Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen that I have recently been talking about trip reports appearing on my new website. After five years Oh Inverted World has grown and changed quite a bit and thanks to everyone who visits I now get around 1,000 unique visitors a month. However, I felt that the site was a little disorganised and lacked focus, especially as the majority of visitors are interested mainly in the hillwalking and backpacking aspects. I have therefore created a new site, The Mountain’s Silhouette, which is now home to all the content related to my Scottish hillwalks, including trip reports, articles and gear lists.
Please could I ask you to update your bookmarks, blogroll links and note that the URL for the RSS feed for the new site is http://feeds.feedburner.com/co/syeE. This is the same as the feed for Oh Inverted World so most people should transition painlessley, however there was another feed briefly used for this site so if you haven’t received the latest post (Derry Cairngorm, posted last weekend) I would ask you to subscribe to the latest feed to receive updates.
The other content on Oh Inverted World will gradually transition to new sites under my nickbramhall.com domain and I will update this blog again in case you are more interested in the astronomy side of things.
Many thanks for visiting Oh Inverted World, commenting and sharing my reports with others over the last few years, and I hope you continue to enjoy my trip reports and photos over on The Mountain’s Silhouette.
Date: 23rd June 2012
Time: 10hrs 15min (including several breakfast stops!)
Hills: Beinn a’ Chlaideimh (Ex-Munro, 91?m)
Weather: Early bright skies, mild, later on low cloud and humid with brief rain showers
Route: Click to view on an OS Map
Aberdeen on Friday evening was warm and muggy with a constant threat of precipitation in the air. Carting my backpack, change of clothes and barbeque provisions up the long hill of King’s Gate to the Atholl Hotel was certainly a good warm up for the weekend and it was a relief to get hold of a cold pint of beer whilst we waited for everyone to assemble. Recent tales of backpacking and camping were swapped and possible side-excursions for the day were discussed. We had a chat through the various weather forecasts and chose the most optimistic one for the next day’s walking.
We pulled out of Aberdeen at 11pm, the streets shimmering with rain that was now falling quite heavily. The dark rainclouds blotted out the lingering light in the north and the thrum of the coach engine soon sent me to sleep. The harsh white lights of the twenty-four hour superstore at Inverness were a brief interruption but the next thing I knew we were turning off the Ullapool road onto the narrow road that threads its way across the moor towards Dundonnell. Cars parked besides the road signalled our arrival at Corrie Hallie where stiff legs were stretched out and yawns stifled.
The rain had cleared up after Inverness and already a pale blue glow was cast across the landscape by the approaching dawn. People briefly considered head torches but as eyes grew accustomed to the gloaming it was clear they wouldn’t be needed. The arrival of a few midgies hurried final preparations and then we were off, heading back up the road slightly to pick up the turning for the start of the walk.
Anyone who has completed a round of the Munros will likely know this track for it heads into the famous bothy of Shenaval below An Teallach. Here many people stay a night before tackling a round of the Fisherfield mountains or An Teallach itself. It’s a good landrover track that climbs quite steeply up besides a wooded gorge. The sound of the stream tumbling between rocks was the only sound besides the crunch of boots. It was that quiet hour before dawn.
We crested the climb below Carn na Canaich just as the sun rose. Sadly a layer of cloud in the north east hid the disc from view but for a few moments the sky was lit by a watery red-orange light. Ahead of us the Fisherfield hills were shrouded in cloud, only the occasional dark prow of a mountain could be glimpsed through the swirling mists.
We passed the turn-off to Shenaval and continued on, threading our way through a watery landscape of lochan and bog. Dropping into Strath na Sealga took us besides another water course where this time a brief pause gave us the sight and sound of a pair of Ringed Ouzels, a less common relative of the Blackbird. The views down to Loch na Sealga were spectacular, the river winding its way down the grassy strath which is dotted with clumps of trees and the barest hints of human civilisation: the landrover track, a locked building and some stone foundations of earlier settlements.
Above the loch, An Teallach, the iconic mountain which sits above Dundonnell, had a cap of cloud but was slowly being revealed. Down near the river we found a ruined shieling to sit amongst and enjoy a quick break. The views up the Strath were spectacular and it was only the appearance of the dreaded midgies that got us moving again.
