From the Cairn Ban Archives... 

Moonlight and Spectres on Sgur na h-Ulaidh

Ian Collinson, 15 January 2006

The weather forecast gave us the prospect of howling gales for Sunday’s outing so noticing a window of opportunity on Saturday a determined gang of 7 set out on the Saturday instead.

Jimmy Wilson, Alan Wade and Campbell's nephew David joined in with Campbell himself, Ian, Billy and Douglas. Leeman's Lunar Logic held true as a full moon lit up the darkness as cars headed north to GlenCoe. The moon majestically illuminated the snow blasted slopes of Creise and Meal a' Bhuiridh and we hoped for a magical clear bright day.

Sgur na h-Ulaidh had been selected by Billy and Douglas as their latest conquest and off we set. The slopes up onto the main ridge are unrelentingly steep and we all puffed our way onto the ridge where something rather special awaited us. Half way up the slope it was noticeably quiet with only the sound of the burns and streams gurgling and flowing throughout the glen.

With bright winter sunshine peering through breaks in the cloud and banks of cloud covering the ridge beneath us - there cast upon the cloud was a fine brockenspectre. In a flash (pardon the pun) the digital cameras were whipped out and Billy and Jimmy have some fine shots for the website in the bag.

As the cloud seemed perched opver the ridge like a duvet covering a giant sleeping thing a spectrum began to appear on the edge of the cloud which then further split into more spectrums. I for one have never witnessed this and am glad they sight was captured for our web-gallery.

Sgur na h-Ulaidh is a steep blighter and the final pull up to the summit gave great views of Beinn a' Bheither at Ballachullich and glimpses of the Firth of Lorne and Moidart.

We welcomed Jimmy Wilson on his first trip with the club and as a teacher it turns out a few of the boys are former pupils of his!

The summit slopes were a bit slippy with what seemed to be a fine layer of ice on the rocks and ground so we took our time and a bit of care on the descent.

It's about 15 years since I last ventured up this, one the quieter hills in Glencoe, and I have to say it seems even steeper than I remember it - perhaps a sign of age and a dodgy knee! There were quite a few parties out on the hill - presumably all taking advantage of one decent day’s weather and every car park in Glencoe was full as we headed homewards. Only Douglas and Billy headed for the comfort of the Clachaig... I guess the meters were ticking against Saturday ‘Pass-outs’!

Winter sun and great views. A cracker.

Our next trip is Sunday 29th January - a wee bit of snow wouldn't go amiss!!