From Sunrise to Sunset, the perfect winters day in Laide, Wester Ross.

Sometimes you get the perfect winter day. Snow on the hill tops. Wall to wall clear blue skies with great visibility. Cold & crisp with not a breath of breeze.

On such a day you could do worse than visit the trig point that overlooks Laide & Aultbea. At just 293 meters Beinn Dearg Bad Chailleach is only a hillock but it does command superb 360 degree views. All of the local hills are on show & on a clear day the peaks of Skye, Harris & Sutherland can all be taken in.

It’s a walk that’s probably best undertaken when either there has been a hard frost or following a very dry spell. For certain sections bog snorkeling would be the order of the day in normal ground conditions.

The trig point takes a couple of hours to reach from Laide & on a good day it’s easy to spend an hour or two at the top admiring the views.

Whilst we weren’t lucky enough to see much wildlife on our walk this time, we did see clear evidence of the tracks of mountain hare, deer & grouse in the snow. Right beside the trig point there were mountain hare droppings & the fur pellet from what looks to have been from an eagle. The trig point would be a great vantage point for an eagle, but not so good for the hare!!

We chose to head out early so that we could watch the suns movement around the bay through sunrise to sunset

img_0347img_0364

 

The sun rising above An Teallach with silhouettes of Beinn Ghobhlach & The Coigachs.

img_0350

The heather moorland behind Laide. You might just be able to make out the bright dot to the right (it was exceptionally bright to the naked eye, not so much in the photo). Planet or satellite?

img_0369img_0375

Views to the North with the sun beginning to shine on the very tips of the peaks. The Coigachs, Quinag & Foinaven prominent. The tops of Suilven & Stac Pollaidh can be seen (Stac Pollaidh only just). Foinaven is close to Kinlochbervie,  90 miles or so to the North of Laide.

img_0382A closer look  at Quinag with Foinaven to the left & the top of the iconic Suilven to the right.

Trudging over the moorland we came across several peat overhangs with some sharp looking teeth!! Brrrrrr!

 

A couple of hours in and the old timer needs to prop himself up on the trig point.

img_0500

Looking South. The trig point was doing a fine job of obscuring the winter sun. Here we found the fur pellet where something had chosen the trig to perch and dispose of it’s fur ball.

img_0439

 

Loch Fada in the foreground, with Beinn Airigh Charr , A Mhaighdean  & Ruadh Stac Mor in the distance.

img_0515

The view over Aultbea. Whilst it’s difficult to see from this image, beneath the cloud line the hills of Harris were visible to the naked eye.

img_0444

The Calmac ferry leaving Ullapool and on it’s way to Stornoway.

img_0460

A lovely view of Laide, perched on the shores of Gruinard Bay

img_0511

An Teallach & Sail Mhor looking splendid in the midday sunshine.

img_0480img_0466

The slopes of An Teallach. It would have been a challenging day on the very high tops today!

img_0469

Sail Mhor. The last time we were on Sail Mhor the Ptarmigan were vocalising because of the overhead threat of a golden eagle.

img_0472

Beinn Ghoblach, the forked mountain. It might only be just over 600 meters in height but looking over Scoraig it does impress as it towers over Little Loch Broom.

img_0477

The impressive slopes of Quinag. In the snow quite a daunting looking prospect from every angle.

img_0494img_0491

Loch a Bhaid-luachraich. A mirror lock in the still conditions. The snowy hills on the Isle of Skye poking above the heather clad hills of Wester Ross.

After spending some considerable time by the trig point admiring every view through the camera and the binoculars and tracking the varied animal prints in the snow we tore ourselves away and walked home.

img_0518img_0534

By late afternoon the sun began it’s descent over Laide, pink light glowing over the snowy caps with the moon perfectly positioned between the Coigachs and Beinn Ghoblach. A little bit later with the sun set, the moon was shimmering on the still, pond like sea.

img_0557

The Oystercatchers on Laide beach getting themselves settled in for an early evening snooze. Usually quite skittish they were unconcerned by the visitor busy taking photos as the sun set.

img_0520img_0528

The last of the daylight, the sun disappears and for just a few more minutes leaves a beautiful glow in the sky over An Teallach, Sail Mhor, Beinn Ghoblach & The Coigachs. The perfect end to the perfect winters day in Wester Ross.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “From Sunrise to Sunset, the perfect winters day in Laide, Wester Ross.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s