With the summits now cloud free I decided to detour away from the group who were heading along the good track to Loch an Nid. I fancied making an excursion up onto the Fisherfield ridge with the idea of taking in a few of the summits if the weather held. As it happens the northerly summit was the one recently demoted from Munro status by the evil workings of the Munro Society. It remains an integral part of the ridge though so whatever its actual height I was going to head up and over it before continuing my way south. After easily fording the abhainn the initial slopes were grassy, occasionally broken by ribbons of rock. Higher up I reached a lumpy plateau which gave good views to the clear summit of Beinn a’ Chlaideimh.
The northern end of this hill is steep and craggy but I could pick out a grassy route up a steep ramp that should bring me up just north of the summit ridge. This proved to be the case and as I ascended up the ramp a path appeared which I followed up very steep slopes. As I crested the ridge the cloud, which I had seen drift in from the northwest and rapidly envelop An Teallach, reached me and the perfect visibility was reduced to a peasouper in a matter of seconds. I carried on up the bouldery slopes to reach the narrow, grassy summit ridge and this I followed over three tops to reach the cairn at the far end.
The conditions were fairly miserable and if there are mountains in this land that I want to get a view from, then they are these ones. Looking at the map I decided to follow the ridge down and then look for a route back down to Loch an Nid from the low point before the steep pull back up to Sgurr Ban. In the end the mist was disorientating and the ridge more complicated than the map implied. I ended up following a path that rapidly disappeared amongst rocky slopes and when I checked my compass I found I had come off the ridge to the east. Rather than climb back up to the ridge I took a bearing due east and followed that downhill until I emerged from below the clouds and saw Loch an Nid not far away. My diversion was at an end and the great Fisherfield Munros would have to wait for another day.
I traversed across the lumpy contours to reach the end of the loch where I once again forded the river and joined the path heading south. The cloud had continued to lower and sadly the hills all around were shrouded in mist. I continued on past the sombre loch and then as the ground started to rise headed southwest to climb up to the Bealach na Croise. Eventually I found a good path on the east bank of the stream and as I got higher I saw the group ahead. Crossing the river the path continued up to the bealach which happily remained below the cloud.
Regrouped we now traversed on pathless terrain across and below the rocky summit of Creag Ghlas Beag and paused for a break a short distance below Loch Meallan an Fhudair. Across the wild, empty land could be seen Fionn Beinn and further south were tantalising glimpses of the many peaks of Beinn Eighe in Torridon.
As we crested the next rise the best view of all came into view, Slioch sitting above Lochan Fada. This dramatic mountain, its pointed eastern top dark against a lightening sky, dominated the middle part of the walk. We dropped down easy slopes to the head of Lochan Fada.
What a glorious place this is! The lochan is a long, sinuous stretch of clear water with Slioch and the long ramparts of Ben Lair on one side, and the Fisherfield hills of A’ Mhaighdean and Beinn Tarsuinn above its northern shore. Its calm waters reflected all this dramatic mountain landscape and it was with a sense of perfect wonder that we sat down on the pebbled beach at the head of the lochan to take it all in. Frankly I could have stayed in that place forever.
However, there was a barbeque to be thinking of and so we wound our way on a good track around the end of Lochan Fada, stopping often to look out at the views. A raincloud drifted over Slioch but it resulted in only a light shower, the moisture burning off almost as soon as it reached the ground.
We were now heading for Gleann Bianasdail which links Lochan Fada with Loch Maree. Although Loch Maree is a couple of hundred metres lower than Fada we had to first climb up and over a shoulder of land before we could drop into the glean. This climb gave us views along the entire length of Bianasdail which truly wouldn’t look out of place in the foothills of the Pyrenees. We climbed steadily up beside a tumbling allt and when it crossed the path, paused to refill our bottles and quench our thirsts with cool, crisp mountain water. We then wound our way up to the crest of the pass, glad that the final ascent of the day was over.
The track through Gleann Bianasdail is excellent and we were soon descending to the river which was chattering away beneath the dark rocks on either side of the narrow pass. We then dropped through the thin woods and out past myriad waterfalls below the southern arm of Slioch to reach the green shores of Loch Maree. Here we stopped for another break, pausing to eat the last sandwich and looking back up at the hills we had passed between.
The last six kilometres seemed to take an age but our pace was encouraged by the threat of rain which could be seen both in front and behind us. Beinn Eighe offered enticing views across Loch Maree and then we were picking our way through Kinlochewe to reach the public car park, the coach and our barbeque venue.
