The past two days I've been up at Glen Lyon picking off the last hills of the area. Finally, the weather has been incredible - endless blue skies and golden hills. A hot sun and cool air. Not a single midge to be seen. It's been just about as perfect as things get in Scotland.
Blue skies and sun dominate, just as I've always hoped for. The night after feeling sore on Beinn Bhuidhe, I got a great night's sleep: deep and oblivious. It seemed to cure all the wee problems I was having related to a lack of rest. Dad and I headed to Loch an Diamh mid-morning (the days are so long that we didn’t need to move fast), but on the way up the Lawers road, something funny happened.
An overnight storm had blown the pines down onto the road and at the present the road was blocked. We had to get to the far side of this road somehow and I made a quick calculation in my head as to whether it might be better to go around via. Fortingall (the long way).
But there was a guy out, with a chainsaw, cutting the tree trunks into pieces. I got out the car.
“Any idea how long you’ll be?”, I asked.
“Probably about ten minutes or so. I’m not with the Trust or anything, my jeeps on the other side and I need to get to Killin. Wanna give me a hand?”
So totally out the blue, I wound up hauling tree trunks and branches off the road, cut up by a guy who just happened to have a chainsaw on him. It delayed our arrival at Loch an Diamh a bit, but I had a great time. Dad dropped me off and we’d meet back in 6 hours: 1:30pm to 7:30pm.
Everything was just ideal. The hills were just stunning. The minute I’d woken up in the morning, I knew I was onto a winner: no aches or pains, just feeling solid and fresh and ready to climb some more mountains. The legs felt a little leaden on ascent, but I was feeling so much better than I did yesterday. Most surprisingly of all, the snow that fell all of yesterday has just vanished as if it had never existed.
Stuchd an Lochain was the first Munro to go down, a triangular peak with a coire which encloses a beautiful circular lochan. The scene fits into a camera viewfinder perfectly. This was an easy climb, then I headed back to the dam, and up long boggy slopes to Meall Buidhe, #2. In afternoon light, I climbed onto the summit ridge and the hills of Alder, Drumochter, Cairngorms, Etive Coe and Nevis were all on show, not to mention Rannoch Moor a great basin in the middle of it all. Mountains snow covered, lochans glittering. It was a damn good day to be up high.
I met dad back at the dam. He'd been away for several hours filming and now with shadows growing longer we had to find a campsite and set up camp. We had a meal in Fortingall, then found an idyllic spot among trees, by the river. There was still not a midge in sight. All in, a brilliant day: no stress or doubt, I was happy to be high up on the hills.