Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Fara

The Fara (Ladder Hill) is a Corbett at the highest point of a ridge on the west side of Loch Ericht. Starting from Dalwhinnie the best route goes along the estate track on the shore of Loch Ericht, passing the imposing gatehouse of Ben Alder estate.

Along the shore, which lies some 360 metres above sea level, signs of Spring were evident; dog violets and primroses studded every sunny bank.

After about 9 kilometres the main entrance to Ben Alder Lodge is passed, and the route begins to climb to the southwesterly end of the ridge. Away to the west, Ben Alder's Leachas ridges and the Lancet Edge of Sgor Iutharn were being hammered by wintry showers.

The showers caught me at the top of the climb to the first high point of the ridge, Meall Cruaidh. The visibility came and went in curtains of stinging snow pellets, but the band of showers passed as I headed along the ridge to give views down to Loch Ericht from near the summit at 911m.

There's a very steep descent back to the loch shore (actually the guidebook ascent route). The showers down here were of rain rather than snow. Rainbows came and went as the sun and showers alternated, this one over a cottage on the east shore of the loch.

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