Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Arkle Sunday 5 Sept 2010

Arkle from Loch Stack

Have had our sights set on Arkle since passing by it to climb Foinaven last May they both have the same starting point just past Achfary at the start of the private road to Lone bothy. Once past the bothy but still on the track we passed through the boulders which are almost like a gateway  into a small plantation.
Boulder Gateway
Ben Stack from above plantation

After climbing out of the plantation we reached the small cairn that marks the route up Arkle, this route continues unrelenting to reach Meall Aonghais but all the way up has great views. At this point we stopped for something to eat and were entertained by two ravens showing us their flying skills but I really think they wanted our lunch, also at this point you get the first glimpse of the Arkle ridge in front of you.
Watching the Raven & the Arkle Ridge
At 758m just further along the ridge is where you get the real first view of Foinaven and the real summit of Arkle
Arkle's narrowing ridge & summit
Foinaven from Arkle
After leaving point 758m the ridge begins to narrow and at one point just before the summit narrows considerably. The day was warm and sunny but rather windy and the wind was as usual much stronger(gusting 50-60mph) higher up, when we reached the very narrow  point we had to crawl along and traverse ledges to reach the wider summit plateau (not for the faint hearted) but the views from the top were well worth it, mindblowing !!
Foinaven and looking out to the Sea

The Summit Cairn
A VERY windblown me at the Summit

Looking back at the ridge
The descent was just the same as ascent but with great views to the Corbett Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill. A truely magic day and I think the best of the year so far. Sutherland is pure brilliant !!
Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill.

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