Approaching the Peak of the Hound Keepers
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.
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.