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Approaching the Peak of the Hound Keepers

 

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Its gaelic name is Sgurr nan Conbhairean and it’s a high, elegant hill that’s hidden amidst the ravaged peaks of Kintail, a wild land that I thought would be far beyond  my caution (i.e. terror) of exposure to huge drops.

The summit, behind the rounded top in the foreground, peaks at 1011m at the top of a steep slope and this picture’s taken from another high top, Carn Ghluasaid, the Hill of Movement. And yes, fortified by my patient pal, I endured a (scary by my standards) ridge walk and climbed them both. It was exhilarating to be so high, absorbing wave after dusky wave of the mountain ranges that stretch across Scotland, from the jagged Cuillin of Skye and Rum, south to the imposing lump of Ladhar Bheinn in Knoydart and far beyond.

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We saw red deer and ptarmigan, or snow grouse,  at around 1000m. These chubby little birds don’t venture much below this height and a funny family of seven allowed us to watch them potter around on their rocks before they flew away in a covey of crisp white underbellies.

And now I’m back down at sea level and hungry again for the crunch of my beloved new boots on stony tracks, the scent of rocky streams in spate and the wind whirling my hair on the high tops.

I could do without this morning’s unbendable legs, but even that discomfort brings a certain gratification; I’ve earned it.

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. It looks like a beautiful spot. The ridge walk does look a little scary. It reminds me of a time I hiked one of the razorback ridges in Hawaii. Midway down the path there was a park bench with a memorial plaque to someone that said something about the importance of never hiking alone on the ridge.

    August 20, 2014
    • A park bench on a RIDGE?? That sounds like my kind of ridge Sheryl!

      August 22, 2014
  2. Gorgeous scenery!

    August 19, 2014
    • It IS fab scenery but it was a really dull day for taking pictures and I hate those white skies. I clearly still have a lot to learn about my camera!

      August 20, 2014
      • You did very nicely with your camera! In outdoor photography, you just have to do the best you can and changing light conditions isn’t possible. A cloudy day doesn’t reduce the beauty of the scenery and for me, it usually enhances it.

        August 20, 2014
  3. Love the picture of you. Have you climbed Ben Nevis – I was lucky that the heavy mist and fog on top obliterated having to see the deep crevices that I heard about and feared! I love reading about your hikes, keep them coming.

    August 18, 2014
    • Elaine! How good to hear from you. You climbed Ben Nevis? I’ve been up there on a clear day with endless views – that helps you forget the drops too. Any plans to go back to Spain?

      August 18, 2014
  4. Great post. Really cute picture of you.

    August 17, 2014
    • Haha thanks! I love it up there. My legs are still recovering – but I’m already scheming for another getaway.

      August 17, 2014
  5. Your face says it all Nancy, a proud moment of conquering those high places via not so easy paths. Good on you.

    August 17, 2014
    • Thanks Scott. Hope you’re getting some walking in too, with spring on the way?

      August 17, 2014

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