Sunday, 5 April 2009

Glen Affric? Maybe next time.

The great thing about coming off of nightshift and sleeping the day before is it makes alpine starts that much easier. I was up and about at 4:30 am and after a quick stop on the way to make an emergency repair to my car (re-fit HT lead that fell off) I picked up Phil AKA Bobinson and were off to meet Petesy more commonly known as PTC*.

Gear was packed into the PTC* mobile and we were off up the A82, we had it to ourselves and were ariving in Fort Bill in jig time. The gear chat, the banter and the rain were all in full flow. The mountains looking dark, oppressive and wreathed in cloud. First things first though, breakfast had to be eaten and routes decided.

One "Big Scottish Breakfast" courtesy of Morrisons later, and we were poring over the map and enjoying a coffee. Routes were changed to avoid river crossings which we knew would be in a spate. Next then it was off to grab some last minute supplies, from Ellis Brigham it being just round the corner.

I had only brought my Salomon XA Pro 3d's but the conditions were colder and wetter than anticipated(probably due to wishfull thinking)I wanted to look at waterproof socks and/or some waterproof mids. I ended up buying both. (more about them later on)
I'll have to stop going out with PTC* though, every time I see him I end buying yet another pair of shoes!!.....Mind you, if I were to be really honest though its just as well he was there otherwise the salesman might've sold me some five season plastic boots complete with ice climbing crampons! (see PTC*'s blog) Pheeew!

Next it was off to the to park the car and set off. There was much faffing and adjusting and fiddling but I think we were just putting off the inevitable. It was wet, really really wet! no inspiring views, just dark, ominous looking slopes dissapearing up into uninviting clouds. It wouldnt have been any fun pitching up in that. I didnt fancy the wasted effort to visit these stunning hills and not see them, we had been on the trail for a few kilometers and it was just miserable. This coupled with the knowledge of the fact that PTC* would have to come back to take the photies made the descision to abandon the trip and head back all the much easier. The hills arent going anywhere and they wont build a windfarm on it by next weekend. I'll be back Glen Affric...You haven't heard the last of me!!

We went back to the car and with the pressure off we decided to explore the Mile Dorcha and take our time heading home. No tail's between our legs!

Mile Dorcha is a strange place, apparently it never gets direct sunlight due to its angle and steepness which allows a very thick and spongey carpet of moss to grow all over anything that sits for more than ten minutes.

We stopped at the Eas Chia-aig waterfall which was swollen and thundering with rainfall and snowmelt. There was plenty to look at and see before we had a brew. It's not all about mountains you know. It's about getting out and taking time to appreciate it all. The wee things too.

On the way home there was more banter punctuated by vague plans for other trips (no dates mentioned incase the weather hears us) The mood was good and there were grins all round by the time we hit the Pints of strong coffe and cake were consumed as we cast our eye over the new extension they're building. I already have dibs on the seat next to the open fire they plan on having.

We didnt complete our main goals but we had fun all the same. We made the most of what we had and I cant wait to get back out. After all, I've got new boots to test now ;o)


  1. Alright!
    There was one advantage to retreating, not having to hang up wet tents and air out sleeping bags for once.
    Good job, nice photies.

  2. I'm sorry the English Teacher in me has to do this - besides you started it with your "the spelling will be atrocious" comment. Overall, spelling, grammar & punctuation were pretty good. I only noticed one spelling mistake (there may have been more but I'll credit you that they are Scottish spellings). You needed a captal N on no after your expalantaion mark, even so that paragraph could be re-worked :P

    Loved the photos, especially the first one, the one with the really ominous coulds & the when do I get to see mountains?

  3. A captal N? after my expalantaion mark?

    The capital N and explanation must be hiding behind the the ominous coulds maybe??

  4. Right, mental note to self: Proof read comments in which you publicly bag/criticise other people's spelling & grammar after announcing you are an English Teacher!


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