Walk of the month
A’Mhaighdean: a castle of a mountain
A’ MHAIGHDEAN FISHERFIELD
Let’s start with the first stumbling block: it’s pronounced ‘A-vye-jen’. The second is nowhere near as quickly or easily overcome, and that’s the fact that this mountain is a long, long way from anywhere. One of the most common walk-ins starts is at Shenavall, a remote bothy seven kilometres from a road. From there it’s a further 12 hard kilometres to the summit. Which, of course, is only half way – you still need to get back.
It is undoubtedly, though, worth the trip. A’Mhaighdean is a behemoth, connected by saddles and passes to a huge area of high ground, with nothing around it but water, rock and alpine vegetation. Reaching it is unquestionably an expedition, but when you get there the views are just as large. Because of the epic distance, going overnight and including a summit camp is a good way to do it. This makes the trip more manageable and ups the odds of witnessing an early-morning cloud inversion. There’s little to match standing on this isolated, lofty peak and seeing all the mountains of the north-west jutting through cloud at your feet.
It may require some work but A'Mhaighdean is a gourmet mountain, which deserves savouring in perfect conditions.