Bike Hike and Summit Camp - Laggan - Scotland

4 weeks ago 23

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I wanted to climb the three munros south of Loch Laggan in Ardverikie for some time. When I heard the area was potentially going to be forever scarred by new dams and 4WD tracks as part of a major hydro-electric scheme I knew I had to get there quickly before it all changed.

It was a warm spring day in early May but the wind was blowing 40mph so it was quite a challenge at times, especially on the summits. I cycled in from Luiblea to Lochan na h-Earba, hid the bike by an a tumbledown ruin and hiked up the first munro Creag Pitridh (924m). It was blowin' a hoolie but I managed to find a bit of shelter for a wild camp just below the summit.

Next morning it was still very windy. I headed off to the second munro Geal Charn (1049m), a huge lump of a mountain with a massive cairn on top. Again the wind nearly knocked me off my feet.

From Geal Charn it's a very long hike to the third and final munro (and the highest) Beinn a' Chlachair (1087m). At the saddle between the two mountains there's a fine view over Loch a' Bhealaich Leamhain, a remote and wild loch that is the target for the new hydro-electric scheme (the second largest in Scotland apparently).

There's a short sharp pull up from the bealach to the plateau and then it's a straightforward yomp for about 3km to the summit. The plateau is intermittently grassy and rocky. It would be easy to get disorientated in low cloud but I had clear blue skies and wonderful views of the remote munros of the Ben Alder Forest. Ben Alder itself still had plenty of snow. This is a truly wild area. I heard golden plovers, was buzzed by a golden eagle and saw blaeberry bumblebees (Bombus monticola) in the heather. Who knows what will become of the place if the hydro scheme gets approved. More about that here...

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Remember that hiking and mountain climbing can be dangerous. The videos on my channel are for entertainment only (other than where specified). Always prepare well and be willing to abandon a trip if it becomes dangerous due to weather or unexpected trail conditions. If you are new to hiking and the great outdoors it's always a good idea to go with a guide or a more experienced companion. And remember - give the wildlife some space, leave no trace, go quietly and enjoy it out there!

• A word on DRONES
I know how annoying it can be to hear a drone whizzing about when you are trying to enjoy the peace and solitude of wild places. I'm also aware of the potential to disturb wildlife with them. I always avoid flying the drone when there are other hikers around. It's one of the reasons I tend to hike at less popular times of day and in mid-week and I avoid using the drone if I do see others nearby. I never fly a drone towards wildlife or where birds are likely to be nesting.

00:00 Intro
00:20 Biking in
02:23 Creag Pitridh (munro 1)
04:15 Summit camp
07:29 Geal Charn (munro 2)
10:26 Beinn a' Chlachair (munro 3)
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