For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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Friday, 15 May 2009

Post number 1


As an introduction and a starting point I will go back to 16th April 2008 when I set off and walked from Lands End to John 'o Groats in seventy seven days (no rest days).

For anybody who wants to plough through the seventy odd pages of my journal from this walk I would be happy to email this on request.

In December 2007 I had an arthroscopy on my right knee. This stood the rigours of LE/JG and on my return I went back to Scotland where I still had thirty or so Munros to complete. I had to come home early from this trip because my left knee became unbearable; I had an arthroscopy on this knee in December 2008. After careful nurturing of the supposedly mended knee I started doing modest walks in the Lake district using The Wainwrights as a sort of target and focus (I recommend Walking the Wainwrights by Stuart Marshall as a good guide for anybody wanting to undertake Wainwrights completion).

Although I have climbed many of these hills in the past I decided to start counting again from my most recent Ennerdale Horseshoe round which I think includes over a dozen - this was on 5th June 2007, and I have now climbed 59 of the 214 Wainwrights

The newly serviced knee was still niggling but did not seem to get any worse, so on 22nd of April 2009 I set off for Munro country again with my caravan having at that stage only 18 Munros to do. I stayed on The Loch Lomond Holiday Park site at Inveruglas, and below is record of my activities.

Thurs. 23/4/09 Ben Vane
Fri. 24/4/09 Beinn Bhuidhe
Sat. 25/4/09 Beinn a Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich
Sun. 16/4/09 Rest day (knee hurting)
Mon. 27/4/09 Beinn Achaladair, Beinn a Chreachain
Tues. 28/4/09 Rest day
Wed. 29/4/09 Ben Mor (Mull)
Thurs. 30/4/09 Rest day
Fri. 1/5/09 Rest day
Sat. 2/5/09 Ben Lui, Beinn a Cleibh


The rest days were partly because of weather and partly because of increasing trouble with the knee.

Ascent of Ben Lui and Beinn a Cleibh.

The highlight of this trip was the ascent of Ben Lui and Beinn a Cleibh. I cycled the four miles or so from Dalrigh and set off up the hill in rain with clouds down on the tops. I could just see into the lower part of Ben Lui's corrie. Halfway to the corrie a snowstorm developed giving a covering of new snow on old. I pulled out onto the ridge and met a young couple there and we proceeded together.

There is a section of about 150ft of very exposed and steep pathway on rock ledges with a grade 1 scramble halfway, and with everything covered in snow this certainly concentrated the mind. Next there was a steep twenty foot bank of snow which required step kicking to gain access to the summit plateau. The couple went off to the left to do Ben Oss and its neighbour whilst I went straight ahead to descend to a col and then climb Beinn a Cleibh.

My intended return was by the same route as the ascent but there was no way I was going to reverse that ridge in the prevailing conditions. After Beinn a Cleibh I descended back to the col and then skirted right round the lower bulk of Ben Lui to arrive at a point well below the serious ridge. It was on the descent from here that my knee became unbearably painful, and it took me quite a long time to get back to the track where I had left the bike.

The cycle ride out was magnificent - downhill nearly all the way.

After all this I had to come back home because of the knee still leaving nine Munros to do.

Sgurr Mor (nr Loch Quoich)
Sron a Choire Ghairbh and Meall na Tanga (west of Loch Lochy)
Gaor Bheinn (Gulvain) (off Ft. William to Mallaig road)
Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre (Loch Ossian - do from Corrour Station)
Ben Oss and Beinn Dubchraig (nr Tyndrum)
Beinn Mhanach (nr Tyndrum)

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Having some enforced rest, and browsing about on my pc I rediscovered the blog site of a young couple I met on my Land's End to John 'o Groats walk (Mick and Gayle), and I discovered that they are seven days into the TGO (The Great Outdoors magazine Challenge). This is a challenge walk across Scotland with various optional starting and finishing points. They had started from Oban, and by coincidence they had ascended Ben Lui on 10th May and I had been there on the 2nd. I have shown a link to their blog here.
So that is an update of my recent history, and hopefully more focused blogs will now follow.

2 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

What about all the accents on the names of the Scottish mountains? Or are they the equivalent of cedillas and circumflexes?

Sir Hugh said...

The only ones I've noticed are sort of acute accents after the letter a

e.gs. Cona´Mheall
A´Chailleach

These can be inserted using ALT+0180 but as you have noticed I have not been using them so far, partly because I have no idea what effect they have on pronunciation, or what they are indicating, and it would have been too much extra to bother with in the prolonged white heat of setting up this blog.

Having now climbed 275 Munros over a period of years i do feel a bit ashamed that I have not taken the trouble to learn Gaelic pronunciation - one is frequently corrected by fellow Scottish Munroists in this respect.