Beer and wine were opened, people visited the pub to get themselves a gin and tonic, and soon there were spicy burgers and sausages to go around. A passing shower briefly dampened proceedings but soon enough the sun was back out and people were out sitting around and generally enjoying this most agreeable Midsummer. We topped off the meal with strawberries and cream and a huge carrot cake.
The journey back was long and although I tried my best, after the road through Strath Bran I felt into a deep and peaceful sleep. It wasn’t until Inverness that I noticed the rain return and by Aberdeen it was back to as gloomy as it had been the night before. We counted ourselves lucky that Fisherfield had been so kind and I’ll be back with my tent to have a proper explore of this most beautiful of areas.
Date: 17th June 2012
Time: 3hrs 30min
Hills: Mayar (Munro, 928m)
Route: Click to view on an OS Map
I suppose it was inevitable that my run of good luck with the weather had to come to an end at some point. This was to be the weekend. After a cold, rainy Saturday spent in various coffee shops and the art gallery to get my long and rambling Ben Alder report written up I was determined to get out on Sunday, especially as MWIS had forecast better weather in the Southeast Highlands for the day. After recent long drives I tried to minimise driving time by heading down the road to my “local” hills in Angus and headed up Glen Clova to the Glen Doll car park where there is a good choice of potential routes and hills. As I left Kirriemuir and picked up the winding Glen Clova road the clouds let spill a substantial part of the North Sea and pretty soon it wasn’t a road I was following, but a river.
At the car park the rain had eased slightly but it was still the first walk in a very long time that I started in waterproofs (just a jacket actually as my planned route wasn’t really long enough to justify over-trousers as well). I shouldered my ultralight daypack (oh to be free of tent and sleeping bag and all the other accoutrements of camping) and set off into the forest. The weather had the benefit of keeping the crowds away and so it was a peaceful stroll along the forestry tracks down to the White Water and across onto a narrower path threading its way between tall pines.
At the end of the track a bridge over the Kilbo Burn was out of commission so I got wet feet splashing through the stream. They soon warmed back up on the climb up through the trees to Corrie Fee. The rain had turned into a thick mist as I got closer to the cloud base and when I reached it Corrie Fee was largely veiled. Dramatic crags could be glimpsed peeking through the swirling mists like something from a lost and ancient world.
Here I stopped to have something to eat. I’d also brought my Backcountry Boiler along to give it a test firing but sadly I wasn’t able to find any decent dry deadwood and so failed to get more than a tiny, sputtering fire going with just some shredded paper for kindling. Next time I need to remember to bring along a little bit of firelighter to get things going properly.
Packed up I set off through Corrie Fee and up the steep but enjoyable path which winds its way between the crags and waterfalls to eventually emerge on the plateau just a short distance from the summit of Mayar, a Munro. With little effort I was standing at the cairn surprised to find that the crags to my east were catching the cloud and so to the south and west of Mayar there was something of a view.
It wasn’t really a day for hanging around though and so tightening my hood against the damp air I set off along to find the Kilbo Path and a descent route down via the Shank of Drumfallow. There were a few more people here (well, two) and soon enough I was back in the forest, slip-siding my way down the delightfully muddy track to get back down to the car park and a change of clothes
It had been a great little outing. The dampness had brought a whole new set of sights and smells and the lack of people allowed me time with my own thoughts. Next time though it would be good to get a cup of tea.
Wrapped up in my down sleeping bag on my incredibly comfy air bed, itself resting on wonderfully soft mountain turf, I was at first very confused about where I was and what my alarm was doing going off at the uncivilised hour of 4am. Then it came back to me, I was camped just a short distance away from the summit of a Munro. A few minutes spent outside the tent around midnight had shown a clear sky which promised great things for the dawn. Reluctantly I unzipped my bag and sleepily dragged my clothes back on. Stifling a yawn I unzipped the inner of my tent and peered out. The pre-dawn sky was a deep indigo with bands of red cloud sitting just above the golden haze of the horizon. My legs were objecting to more physical exercise so soon after a twenty mile day but I cajoled them into action and we got up to the summit cairn of Beinn Eibhinn just in time to see the sun peek above the eastern hills. The quality and colour of the light was just staggering and I spent a happy half hour wandering around snapping photos and breathing in this utterly magical time of day. In a cruel season of wet and windy weather this was truly a summer morning to savour.
