My right foot.

8th January 2015

(Above) We’re often asked what it’s like working for the SAIS at Creag Meagaidh. My right foot tells the story pretty accurately today. Only one other of the 6 SAIS forecast areas is without the advantage of mechanical uplift, so for SAIS Torridon and ‘Meggie it’s ‘shanks’ pony’ every day. (Topped out at around 820m but no further photos due to a sharp deterioration in the weather in addition to a momentary loss of composure….)

Each day is a journey starting at 270m above sea level and it quite often feels like you have to travel through 2 or 3 climate zones to get to the Scottish ‘sub-arctic’. We’re not complaining because we know we’re fortunate to work in a wild and savagely beautiful place, even if the weather and the terrain can be a little ‘challenging’ at times!

(Apologies to Daniel Day Lewis for corrupting the title of one of hisĀ greatestĀ films)
Bright for very brief periods today

Bright for very brief periods today

Young birch, pine, heather and grasses under a thin cover of snow

Young birch, pine, heather and grasses under a thin cover of snow

Looking south

Looking south. The ‘track’ (a loose description) toward Sron a Ghoire at bottom left.

NE ridge of Sron a Ghoire. Hard going on foot above 750m

NE ridge of Sron a Ghoire. Hard going on foot above 750m

Looking down to a steely grey Loch Laggan during a snow shower.

Looking down to a steely grey Loch Laggan during a snow shower.

Comments on this post

  • Grant Duff
    8th January 2015 9:52 pm

    Your right foot has displayed the best SAIS report ever….love it! Now lets see some left foot action!

  • John Walker
    9th January 2015 8:38 am

    Don’t know whether to pity you or be extremely jealous of the walk in every day!? I suspect some days have/will be wonderful, and others less so! Great read, thanks……….

    • meagaidhadmin
      9th January 2015 9:01 am

      Thanks for your comment, John.
      Every day is different. The better weather days definitely compensate for the ‘soaked to your underpants & blown off your feet’ occasions! Overall, no grounds for complaint.

  • John Dalton
    9th January 2015 3:40 pm

    Your work looks fascinating from a distance: that intimacy with the mountain and the progression through the winter. It must be even more so first hand, albeit a bit less comfortable! Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • meagaidhadmin
      9th January 2015 4:14 pm

      Even though we know the area really well, indeed intimately, we always find something new about the place each day, though often of a minor nature of course. Sometimes I feel I am ‘hefted’ to the place, which, in the context of our work, is probably a good thing. (I think I just compared myself to a sheep….)

      Many thanks for your comment!

  • Helen Rennie
    9th January 2015 8:55 pm

    What an inventive way to show how height affects snow cover ! Love it ! Will be showing my school pupils this when talking about weather and altitude. Thanks, your blogs are always more than just photos.

    • meagaidhadmin
      9th January 2015 10:51 pm

      A long time ago in a previous life I was a teacher so am delighted you and your pupils might find this blog post useful. Let me know if I can help with further info/background etc..

      Many thanks for your comment, Helen.

  • aido
    9th January 2015 9:18 pm

    An interesting piece of work. Nicely done.
    A.

    • meagaidhadmin
      9th January 2015 10:51 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment, Aido.

  • wee Don
    10th January 2015 9:13 pm

    I love you’re attitude and approach to sharing an intimate knowledge of Meagaidh. I often read this blog – just to see what mischief you’ve been up to…. Just brilliant! Keep up the good work.

  • Helen Rennie
    11th January 2015 10:07 am

    Thanks Megaidadmin. Somehow I’m not surprised that you once were a teacher. I’ve learned much from your blogs over the past years.

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