The end is definitely in sight. I had breakfast with mum and dad in Lochinver then headed off to Inchnadamph, where there are two Munros; Ben More Assynt and Conival.
The weather was good and I headed off from Inchnadamph alone. It was windy though, which took the edge off the sun. These two feel like a long way in, easven though they really aren't. It's good to feel so near to the end of the Munro Round, yet I carried a discontent feeling all the way across these mountains. When I got down, I'd have to drive two hours to Achnashellach, then walk two hours into Monar. That put a time pressure on my day, thus I was walking, knowing there was still work to be done in the evening. I've felt exactly the same in the past.
After a long walk in, I was glad to get high on Conival, where the wind blew with ferocity and the views were huge over the northern peat moors. Ben Klibreck and Ben Hope were both clearly in sight; right there on the horizon. Sure, I have to go back to Monar and pick up 5 Munros there, but the end really is right there.
Waves of mountain ranges have now receded to the southern horizon, and now I'm standing at the north of Scotland, looking right onto Ben Hope. Wow.
I did the ridge from Conival to Ben More Assynt in brutal winds. It wasn't the most ideal place: the rock is broken into angular blocks that are hard on the feet, and you need to keep good footing. Occasionally gusts pushed me over, sent me onto scree and I'd fall over onto the ground to wait out the gust. All in all, it was quite fun. I've always liked fighting high winds.
Contrary to expectation, the summit of Ben More Assynt was pretty calm. There were some folk about doing the same walk, and I sat on top thinking '7 to go'. Three months ago that thought was a distant dream!
I followed the ridge back to Convial in high winds, then contoured underneath, balancing over boulderfields, where blocks shifted and collapsed under my feet. I'd been here before and this really is one of the more dangerous boulderfields around; it must be the way the rock weathers.
A sunny walk back down the glen brought me to Inchnadamph, where I met mum and dad, to collect the audio recorder which I wanted for my trip into Monar. In the fuss of sorting stuff out, I forgot the audio recorder, and rushed back to mum and dad, who were at Ardvreck Castle.
And so I drove south to Achnashellach, under the most amazing sunset. Sgurr an Fhidhleir was absolutely jaw-dropping. Near Lochluichart, Dink phoned from America, so although I was best to get going, I sat and had rock climbing chat for 20 minutes. Monar could wait...!
Anyway, I got to Achnashellach, packed a bag and headed off, up the track from Craig, into the gloom of tomorrows mountains. The walk took 1 hour 45 to Glenuaig Lodge where there was a place to sleep. I forced a banana down and got to sleep in the creaky bunkbed, anticipating my last big day of the Munro Round: the five Munros of Monar.