Black ice and great views – worth getting out

I wanted to get out to a Applecross on the West Coast yesterday mainly to use to height gained at the Applecross road Beleach Na Ba. It was very adventurous for this time of year as the roads would be interesting due to a heavy frost during the night, I was hoping for a short walk.

I was not leaving till daylight and picked up Bernie in Forres and it was an easy drive to

Inverness with Ben Wyvis and the neighboring hills looking plastered. There were a few gritters  out and the light was wonderful as the

mountains appeared from a dark and freezing night!

Early morning light

Early morning light

As usual I stopped to check the road as black ice was always a worry and to stretch the legs after my operations. The roads were very quite and as I left the well gritted main Ullapool road for the Achnasheen road and encounters some bad patches of black ice. Other cars seemed oblivious to this and charged on. I just took it easy and enjoyed the views and the frosted

trees and herds of deer down on the flats near Achanasheen.



At Ledgowan just after Achnasheen I stopped to get a photo of the awful new road that has been bulldozed on the hill. The road was covered
in Black ice and I decided to return back. I could hardly stand on the road and even with  my snow tyres on it was tricky pulling away again and turning.

I decided to go back onto the main Ullapool road which was clear. As I  passed Ben Wyvis it was plastered in snow and the whole way was frozen in a deep frost. Time was moving on and we got hit by a few snow showers. I

stopped again at familiar stops looking at loch Glascarnock that was



now icing up and the Fannichs and Beinn Dearg looking covered in snow. This is one of

my favourite places and the vastness of this huge area makes this special. Few walk these open spaces in mid winter and I just enjoyed the views  between the heavy snow showers wishing I was on these wild summits.


Unfortunately I am still feeling pretty weak and with the time left and my fitness meant that there would be no hills today!

Instead we drove back to Rogie Falls and had a short walk in the icy paths by the river.  The river was still running and it is a beautiful place indeed.

There were a few families out and some very brave mountain bikers in the car park when

we returned.  It was then back home early and the now busy roads full of football fans heading to the game at Inverness. My friends had a wild day in Glen Affric and another in Kintail with high winds and deep snow in places, that made my short day a bit of an old mans trip. Never mind that was enough for me today.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Black ice and great views – worth getting out

  1. Peter Kay says:

    We are not old men Hev’s, we are experienced mountaineers – we know when to bang out, thats why we are still here.

    Pete K 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.