After two days of walking and a day cycling we had one day with some mild dampness, before another sustained spell of good weather. We took this as a good opportunity to enjoy a rest day before heading out for dinner. The next morning we woke up to a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and without a breath of wind, we quickly decided it was too hot to go walking and we needed to go and get some brunch (definitely not the wine…). As the day continued to heat up, we did indeed decide that it was too hot to enjoy walking, but we could make the most of the conditions by waiting for it to cool down before climbing Conival and sleeping on the summit.
Due to the lack of phone reception we didn’t actually realise that it was forecast to be 30 degrees, or that the far north of Scotland was the hottest place in the UK. We left the car park after 7pm, and the walk up still felt brutally hot. I am pretty sure I have never been hotter walking, even in the alps! Eventually we made it up to the location where we needed to collect water, which gave us a good excuse for a rest but thankfully was also where we found a light breeze. This breeze enabled us to make quick time up to the summit, we arrived just before sunset at 10pm.
The sunset was beautiful, and it was great to be able to enjoy it on the top of the mountain without worrying about the walk down. After some horrible dehydrated meal we went to bed at around midnight, which was a bit surreal as it was still light enough not to need a head torch. The alarms were duly set for 4:20 in order to walk up for sunrise, which was a tad unpleasant! The beautiful sunrise did make the brief early start worthwhile.
Our second wake up was at a far more appropriate time, after a quick breakfast due to running out of gas we headed for the second summit which looked like it was only a short distance away. This was deceptive as it was far further than it looked and the ground was such that progress was fairly slow. After longer than expected we made it back to our bags on the summit of Conival and were able to enjoy some water! During the descent it became unbearably hot as yet again there was not a breath of wind. I was not at all envious of the people climbing the mountain!
By the time we made it back down the valley we were both feeling pretty hot and bothered, so elected to make use of the cold stream to wash and cool down which was fairly refreshing.