The Mamores, Ben Nevis and a vast sweep of the southern Highlands around to the Lawers Range were red in the early light and closer too the peaks of yesterday, Aonach Beag and Gael-Charn, stood darkly silhouetted against the rising sun. Slightly further off the humpback of Ben Alder was a fiery heap.
As the day began and the light shifted to more natural colours I dropped back down the tent, my body ready for caffeine and a dose of sugary oats. The stove was fired up and I soon had a coffee and porridge in hand. Although I had a the possibility of another full day ahead of me, I was keen to get back home mid-afternoon and so got myself packed up soon after breakfast.
I had scoped the ridge immediately north of the campsite the evening before and after filling up my bottle with more snowmelt I descended the easy slopes towards the western end of An Lairig. As I approached the lower slopes the terrain got a little steeper and a little boggier but without too much trouble I was down and standing besides the still waters of Loch Guilbhinn.
With minimal water at height I had resolved to complete my morning ablutions down at the loch and so here I washed and brushed my teeth. The waters were incredibly still, the hills above Strath Ossian and the Munro of Chno Dearg framed in perfect symmetry. At one point I startled a small fish out of the water and had some trouble encouraging it back into the loch…!
After a cereal bar taken sitting besides the loch I made my way down its eastern shore towards Strath Ossian. It may be possible to cut off this large diversion by wading across the Abhainn Ghuilbhinn near the northern end of the loch but I was in no rush and so took the longer, dryer way around. I passed a small boat pulled up on the shore and then was heading along and amongst the glacial moraines into Strath Ossian.
Here I intended to cross the River Ossian by way of the vehicle bridge. When I reached it however it appeared that bridge maintenance was being undertaken and had perhaps been interrupted by the Jubilee Weekend. New planks stretched from the far side to approximately three quarter distance, and then stopped. On my side there were just the bare, widely spaced girders. I very cautiously made my way across and it was with a great deal of relief that I reached the planks. After this it was a gentle climb on the track up above Strathossian House which enjoyed beautiful views back to Beinn Eibhinn and Strath Ossian and up towards the summit of Chno Dearg.
In the planning stage I had thought about heading over Chno Dearg and the other Loch Treig Munro which now lay between me and Fersit but the weather forecast for Tuesday had been for a marked deterioration and I didn’t want to get caught high if it turned. I was also quite happy with the lower level route which would take me more gently back to the car. Despite this being a private route and it being holiday Tuesday of the Jubilee Celebrations there was quite a bit of traffic on the “road” including what looked to be holiday cars presumably going to Loch Ossian to stay there.
Happily I soon left the “road” and took the footpath which climbs up and over the low shoulder of Chno Dearg with find views back towards the Aonach Beag group and forward to Creag Meagaidh above Glen Spean.
Eventually you drop down into a quite dense wood which is quite a novelty on a Scottish hill walk. After the exposed hillside it was very different in amongst the gloom of the pines and the ruined cottage was a little spooky even with the sun rising overhead – I’m glad I didn’t walk out this way on an evening.
I soon came across a Scottish Rights of Way way marker and after this the forest itself came to an end with me standing above a lumpy stretch of countryside that angled gently down towards the River Treig and my car parked at Fersit. The blue skies were fading rapidly and ominous looking clouds were gathering as I made my way through the boggy flatlands to reach the farm track that would guide me through the scattered settlement of Fersit. Across the river and up the far bank and it was with some relief that I saw my car still parked where I had left it a couple of days earlier.
It had taken me four hours from the summit of Beinn Eibhinn to get back to Fersit and thanks to my early start it wasn’t even midday yet. This gave me the opportunity for a relaxed drive back east stopping for coffee in Newtonmore and finally getting back to Aberdeen mid afternoon where I had thankfully missed much of the Jubilee shenanigans. Sadly though the bank holiday was being observed by the fish & chip shop and so the celebratory meal was slightly modified in deference to the Queen and my gratitude for the three days of perfect Jubilee weather.
The bright skies of the night before had been a good portent and I awoke after a long, comfortable and slumbering sleep to find the tent lit up by the rising sun. I’d slept through sunrise but poked my head out in time to see the sun crest the notch of the Bealach Dubh. Warm and cosy, I was reluctant to get up but knew that I had a big day ahead. Outside the world was frosty, the grass sparkling with a million frozen crystal drops and the tent covered in a layer of thin ice. I got my stove going and soon had hot coffee and porridge which was a great way to start the day.
