I saw this big fellow as I made my way to Creag nan Clach, a Marilyn overlooking lochs Duntelchaig and Ruthven in the northern Monadhliath.
I’m without a car at the moment, so unless I can cycle, walk or catch a bus or train to the bottom of a hill, I’m not going there. Frustrating at times, but also liberating. Fortunately, Creag nan Clach is within cycling distance of Inverness, which is lucky because from the north is the best way to approach this hill. While the southern side of the hill slopes gently to the highest point, walk too far north and you’ll plummet off a sheer, spectacular cliffs dropping at least 100ft.
I hid my cycle in bracken under the cliffs and without any obvious path, I plowed steeply upwards through more bracken and heather. I’m speaking about my book at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival on Thursday and tried to rehearse my lines. I was stuttering over every word, even with an audience of two wee deer and a grouse.
Still, here was a place to inspire great words. Non-descript the summit may be, but the view was glorious, with lochs on three sides and Tom Bailgean, another Marilyn, to the west – all helped by clear skies overhead. Home…to prepare.