Sunday, February 9, 2014


My excuse is the weather. What a crappy excuse. I didn't make much progress. Nothing new about the shielings, most of them buried under mud and snow anyway. Nothing new about the northern or eastern approach. I didn't take any pictures. I didn't swim in the loch. Too much snow on the beach, a rim of ice around the edge. The water dark and viscous, just before freezing. No attempt on Carn nan Gabhar. Avalanches, too dangerous, so I told myself. Wonderful.

Not much learned about animals either. I heard the barking of deer, the croaking of ravens, and whatever hellish noise the grouse is making. Rabbits or hares, I'm not so sure, dashed around the tent at night. I know, because I saw their tracks. More tracks in the morning: Something as big as a large dog with five-fingered paws. Badger? Otter? The tracks were too bad to tell, the snow too unreliable. Look, I try to pretend to know something about animal tracks.

I did visit the peninsula and the valve on my only little excursion on Saturday. The northern side of the peninsula ridge offers almost perfect shelter from the storm, here, pottering about down at the loch, one can only wonder why I found it so distastefully windy on the other side of the hill. Just climbing a few metres up serves as a good reminder. Hard snow drives horizontally into my face. This is the same place that I considered 'too hot' in July.

The valve is unchanged. Compared to July there is much much more water now in the valley, but the loch seems to have exactly the same level, plus/minus maybe a couple of inches. More water goes in, more water goes out. That's the only explanation. It's a well-balanced equilibrium. Which begs again the question: What the hell happened in 2005-6? A catastrophe?

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