The Pap of Coe.Well, who would have thought it? Summer in February? Well, that's exactly what we seem to have in Lochaber, and just to prove it, here's what I did yesterday & Today (a very long time ago!!).
Well, that was yesterday, with Loch Leven so still it seemed to be a mirror, and the brilliant sunshine playing games in the woods above Glencoe Lochan!
As Local Landmarks go, the Pap of Coe is pretty spectacular. It's Gaelic name is Sgor na Ciche, but it has the same meaning - breast shaped hill! It is such a stunning landmark that I decided to climb to the top on the first day of Summer 2008 (February 12th - well, with 'global warming' you have to take your chances). I was not disappointed, and also climbed the Munro of Sgor nam Fionnaidh behind on the same day. The 'map' below shows what I did today:
The Classic view down Loch Leven, with the Isles of Glencoe, then the Narrows that give Ballachulish it's name, now bridged by the Ballachulish bridge, and beyond to the hills of Ardgour, swathed in a ruddy brown haze. Below is the view the other way up Loch Leven, to Kinloch. Careful inspection will reveal the tiny white speck of Mamore Lodge high on the hillside, and to the right the placid waters of the Blackwater Reservoir. The hill is Garbh Bheinn.
Glencoe leading onto Rannoch Moor in all it's hazy glory. On the left are the hills that make up the Aonach Eagach Ridge, while on the right are the three sisters leading down to the Buchaille itself. Below is the view up Gleann Leac-na-Muidhe on the right, and in the distance the hills of Glen Etive. I'm afraid that it looked even more fantastically ghost like in real life.
And there is the Aonach Eagach itself, in all it's terrifying glory. The first ridge to Stob Coire Leith is pretty tame compared to the second stretch along to Meall Dearg, or indeed the third stretch to Am Bodach. The photo was taken from the top of Sgurr nam Fiannaidh, a Munro of 967m, and possibly one of the most spectacular viewpoints I have climbed to date. There are not enough words in the English language to describe the emotions/drama/elation/whatever of the view from here. Below is that familiar view again, with a touch of snow in the foreground, and at the bottom is a glance along the plateau-like ridge (at least compared to the Aonach Eagach) that I have had to wander along to get to the top.
An incredible day, all I need now is a new pair of legs & I'll be fine!!!