Monday, July 15, 2013

Further research

The valve is changing. Compare the image in the post below from July 2013 with this image from April 2006 and with that image from August 2005. Especially the 2005 image, taken from the other end of the loch, indicates radical changes in the shape of the peninsulas. From memory, the valve was only slightly broader in August 2009 and images from 2011 show the same. Equilibrium my ass. What might happen here is a superposition of annual variations in the water level with a long-term evolution of the loch morphology due to ongoing sedimentation. One has to watch this.


After two warm weeks, the loch was pleasant. But there is a catch. The spot where the stream flows into the lake, dividing the two halves of the beach, was brutally cold. The stream also produces an underwater mountain out of sand. I walked around the upper lake, wading through the "valve", the bit where two peninsulas almost touch each other from opposite sides. I wonder how much longer it takes until the sediments block the flow of water from upper to lower lake. And what would happen next. Will the water just rise again and overflow? Or will it find other ways? Is there an equilibrium? This spot just always seems almost dry. Maybe this is the equilibrium.

There are no rules here. It doesn't make any sense to go on with the old conventions, when nobody is around and no sign of human life can be seen. Everything is back on the table. Everything has to be renegotiated. With whom? Sheep, midges, grass. And whatever lives in the loch. I know nothing about the loch life.

Three hours, three hours to walk out on the proper trail to Loch Moraig. I wonder if there is a shorter way.

The difference

Went up to the ridge twice, the one that blocks the morning sun. Creag an Loch is it called in the OS map. The loch is called loch, the craig is called craig, this is the place where they ran out of names. From up here, the point at the tip of the peninsula looks like a soft, sandy swimming place. Need to try. I probably climbed the two highest points of that ridge, 710 and 701 meters, according to map. Once in complete fog, swirling stratus all over the place, once in the clear morning. What a difference.

Spent a lot of time watching swarms of midges and other insects, mostly while drying after yet another bath. Naked people have an unsatiable interest in the endeavours of insects, as it turns out. Not much learned, except confirmation that midges are indeed very sensitive. It might be more helpful to think of midges as lumps of matter that materialize out of nothing, instead of lumps of matter that move according to some unknown law. They always seem to appear in calm, humid, warm places, but nobody has ever seen them coming.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The return

I went back up there after basically 4 years. Not much has changed. The hut at the gate is now locked. Is it always? The trail up the first big mountain now looks like a nosebleed. Munroing killed that mountain. I missed the path that leads further north, made my own path which somehow never met the trail. A geometrical miracle. Anyway, reached the loch after four hours of bushwacking through heather and morast and horseflies. What a mess.

At arrival, the sun was out and it was dead quiet. These are the only conditions in which The Perfect Campsite is not really perfect, but this is of course extremely rare. I tried the first hillock on the peninsula. If the valley is some sort of lens for the wind, this is its focal point, the only point with a breeze even if it there is no wind at all everywhere else. A few hours later the wind came up and I decided to move the tent and everything to the Perfect Campsite at the beach. Several hundred meters along the loch with a tent on my back, fully erected, against the wind, are a mediocre idea. But, hey.