The Warning Sign
Sunrise over Rannoch Moor and the mountains of Glencoe from Stob Mhic Mhartuin. I drove up to Glencoe at 0600 hours this morning after the MetOffice weather forecast said it 'may' be a nice dawn. After parking at the Altnafeadh lay-by I began the climb up the Devil's Staircase in the dark with a head torch. It was hard going as the staircase was mostly ice with the snow about 6 inches deep. At the top of the staircase I turned left for the climb up to Stob Mhic Mhartuin and thats when the fun really began. The snow drifts were thigh deep in places and the going pretty heavy. The temperature down below was minus 10, don't know what it was up top but it was a wee bit chilly. Nevertheless the dawn was spectacular. After having my traditional breakfast of coffee and jaffa cakes I looked over to Buachaille Etive Mòr and saw a blizzard moving in rapidly. In about 20 minutes it was a 'whiteout' and I couldn't see my footsteps to judge how to get back to the Devil's Staircase. Nothing for it than to sit tight in a snow hole and wait for it to pass. After about 30 mins the weather was sufficiently clear to make my way back down. The drive back home was dodgy as snow covered the roads all the way from Glencoe to Loch Lomond. There's an old saying 'Red Sky at Night - Shepherds delight, Red Sky in Morning - Get off the mountain quick'.