A blast of Winter on Carn na h – Easgainn 616 metres Hill of the Eel.

The excellent Guide book The Graham’s and Donalds from the Scottish Mountaineering Club Hillwalking Guide says that this hill is excellent for a short day or for those travelling to the greater hills.

SMC Grahams and Donalds

SMC Grahams and Donalds

Probably the most significant guidebook to Scottish hillwalking in recent times, this handsomely illustrated book from The Scottish Mountaineering Club describes the recommended routes on The Grahams & The Donalds.

The Grahams is a list of 224 Scottish hills between 2000ft (610m) and 2500ft (762m) in height and was compiled by Fiona Torbet (nee Graham) and Alan Dawson in 1992. The Donalds is a list of 140 Scottish hill summits above 2000ft (610m) in the Scottish Lowlands and was compiled by Percy Donald in 1935.

This is the first and only colour definitive guidebook to The Grahams & The Donalds and follows in the footsteps of the Scottish Mountaineering Club s best-selling guidebooks to The Munros and The Corbetts. There are colour location maps of each group, together with their neighbouring hills, plus 175 detailed colour route maps and over 250 detailed descriptions, including links to other hills. The guidebook is illustrated by 320 colour photographs of the hills. There are Gaelic hill name translations plus an indexed list of Grahams and Donalds in height order, together with a full standard index.

It was an ideal hill for me a this cough is still with me. A few years ago we formed a  group of pals in the Last of the Summer Wine Mountaineering Club who managed to meet in Inverness for a customary coffee before a wander out down the A9. I took Diane with me for Burghead she fancied a day out and in the end there was 7 of us. Inverness was covered in black ice in the car park and we met at 0930 and were off by 0945 down the A9 into the  blinding orb of the sun. We were met by Doug Scott ( David Tomkins ) an old pal from my Mountain Rescue days in the lay by the A9 were we parked with Bailey his daughters dog.  The walk is as the guide-book describes easy as you follow a hill track all the way to the summit. There are two shooting bothies which gave a great break out of the elements.

2017 Early light

It was a great wander you are soon away from the traffic and the under the railway and though the skies were dark with more snow promised it was an easy walk to the first bothy for a break just as the snow got heavier.

We all brought a feast with us there was ham, shortbread, pork pies, chocolates, cake, even cold Brussels Sprouts  and sandwiches.  I was  struggling with my cough but it was great to be out. We met an Estate wagon coming down the track and it was kind of the Estate to let folk use the bothy and good to get out of the weather.


Derrick and Babs did not come to the summit and the weather got worse with all the winter kit on and the snow getting heavier, you would have needed goggles further up. There was a fair amount of snow falling and Brent’s guests from Maidenhead got a great insight int how a short winter wander can be very serious.

On the summit we had the usual quick photos and then headed for the next 5 star bothy near the summit where it was great to get a break. My face was stinging and eyes were sore with the snow and we met another group in the bothy. The cough was hard going and I was spluttering a bit with the cold and glad it was a short day.

As we left our tracks were obliterated but the wind was at our backs so it was hoods up and get off the hill. Coming down the weather brightened and the snow was deep in places. I caught up with group and had a great chat with Dave Tomkins and some of the memories of wild days in Wales in Scotland will fill a few blogs.

I was soon in the days of our climb nearly on Cenotaph Corner in Llanberris Pass where he soled Cemetery Gates instead!  These were great climbing days, when Dave was a bairn superb mountain days and we meet on a small hill of the A9. Dave has had more epics than Doug Scott in his climbing, Ski,  parapenting days and it was so good to catch up, we will meet again.

The cars were covered in snow and it was a quick sort out with a brush to clear the snow then head home. I think Diane enjoyed the day and hope my cold clears soon.

The winter is back ensure you have the gear and plan for the conditions,navigation experience, winter gear, goggles essential for the high mountains. At least we had no views of the massive Wind Farm at Farr where there are 40 wind turbines.

Lots of snow fell so please read the avalanche reports daily and get the updated weather.  This is a great area for biking in the summer and skis in the winter. Thanks Brent for organising the day.


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 Avalanche info, Book, Books, Corbetts and other hills, Enviroment, Friends, mountain safety, SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Views Political?, Weather, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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