We’d been able to head north on Tuesday evening, so by Wednesday morning we’d arrived safely at the parking at Killilan beyond the head of Loch Long, inland from Dornie. We reminisced about a canoe trip we’d done up the loch a couple of years ago. As a preamble to our longer Corbett-bagging trip, we’d decided to do the short ascent of Sguman Coinntich directly west of Killilan.
The weather was still dreich with low cloud shrouding the hills, so we opted to ignore a traverse of Ben Killilan as suggested in one guidebook, and head up to the Bealach Mhic Bheathain and scramble up onto the northeast ridge of Sguman Coinntich and thus to the top. This proved to be a fairly simple navigational exercise, and we returned by our outward route. Finding the right line on the scramble in the thick mist gave a little excitement. We were soon back at the van, drying out and preparing ourselves for a big bagging trip over the next two days...
We were glad to cross the col, and descend to where another path headed west towards Faochaig, our next target for the day. This was to be part three of our plan. It was relaxing to be walking without a heavy pack, and the stalkers' path threaded a circuitous and interesting route to the top. It was an excellent viewpoint, one of those hills which lie in a place where you realise how the different parts of your mental map of the country interact with one another. Soon, however, we had to return to the col for part four of our plan, the trip north to Maol Bhuidhe bothy.
On the way back we met another stravaiger who was going down the burn fishing for his supper. We exchanged pleasantries, then made our way back to the bothy and set about preparing food. We’d gone to the effort of bringing something fresh and tasty, and, as always, the effort was worth it. We’d been cooking outside and two more bothy-goers turned up while we were finishing off, so Mhairi moved our sleeping bags and mats into the smaller upstairs room to give them more space.
In conversation it turned out that the two were involved in walking The Cape Wrath Trail, which runs 230 miles from Fort William to Cape Wrath. One guy had been out for six days, his companion for three. They gave us a look at a guidebook to the trail, which we knew very little about. capewrathtrailguide.org They both seemed very tired and footsore, but determined. The other chap returned with enough little trout to fry up for his evening meal. I noticed he fried them some chunks of chorizo. We’ll need to try that (if I ever actually catch any). I discovered we shared a liking for the website parkswatchscotland.co.uk/ He was going to stay another night at the bothy and fish some of the lochs despite the forecast heatwave. The midges came out as the sun went down, so we bunked down fairly quickly in the upstairs sleeping area.