Set off early on Saturday for what promised to be a great day on Ben Alder. Up before the alarm at 4.30, I was at Dalwhinnie crossing gates for 6.30 and then the cycle into Culra. I was at the summit of Ben Alder by 10.30 having taken the Long Leachas ridge to the plateau. I'd enjoyed the mild scrambling and the sunshine on the ridge. By contrast there was no sun at the summit - clouds had come in from the west, providing a thin veil which the sun was unable to penetrate.
On and down to the Bealach Breabag then the pleasant ridge along to Beinn Bheoil by 12.30. I'd been fortunate to see four ptarmigan - including one apparently lone female on the plateau, then a pair and lone male on the second Munro - followed by a pair of dotterel as I left the cairn.
I was back at the car by 15.30 after a memorable day.
On Sunday I had decided to continue painting the outside windows on my cottage. This has been an ongoing project since 2002, the property being (I suspect) a typical hillwalker's house, suffering from a certain lack of attention from the paintbrush.
With the rain on I decided to head for B&Q and realised why I like the solitude of the hills so much. The crowd was so great there was even a queue for the shopping trolleys.
'Give Me The Hills' I thought, with thanks of course to Syd Scroggie.