revisiting an old friend

Tue, Apr 21, 2015

Ah yes, it’s that time of year, when I let loose a sigh of relief that the incessantly soft and deep snow has gone and the spring flowers and birds are returning to my old friend, Blaven.

It’s been a busy time lately, what with doing my CBT, and passing my theory test (now that was a surprise!). I needed to pass in order to take my motorcycle mod1 test and so turned up at Kyle of Lochalsh on a wild day of atlantic storm and rain and signed in at the mobile test van. One half is the reception, the other is a soundproof booth big enough for about nine people I think I counted, all frowning and clicking their way through the theory and hazard perception tests. The chap logged on to one of the computers for me, sat me down, explained what to do and left me to it. The van rocked from side to side in the gale as I read the on screen instructions. Click, click, frown, click, frown some more, WTF? click click click and I was finished. I went back into the reception area to be handed my bit of paper. 48/50 for the theory and 55/75 for the hazards. I’d got zero for two of them as I’d clicked too many times but it was a rip roaring success! So another day on the 650 and my mod1 beckons.

Back to Blaven and it was beginning to get hot on the walk up the path

and I stopped at the second burn crossing to watch the ravens harass a golden eagle. They flew out of the corrie with one following literally a foot from the eagle, turning and sumersalting in front of it, escorting it all the way over to Beinn na Caillich.

A hot ascent followed, heading up the tourist path, listening to stonechats and what sounded suspiciously like a ring ouzel. I normally go up the south summit first for the scramble between the peaks but I thought it would still be choked with snow and a nice couple who’d camped on the summit confirmed this, as we met on their descent. I managed a good detour off into scrambling territory on the steeper rocks and the groove though. Turned out quite a few bods were on the south summit, not having much success getting across to the main summit so I had a very peaceful time watching the mountains and the clouds.

I could almost reach out and touch Ben Nevis, still plastered in snow that was shining bright under the blazing spring sun and it seemed like the whole of Scotland was laid out before me.

On the way down I stopped to play around with the camera, see if I could get some shots for my exhibition next spring and the rock architecture certainly helped.

Back in the corrie I was wondering what happened to the ravens as they’re normally up on top. The answer came shortly after as I spotted them still in combat with the eagle, who’d come back for a second shot.

What a day the three of us had!