The Chalamain Gap
sounds more the Wild West than Scottish Highlands.
But stories were of tents ripped to shreds
and maps been blown away
rather than cowboys lurking in the hills
Weather warnings yet again of the perils of crossing ridges.
Munros were probably off the agenda.
So we set off past the soft sand beach of Loch Morlich and along one of Scotland’s infamous long hikes in. On forest tracks to Rothiemurchus Lodge.
Then a slow a ascent in to the Lairig Ghru. Sheer rock face eventually replacing rolling heather.
Squeezing clear water into narrow rapid streams.
And so we went up.
Creag a Chalamain
Up to Creag a Chalamain where it was just a little windy.
As was the Chalamain Gap. A narrow mountain pass filled with the detritus from a battle of the Gods.
Or may be it was just the weather. Whatever your imagination tells you, the facts of being pushed over boulders by a solid summer wind shaking more than just your shoulders, imprints its mark on your memory.
And for all those who may think I’m a little mad. My match was met when this guy came over the brow with his bike, his dog and a backpack as big as I, almost.
Just as the wind dissipated to a breeze the landscape beyond spread to the relatively rolling hills
and further to deep valleys and trees of the lower slopes.
Pine Martin Bar Glenmore
With the end of the day, however late that might be.