As everything started to warm up nicely I washed up and slowly got everything packed away. I was eventually off just after 8am. I was pretty close to the head of the Uisge Labhair and after following the path a short distance crossed the stream and climbed up the boggy hillside. I was aiming for the end of Ben Alder’s south-western ridge which should provide a steep, direct way up towards the plateau. I soon crossed the path that comes down from the bealach and bends east towards Loch Ericht and was then climbing up to join the ridgeline. The morning sunshine was warm and I was soon stopping to drink some water and take in the magnificent views.
With the end of Loch Ericht visible I now wound my way up through shattered rocks that make up the south-east ridge. In short order I was high above the bealach and the gradient eased as I emerged onto the plateau. Under clear blue skies I surveyed this huge area of high land, the largest area of land above 3,000 feet outside of Nevis and the Cairngorms.
I ambled my way across delightful short turf and springy heather to a summit on the eastern side to get excellent views across to the Aonach Beag hills. Now ahead of me and with only very minor ascent was the summit of Ben Alder, the 25th highest Munro at 1,148m which I arrived at just on 9am under glorious sunshine and a light northerly wind. There is a substantial cairn, a trig point and a number of summit shelters but I was content with slinging my pack down and standing on the cairn gazing off at countless hills stretching away on every horizon.
At this early hour of a Monday morning there was no-one to be seen anywhere and I enjoyed a very lazy time on the summit utterly absorbed by the stunning views. Eventually I dragged myself away, passing the snow-crusted Lochan a’ Garbh Coire and circling the grand cliffs of the giant Garbh Coire itself.
The views down to Lochan a’ Bhealach Beithe were stunning with the Munro of Beinn Bheòil looking very small from this vantage point.
I followed the cliffs around to the top of the final arm of Ben Alder and then looked for a way to descend to the Bealach Breabag. The slopes here are dramatically steep with shattered crags barring access. I traversed back south until the gradient eased slightly and from here was able to pick my way carefully down a number of steep terraces to eventually reach the bealach. I suspect an easier access route is further south where the slopes of Ben Alder are less precipitous.
From the bealach I enjoyed the views up Loch Ericht before making my way up the easier slopes of Sròn Coire na h-Iolaire, the southern top of Beinn Bheòil. This is a fantastic viewpoint and well worth the ever so slight detour off the route up to the Munro. Here is a video from the cairn.
After absorbing the views and adding another layer of sunscreen to combat what was rapidly becoming a very sunny day (though the temperatures were thankfully tempered by the breeze which had once again arisen since sunrise) I set off down to the col and then up the slopes of Beinn Bheòil. There appear to be a number of routes but the one I followed took me on a fun rising traverse above the blue waters of Loch Ericht until I emerged on gentler ground near the tor. I scrambled up here and then made my way the short distance up to the summit cairn which lies on a flat, bouldery plateau.
Here it was time for a slightly early lunch, again slightly sheltered from the wind but with fantastic views along Ericht towards Dalwhinnie and east to Beinn a’ Ghlo and Schiehallion. Interestingly further north the main Cairngorms were wreathed in heavy, rainy clouds. I felt pretty good about my choice of hills.
After lunch I continued north off the summit of Beinn Bheoil. The slopes immediately above Lochan a’ Bealach Beithe are steep and scree covered so I headed north, losing height, until I was able to drop down much easier slopes to the access path coming up from Culra. The views to the short and Long Leachas of Ben Alder as well as over to the Lancet Edge were stunning. My plan didn’t include any of them this time but I’m keen to get back to try some of these scrambly ascent routes in the future.
Once at the path I was out of water (having last refilled on Ben Alder) and so I put my bag down and dropped down to fill up from the Allt a’ Bhealach Beithe which comes down from Loch. This stream has scoured a rocky channel through the land and must be an impressive sight when running high.
Refreshed by cool mountain water I was ready to head down to the bothy at Culra enjoying both the good path and the incredible views. This area is truly a landscape of giants and as I approached the river I was starting to get that classic mountain view of Ben Alder and the Lancet Edge separated by the deep trench of the Bealach Dubh.
I wound my way down along the river, past the tents and the bothy and then crossed over by way of the vehicle bridge just north of Culra. It was then just a short distance back to the bothy where I dropped down to the river for a break. It was utter bliss to take off shoes and socks and soak my feet in the chilly waters of the Allt a’ Chaoil-reidhe.
