Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A night under the err...star

God bless Her Majesty. For the mere price of an established hereditary principle and the upholding of 1000 years of subjugation at our own expense we get three holidays in just over a year. I have made good use of this royal bounty by hitting the hills on all 3 occasions. 
The Jubilee wheeze was a traverse of the north side of Kintail from Cluanie to Morvich taking in 6 Munros and 3 tops with a bivvy at the midpoint. While the hills were grand the bivvy was a new experience for me. We found a fine spot under Sgurr na Ciste Dubh where some small horseshoe rock walls indicated that others had had the same idea. It was sheltered from a keen north wind but it had little in the way of a view but we settled down for the night after a few brews and a wee dram. I snuggled down into my bivvy bag and looked forward to a fine night of stars and meteors.  It was 11.30 before the first star winked on to be followed by ...well...nothing. The night was too bright for any sort of display and even when I woke at the back of 2am only the major constellations like the Plough and Cassiopeia were out. The bright night was added to by a full moon which did not rise high enough to reach our bivvy sight but still cast a pale glow over the face  of the hill behind. 
A fine,comfortable night was passed and despite a frost settling I was so warm I had to rise to cast off layers. 
Bed, breakfast and boulders
In the morning we rose at a leisurely pace,brewed up and broke camp and had polished off three Munros by a shade after 10am. That's got to be a good day. I felt moved enough for a quick rendition of the national anthem but I could not remember the words.

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