Our 100th Munro, and the road to Valhalla!

Hills: Beinn Bhreac
When: Monday 12 October 2015
Why? 100th Munro 😀
Who: cast of thousands. Well ok self, Stuart, Brian (Stuart’s dad) Liam (our mate and now Stuart’s brother-in-law) the Park family dog, and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Not as good as forecast: sunshine and ‘showers’ i.e. rain
Bog factor: pretty awful for the hill part of the walk
Path factor: great until the hill part
Mid walk drink: Singleton malt whisky
Post walk drink: Cairngorm Brewery Trade Winds, Shiraz and champagne (no not all in the same glass!)

I guess I had better explain the title of the report! In Norse mythology, Valhalla is the place that those killed in battle go after death for an afterlife of drinking, fighting and generally having fun (rather in contrast to the Blackadder view of heaven, which involves ‘singing, talking to God and watering pot plants’). However, the Valhalla Collection is also the name of a series of 4 limited edition whiskies released by the Highland Park Distillery all of which are named after Norse gods. We had bought a bottle of the first of these, ‘Thor’ a couple of years ago for the express purpose of saving it to celebrate our 100th Munro. It’s now selling for anything up to £750 a bottle, but we have hung onto it regardless, after all 100 Munros seems a good excuse to have some rather nice whisky!

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Wainwright Walks 19: Black Fell, Holme Hell!

Hills: Black Fell, Holme Fell
When: 25 September 2015
Who: self, Stuart and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Bit mixed – sunshine and showers
Distance: Was supposed to be 8 miles, actually nearer 12!
Bog factor: Almost none on Black Fell; absolute quagmire on Holme Fell
Path factor: Generally very good until Holme Fell. Generally good after Holme Fell. Holme Fell itself: awful!
Post walk drink: Rioja
Post walk watering hole: The Royal Oak, Ambleside

After a couple of days of ropey weather where we mostly chilled out and watched the rugby, the forecast for the 25th was… okay. Not brilliant, and on seeing the cloud level when we surfaced, a decision was taken to abandon the original idea of doing the Fairfield Horseshoe, a walk I’ve done before on a really good day (albeit having managed to inadvertently miss out Low Pike) and one that deserves another really good day for a repeat performance. I needed two more ‘ticks’ to reach 50 Wainwrights, so we hit the internet looking for a reasonably low level walk that wouldn’t take too long and would deliver the required two. A Lakes walking website suggested a circuit from Tarn Hows, heading up what sounded like good paths towards Black Fell, one of the lower Wainwrights, and then dropping down via some old quarries and looping back over Holme Fell. Both hills were less than 350m high and therefore it sounded as though a nice, straightforward, relaxing walk was in prospect. Did this happen? Well, the title says it all!

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