The blog has recently been on something of a hiatus – for the simple reason I’ve not done any walking. This is partly intentional – i.e. after finishing off the 100 we needed a bit of a break – and partly due to circumstance – i.e. being extremely busy as well as a run of bad weather. Although we are heading to the North of Scotland for a week in the next few days, the weather forecast suggests that a last hurrah for the year is looking a bit unlikely.
From a numbers perspective we have done very few Munros this year, but hit a major milestone, doing our 100th Munro on Beinn Bhreac in October. Looking back at our Munro bagging career so far there have been definite highs and lows; some glorious days, and some days where it has been a case of grit teeth and get on with it, although there have been relatively few of those given we don’t like walking in poor weather.
Our first was definitely a high – not least because given my back issues I had no real expectation of being able to manage one Munro, never mind 100 of the things. It didn’t hurt that we got a glorious spring day for the first, Beinn Ime in Arrochar – with glorious views all round. Finding out that I had managed to dye myself pink because the dye on my top had run was a minor low point not least because it took me a while to twig I didn’t have some sort of bizarre hill walking disease!
Buachaille Etive Mor was a definite highlight – a hill I always thought would be in the too hard box, but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that hard at all. Stunning views and an iconic hill.
The first winter walk on Stob a’Choire Odhair on a stunning January day. First time with the ice axe and crampons.
The Lochnagar round on a long spring day – most hills we have done in one day, and all on good paths/ terrain! A long walk but a cracker.
Our first wild camp – the Devil’s point, Cairn Toul and Sgor an Lochan Uaine – a great round with a wonderful sunset for our camp (although too many midges!)
Funnily enough although the 100 was a high for the achievement the actual walk could have been better, though that’s mainly due to the megabog we encountered on the hill – always a possibility in Scotland though..
Getting beaten back multiple times on Ben Vorlich was annoying, although all of them were for good reasons. At least we got a cracking day when we finally did it.
Floundering around in bog on Cruach Ardrain with a stinking cold and bailing out with 200m of ascent to go. Still haven’t gone back to do that one!
Our 50th was actually a low point even though it was the highest point in the UK – Ben Nevis on a pretty awful day weather wise. It was a good day overall because a friend completed the Munros, but I found the CMD Arete in bad weather to be way outside my comfort zone, and am not in a hurry to go back.
Ben Wyvis was probably the dullest hill so far – and I’m not really sure why given it was a nice day – just not inspiring. We’d turned back on that once before as a result of tiredness and a too late start and I think the hill just didn’t inspire us that much.
Ben Klibreck was an unmitigated bogfest from start to finish – the only saving grace being the great views from the top. But we spent so long floundering through bog it was difficult to enjoy them. Definitely a hill we won’t return to, and probably our least favourite day on the Scottish hills despite it being a glorious day weatherwise. Cemented my dislike of bog for good!
I think – as I have said before – that hill walking is what you make it; it’s about finding what you enjoy and what works for you, whether that is the views, the challenge, the exercise or a combination of lots of different things. It depends on fitness too; I’ve never really got hill fit this year, and as a result have had more success, and more fun, on the Wainwrights, bringing up the 50 of those as well. Let’s see what 2016 brings – there are no major numbers targets to aim at, as the next big milestones are a long way off. Fingers crossed though for some good days on the hill, some fun in the process, and of course a few glasses of Malbec to celebrate!