After this pleasant respite it was back to the grindstone. Next up was a tough pull up from Culra, following nothing but the occasional deer track I ascended the steep slopes of Carn Dearg gaining a few hundred metres of height in very little horizontal distance. It was a joy to top out on the heathery plateau and make my way up to the prominent summit. The views behind me extended over Loch Pattack to the line of Spean and further north the Monadhliath were superb.
As I reached the cairn another chap could be spied coming over the boulders from the south but on arrival he wasn’t one for talking. I took in the views, had a bite to eat and then meandered my way downhill heading for the last interesting ascent feature of the day. The ridges of this area all line up neatly and as I crossed high above Loch an Sgòir I got a great view of the side of the Lancet Edge and the Long Leachas of Ben Alder.
I was on my own personal ridge, the short stubby nose that connects Carn Dearg to the massive plateau of Gael-Charn. This looks an impressive feature from afar but turned out to be a good ascent with just a modicum of hand-on-rock action to steady myself with the extra weight of the camping pack.
It was a strange experience emerging from the narrow, rocky ridge onto the wide plateau. Like stepping from the North West Highlands to the Cairngorms in a single stride. Gael-charn is a big area of high ground and easy to navigate in clear weather. I first of all dropped down very slightly to refill my bottle from a snowmelt fed stream, chattering its way across to plunge over the edge and into Loch an Sgòir. Then I headed up to spot height 1117 practicing some compass navigation before heading across to the summit cairn a little further south.
The wide plateau deprived me of far closer views but the far hills were starting to light up as the sun drifted slowly into its early evening position.
It was an easy grassy walk along the northern lip of the connecting ridge to take me to Aonach Beag,another Munro. I left my gear at the summit and dropped off slightly north to take in the views out over the Spean and towards Laggan. The peace and quiet of this area really is something and still I had only passed four people all day.
From Aonach Beag there was one final slightly disheartening loss of height down a scrabbly path to a col perched high above the glen containing the Uisge Labhair. I enjoyed the views over to Ben Alder and Loch Ericht and then continued up the pleasingly narrow ridge towards the summit of Beinn Eibhinn. After crossing a few minor tops I was on the summit ridge where the spectacular view down to Loch Ossian immediately caught my eye.
I had been on the move for about eleven hours now and was definitely ready to put my feet up. The summit ridge has a grassy western aspect and it felt quite sheltered; I was almost tempted to pitch the tent here but I knew I still had to sort out water for the night. Instead I carried on to the summit cairn to make it six Munros during the day, and the eighth one of the trip. The views were spectacular with the lowering sun starting to illuminate the landscape below the cloud which had gradually gathered during the afternoon.
My plan had been to drop off to the west top of Beinn Eibhinn where there are two lochans marked on the Landranger map. However, from the summit I could see a nearer pair of lochans just on the west shoulder. This would mean only about 50m of height loss from the summit and I could see some snow patches that would provide me with water. I dropped down to find a rocky knoll marking the southern edge of the hill. It wasn’t immediately obvious where I could pitch but after some pondering I found a narrow patch of turf to get my tent up on. The wind was quite strong and blustery at this time but the tent felt secure and I was happy to set about my evening. I quite enjoyed the fact that after 20 miles and 2,000m of vertical ascent during the course of an 11 hour day, I was now only about 2km north and 500m higher up compared to where I had camped the previous night!
The views were already stunning and these just got better and better as the evening progressed. I had dinner and then sat down on the rocky escarpment to enjoy the wonderful views. In this way I whiled away several hours, taking photos and generally just enjoying the moment. The wind started to ease off slightly but there were still some gusty times and I was soon wrapped up in all my layers. Over the Monadhliath and Glen Spean the occasional rain shower passed by but again nothing troubled me.
As sunset approached I came across a much nicer patch of ground and so decided to move the tent across. This only took a few minutes but the effort was worth it as the pitch was slightly better oriented for the wind and almost perfectly level. It was now just a matter of enjoying the light show as the sun gradually dropped below the clouds and then set beyond the western mountains.
After sunset the light quality was amazing, the sky lit up by pinks and reds. Eventually though it faded to leave just a glow from the North West and so I turned in for the night. It had been a long but brilliant day.