Pointing north from the summit of Conival to the bright quartzite-capped ridge to Mullach Leathaid Riabhaich.
60 miles. 13700ft height gain. Three days.
Big runs or races always come with a bit of an edge. An uncertainty about the outcome. The bigger the run, the harder the edge. But towards the end of those runs, there is often a moment of calm and concentration when you realise you have the finish within you. And so it was on the Watershed. When I reached the A835 east of Ullapool I still had about 160 miles still to run.
Day 24 – the Beinn Dearg Munros and Seana Bhraigh
I know few hills better than I know the Beinn Dearg’s and the weather couldn’t have been kinder – it was cool, dry and bright and the cloud base was just above the summits – giving the mountains around an added sense of scale.
Sometimes during my run on the Watershed the little niggling pains, the fatigue and especially the nausea clouded out all else. More than once I was so focused on those distractions that I almost felt like giving up. But the day on the Beinn Deargs was the other extreme. I was tired from the accumulated mileage for sure; but I was meant to be there that day.
Left: Loch Broom and Ullapool in the distance from Iorguill. Right: Enjoying some ginger beer back at base in Ullapool - same day.
Iorguill, is one of my favourite mountains in Scotland. Long before I was even aware of the Watershed I noticed how its summit has a view of Loch Broom and the Minch to the west, yet the Allt Mhucharnaich in the vast glen below its summit drains to the east to reach Loch Glascarnoch and then - the North Sea. Iorguill has one of those intriguing Gaelic names. It probably means place of the skirmish or uproar. What happened here to give it this name? Over the centuries, how many have used this land-bridge to connect the high places of the Beinn Dearg hills to the Fannichs and the Dirie Mor?