first cairn wasn't the top, but a second one further on was. The conversation was a bit bleak today, all about the American politcal situation and the way the world is going. I'd have said it was a bit like the weather, but actually there was a freshness to these conditions. I certainly enjoyed it.

Meall an t-Seallaidh was just a nice walk over to it's summit, but we didn't see much in the way of views. There are some nice little crags of chiselled schist up here. I wonder about going some day for a closer look.

There is a trig on top of Meall an t-Seallaidh and then we dropped straight off, back into Glen Kendrum with talk all about Skye, the Cuillin and plans for the summer.

We crossed the river back at the big old pine, and had just a long walk back out to the cars at Lochearnhead.

I drove home a long route; via. the coast instead of over Rannoch Moor. Primarily I wnated to see the lands of Appin and Duror. I'd stopped by Tyndrum and Kilchurn Castle, so it became a bit of a race against darkness which I eventually lost, and rolled back in Ballachulish with the night firmly in.

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.15am Lochearnhead
(2.22) 11.37am Creag Mac Ranaich
(3.45) 1.00pm Meall an t-Seallaidh
(5.05) 2.20pm Lochearnhead

Written: 2017-03-13