Meall a'Phubuill and Meall Onfhaidh
21 April 2017
There is a good track almost all the way to the door of Glen Sulaig Cottage. This allowed me to cycle out from Fassern, firstly to transport 10kg of coal and kiln dried silver birch logs and then return for my sleeping and walking gear. I had a fine fire going by the time Alan and later Malky arrived. Clearing out the hearth first and using dry wood meant that little effort was required to keep the fire going, just occasionally adding another log or a little coal.
Photo courtesy of Alan Bellis
It was a wet and windy night but the forecast was for the weather to clear during the following day. I had plenty of time, so it was about 10:00 AM when I set off up the hill. There is a bridge across the Allt Coire nan Laogh near to the bothy, but I made my way up the faint path heading away from the back of the bothy towards the track that heads for Gleann Fionnlighe. The overnight rain had raised the level of the burn so I was glad to find a bridge higher up. The bad weather was still clearing, so few photographs were taken as rain soon wetted the lens resulting in blurry images. At the summit of Meall a'Phubuill, I tried to take a decent selfie but with limited success. Therefore they are not published here.
The descent off Meall a'Phubuill was steep and the wet grass was slippery, so progress to the bealach was slow. Gulvain was clearing and my next objective, Meall Onfhaidh was well clear of cloud.
Lower down Meall a'Phubuill, I heard a sound in the grass and was quick enough to catch this common lizard, Lacerta Zootica vivipara. The last time I caught one was on Beinn Tharsuinn but I failed to obtain a decent photograph before it escaped and scurried through the vegetation. This time, I held it gently for some time before opening my hand and allowing it to run up my arm. Perhaps it was resigned to being caught or perhaps its metabolism was still slow in the cool spring temperatures. It would probably have made a better photo had I walked 10-15 metres to a large boulder, but I am still pleased with these results.
From wildlifetrusts.org: The common lizard is the UK’s most common and widespread reptile. It is the only reptile native to Ireland. It is found across many habitats including heathland, moorland, woodland and grassland where it can be seen basking in sunny spots. Also known as the viviparous lizard, the species is unusual among reptiles for ‘giving birth’ to live young rather than laying eggs.
The route up Meall Onfhaidh was steep but I was soon on ground of an easier gradient.
Looking back with Gulvain (or Gaor Bheinn) left and Meall a'Phubuill right.
Meall a'Phubuill and Glen Loy.
Summit of Meall Onfhaidh.
There were still showers . . . . but the upside was this rainbow.
Gulvain and Meall a'Phubuill.
Upper Gleann Suileag (bothy just visible) and the Graham, Druim Fada.
Looking down to Glen Sulaig Cottage.
Still in no hurry, I ate a late lunch of noodles and tuna, before packing up my kit and heading off back to the car at Fassfern.