Na Gruagaichean – a mouthful and number 21

27 08 2012

Almost at the top of the unpronounceable

“This is gonna be harder than I thought” That was what was going through my mind for the best part of the ascent of this hill. And it is.

Having now counted back through the previous summits which I have almost got to the top of this morning, this turns out to be number 21. You would think I would know the nimber exactly wouldn’t you, but I’m afraid, along with the will to finish, I appear to have lost what little passion I had to begin with, to plod up these hills. In fact if it wasn’t for having the ability to complain about it regularly, I would have given up long ago.

So, I’ll continue and hope that something comes out of it.

So, off we set, Peter and I, at seven, heading for the Mamores. Peter drove and afforded me the pleasure of listening to I am Klute in his car. For the uninitiated, I am Klute are an amalgam of Willie Nelson and Peter Noone vocals put to a soundtrack which could easily have crossed 5 decades from the fifties, with the inability of the listener to pinpoint which one. Its always nice to hear other peoples music just to remind me that I have a taste which not many have been lucky enough to cultivate.

With a stop at the garage in Dumbarton for our Meal Deal lunch (both of us totally unprepared for our day out), we set off. A rather uneventful drive thankfully saw us arriving at Kinlochleven for just after 9.00am. Peter, decided that the best place to park was at the Church (I’m saying nothing), so we got changed with some minor irritation from the midges, and set off. We noticed a sign for the waterfall early on the path, we headed in the other direction, Peter was already making a mental note to visit this on the way back.

Peter just after the heathery plod.

After 30 mins of walking, we arrived at a car park for the Mamores estate. “We could have drove up here Pete?” I asked. “Aye, probably”. Great.

So we plodded on through the Stalker cottage (around the stalkers cottage on the way up as walkers are clearly not welcome, and through it on the way back as I was now in a confrontational mood). We followed the Land Rover track which turned back on itself and headed in the direction of Glen Coe. Halfway along this we (Peter) decided to go straight up the heathery slope. It was horrible, but it got us there. We gained the ridge and could see the summit now.

Within 40 minutes Pete was on top and I was on my top. Pete had done 3464feet of acsent, I had done 3434 ft.

This is what a cairn looks like. Long time since I’ve seen one close up. True summit behind.

We headed off back down in the other direction and in the distance I could see a nice wee ridge which looked like a nice wee walk. I suggested we head to it and Pete looked at me like I was mental.

“You’ve turned into a walker” he said. I wasn’t sure  if that was meant to be an insult, coming as it did from a walker, but he was probably right. We headed toward the wee ridge and found the other summit cairn (pictured).

The less said about the walk down the better, I am only pleased that this was not our ascent. We did however notice a tree on the way down which was rather sinister looking and barely alive by the looks of it. “That’s an evil looking tree” I suggested “I bet that could tell some stories……….if it had a mouth, and a brain, and the ability to communicate”. “Aye, and wisny a tree” proffered Pete. And so the tone was set. “That’s a creepy looking barn, I bet that could tell some stories….”

It diverted the mind from the pain and monotony of the descent.

Buachaille Etive Mor in the distance

We arrived back at the car via a stop off at the waterfall.

The midges were waiting to welcome us.

I wonder how the Rangers got on said Pete as he checked his iPhone. The guffaw of laughter gave it away. We set off to The Clachaig for a pint.

“Rangers don’t do winning away apparently” said Peter.

Indeed they dont.

21 and counting.

Its just like The Baths of Aphrodite eh?

I bet that face could tell some stories, if only it hadn’t signed the official secrets act.




One response

27 08 2012
Thomas Mullen

looking forward to no.22 already!!!

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