Number 37 – Sgurr Eilde Mor. A clearing of the head

8 01 2015
Sgurr Eilde Mor from the approach walk in

Sgurr Eilde Mor from the approach walk in

Another early start for us, and an new addition to the climbing/walking team in the form of a different set of wheels. I decided recently that the old trusty Big Hex Merc had done enough mountain miles, and in truth, with or without winter tyres, it still wasn’t exactly perfectly equipped for winter driving conditions in Scotland. Luckily I haven’t been caught out in bad driving conditions in the Big Hex mobile so far, but I figured that it was best not to push it. So a Land Rover was purchased, and is now the new Munroblagger vehicle of choice.

So, as I said, an early start. To climb, perchance to walk… perhaps just a clearing of the head after the events of the festive period which saw me lapsing in my vegan diet and pigging out on cheese and crackers and crisps, drinking too much beer and, sadly, trying to keep myself together for my kids on the news of the tragic death of my son Calum’s friend in a terrible accident in Manchester on New Year Day. Calum and his friends had been down in Manchester to spend four days doing what boys do, nightclubs, drinking and generally being lads. Sadly, a tragic accident on the very first night, Hogmanay resulted in death of Kyle Doherty aged 19. I had the dreadful task of driving to Manchester on the 2nd of January, in the newly acquired Land Rover to pick up four broken young men and five pieces of luggage. The boys thanked me for coming to collect them, I told them I would have driven around the world to pick up my son and bring him home, it was my pleasure to do so, unfortunately Kyles parents would not be so lucky. Their journey home just does not bear thinking about.

As you may gather, I needed a clearing of the head.

Binnien Mor

Binnien Mor

We left at at 6;30am, Pete and me. Struggled behind a car on the Loch Lomond road which was being driven at 20mph. “Drunk driver” Peter suggested,  just as he mounted two wheels on the grass verge before correcting himself.

“See”

I saw. He was, we got past him quickly and his lights disappeared rapidly in my mirror. Before too long we were at the “good good” shop next to the Green Welly in Tyndrum. A wee stop for some coke and crisps and the warm “good good” welcome from the cheery chap shop owner. Always a delight!

Glen Coe looked gloomy, the snow line was high. Even the Zig-Zags above the Lost Valley were stripped bare. The only climbing would be in SCNL. Pete wasn’t too keen on the trek, I wasn’t either. We headed on to Kinlochleven, Plan B – we walk to Binnien Mor. It was a Munro Pete still had to bag, and one I had still to blag. Seemed like a plan.

Our plans rarely come together.

We readied ourselves at the car park, this place was becoming familiar, even to me. And off we set. The weather was promising, the skies looked to be clearing in the direction we were going in and the clag which enveloped Kinlochleven was distancing itself from us every step we took. We got to the wee bench at the end of the initial rise and joined the Land Rover track as it wound around the hillside below the buttress which leads to Na Gruagaichean. The path gradually met the snow line, and pretty soon we entered the bowl between Binnen and Sgurr Eilde Mor. It was breathtaking.

Milky Lochans

Milky Lochans

The skies were clearing and a beautiful day developed in front of our eyes. Both of us were beginning to feel a bit fatigued by now, and both with one wet foot as we had simultaneously, and with impeccable choreography, fell through the snow into a burn. A quick consultation, and we decided to head for Sgurr Eilde Mor which was the nearest option. Sadly for Pete, there would be no new ticks for him today. A kind gesture bud, it would at least mean I could Blag a summit. We had some grub and headed upwards. A scramble up a small boulder field saw us almost at the top. Another summit avoided. And beautiful conditions too.

Another summit blagged!

Another summit blagged!

So we didn’t climb today. There’ll be another chance this winter. We had a walk, it wasn’t death defying, it was in beautiful daylight, it was a lovely walk. Nonetheless, it was what was needed, with my good companion and outdoor buddy Pete.

Peter with his intended peak in the background. Another day bud.

Peter with his intended peak in the background. Another day bud.

On the way back down we retraced our death defying steps.

“Look! that’s where you fell down on the way up!” says Pete, pointing to the 2 foot deep footprint in the snow with his Leki.

And then proceeded to fall straight down the same hole. Cameras are just not easily to hand when you need them.

Pete having some grub and a rest while I tread carefully on the frozen lochan...

Pete having some grub and a rest while I tread carefully on the frozen lochan…

Note: I’m doing this for my friend Corinne’s charity Finding Your Feet. Any donations would be extremely welcome at my Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/Bobby-Motherwell1

You can find out more about Cor and FYF at http://www.findingyourfeet.net/

Thanks for reading my blog!

 

Bobby

 

 

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2 responses

8 01 2015
areteroute

Another cracking read buddy. I thank you for your time and friendship. Its all about the good souls.

8 01 2015
Bobby Motherwell

Cheers buddy, it is indeed.

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