I stayed here about forty minutes. I took photographs and conversed with a chap whom I’d met the year before at a Glen Shiel camp site. He was halfway through his second round of Munros, the highest Scottish hills. He knew the highlands as well as anyone and more than most. I forget why he said it, but he told me no one at work knew about his passion. He never told them. He said he preferred the books by the Scottish Mountaineering Club to any other. There’s no opinion in them, no narrative, unlike other books which partly feature the personality of the writer.

We spoke about outdoor magazines, weather, and how spring, he said, was the best time for the Scottish hills. Summer is impossible with insufferable midges. He’d found autumn disappointing for many years.

I was surprised and delighted with Slioch. The views are both wonderful and evocative, with An Teallach calling me in the distance. I was there a few days later.

Few people were here but a couple appeared and we all spoke together. They were on their way to Skye. I’d been to Skye, I said, but not to Loch Coruisk which is where they were headed. I want to go there, I said, maybe next year.


Hiking In Scotland: Slioch

Wednesday August 1, 2012