Sunday, 2 March 2008

More Ullapool

Look across Coigach towards Stac Pollaidh in the far distance and Cul Beag on the right. The hill on the left I'm not too sure of - it might be Sgorr Deas or Sgorr Tuath. Mountains are funny things. They change their shape seemingly at will and even as you walk up their flanks they change again.

This view of Stac Pollaidh was taken half-way along Loch Lugainn. Already her shape is changing and the gorse is coming into bloom though it is only the end of February.

Click on the pictures for a larger view.
This is what we saw from beneath the mountain, before we set off through the wicket gate. They say it is a small moutain at 612 metres (just under 2,000 feet) but it looks impressive with the sharp sandstone peaks and scree slopes. Winter weather is continually cracking and eroding the soft stone and the intrusive notice in the picture begs you to follow the recently constructed path to save wear and tear on the mountain. Dh strode away, but yours truly had to stop every fifty yards, puffing like a steam engine.
After an hour and a half, we sat in the sunshine just below the last steep section, ate a snack and enjoyed the view.

This looks south east towards Ullapool - not that you can see any sign of it. The silver splodges in the foreground are the pools that hold water among the coarse grass and heather.
Then we looked the other way and noticed that the weather was coming in from the sea and had already taken a chunk out of we headed down. Soon we had sleet and hail whipping our faces, and the rocky path turned wet and slippy. By the time we reached the car the worst of the storm had blown over and the sky was blue over the sea once more.
Then, of course, we wished we'd stuck it out and carried on. But we're not that experienced and we're
certainly not bad weather walkers. Discretion is all on the mountains, especially in winter.

As for the changing shape of mountains ~ this is Stac Pollaidh from the west, and you see how she changes her appearance again. Would you recognise her?

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