Hill: Sgurr Marcasaidh
Date: Saturday 26th December 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 10.6km, Ascent: 600m
Time: 3Hrs 15Mins

December has been a write-off as far as hillwalking is concerned. Whenever I have had a free day to go walking, the forecast has been awful and today was no different. Despite the forecast I really needed to get out. I set off from home just after 06:00 this morning in the direction of Inverness with the intention of ascending one of several remaining sub2000ft Marilyns in the area.

As I approached Inverness, the weather was not inspiring. I was almost tempted to go to see Star Wars instead! Beyond Inverness, I made my way towards Strathconon with a view to ascending Sgurr Marcasaidh.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

The start of this walk was through a beautiful birch wood. Many of the birch trees were covered in lichen.

Start of track through birch wood:

Despite the forecast suggesting strong winds and rain, it remained dry throughout the walk. It was however very windy.

The road/track to Glenmarksie and beyond is very good.

Sgurr Marcasaidh from the birch wood:

Sgurr Marcasaidh from track beyond Glenmarksie:

It had been my intention to follow the excellent track as far as possible towards the hill. However, on seeing a small herd of deer following a deer track up the hill, I decided to follow them.

Onto a deer track:

The deer track was a bit wet in places but it followed an excellent line up the hill.

Following a deer track:

Looking back to Gleann Marcasaidh:

From some distance away, I could see a transmitter on Sgurr Marcasaidh. I ended up passing within about 25m of it.

Transmitter on Sgurr Marcasaidh:

The snowline today was at 400m.

Looking down to Gleann Marcasaidh:

Sgurr Marcasaidh:

On seeing the summit, I made my way directly towards it.

Looking towards the summit of Sgurr Marcasaidh:

Approaching the summit of Sgurr Marcasaidh:

It was very cold and windy at the summit. I didn't hang around up there.

At the summit of Sgurr Marcasaidh:

While standing at the summit, I could see another hill in the distance that looked about the same height as Sgurr Marcasaidh. I therefore got the map out to check. The hill in the distance was Sgurrachd Ire, which is allegedly 8m lower than Sgurr Marcasaidh. Had the weather been better I would have ventured out to it. Today, I just wanted to get back down.

Looking towards Sgurrachd Ire from the summit of Sgurr Marcasaidh:

I followed my footprints in the snow back down the hill. During the descent, I again saw a number of deer.

While walking back through the lovely birch wood, I also saw numerous long-tailed tits.

A lichen-clad birch tree at the birch wood:

It was great to get out on the hill today but I am hoping for less windy weather tomorrow.