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My first solo Munro

My first solo Munro


Postby littlemrs29 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:55 pm

Route description: Ben Lomond

Munros included on this walk: Ben Lomond

Date walked: 01/10/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

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I have been keen to get out on my own for a while and my chance finally came on Saturday 1st October. I chose my hill carefully ensuring it was one where you couldn't really go wrong as the weather reports indicated wet and dreary (not that I was going to let that put me off though!) Even though Ben Lomond is traditionally a busy hill I was banking on the weather putting a lot of 'tourists' off. As it happens I only came across one group so was thankful for that.

After a shaky start that had me adding an hour and a half to the car journey there (thanks for the directions dad!) I got to the car park at 11.15am and set of straight away. Unsurprisingly there were no views for me to begin with but I had expected that. About 45 minutes in I came across a walking group - and I did have a little chuckle when I spotted the numbers on the back of everyone's boots. There must have been about 20 of them I think and I was keen to get past them and back on my own although this did take me a little while as I am not a fast walker.

For some reason known only to the god of 'lesson's learned' I had not brought my walking poles and I had not brought enough water. Usually I take 4 bottles but don't drink more than one - but then usually I also have the kids with me and we go at a slower pace. I also had not brought a map (please don't hate me just yet!) stupidly thinking I had a written guide which would do and I only use my maps to tell me where to go - I forgot I use them often to place myself on the hill and let me know how far I have gone/how far to go. Because of this I am ashamed to say I did actually ask a passing walker who was on his way down how much further it was - the shame I know. He told me he had left the summit about 40 minutes ago and his eyes told me he thought I was never going to make it!

I soldiered on in the rain now discovering that not only was my waterproof coat not waterproof but neither were my waterproof trousers or boots. Still, I got to the summit just over 2 hours after leaving the car and was mighty proud of myself. As predicted I couldn't see anything but the mission for that day was to do a solo walk. Typically abut 20 minutes after leaving the summit the mist cleared and I did have a nice view of the Loch to walk down to. It was surprisingly not very slippy coming down - I had feared I may fall on the water beaten rocks but I was fine and didn't slip once.

I was back at the car just after 3pm and was impressed that I had remembered to bring spare trousers with me - however not so impressed I hadn't thought to bring a spare top. I then managed to lock myself in the back of the car that had the child locks on the door and had to climb through to the front giving the guy in the car next to me a view he hadn't bargained on!

So basically what I learned from my first solo walk was -
- Always take a map regardless of how good you think the written directions are
- Take your walking poles, I bought them for a reason!
- Always take more water than what you think you will need
- Take a full set of spare clothes, no one wants to see you drive home in your underwear (which was also wet)
- But most importantly - I CAN do it myself :lol:
Attachments
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At the summit - I was happy to be there honest!
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A good sign I was where I wanted to be
littlemrs29
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:01 pm

Cracking report!!!

Loved the fact that you carried on despite all your mishaps- well done :D

As for the guy in the car next to you.....probably made his day :lol: :lol:
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby ChrisW » Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:52 pm

:lol: Great stuff littlemrs29, a lot of people would have given up on a day like that and having forgotten sufficient drink (can't think of anything worse personally :shock: ) I bet you cursed your way to the top :lol: always good to make mistakes anyway, that's how we learn :wink:
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby skidmerc » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:16 pm

Nice one. I did my first solo walk today in much the same weather.
It's a pretty strange feeling being up there alone. Totally different.
I normally go with a few guys I don't get to see much off, so we talk constantly and have a laugh.
Doing the walk along is much more personal. I really enjoyed it.

Looks like you got a decent view on the way down!
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby littlemrs29 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:50 pm

Thanx everyone,

Every step I kept telling myself 'don't think about water, don't think about water' - of course this was unbelievably difficult due to the rain but definitely lesson learned!

Hopefully get another walk in soon - the bug has well and truly got hold of me now :D
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:54 pm

Well done on your first solo and it's allways good to read an amusing report. Chris is right, we all make mistakes and the secret is that we don't become complacent and we learn from them.
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby gary » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:16 pm

Well done for keeping going.I did the same thing with water when I did my first solo munro too, and the strap broke on my pole so I can sympathise.Makes you appreciate them when you do have them!
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby spiderwebb » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:01 pm

Been in the same situation with the fluids, and later got fed up carryin enough for the day so now water bottle only filled before I set off together with the water purification tablets (those in a set with the neutralisers so it doesn't taste like a swimming pool).

Then you can fill up anywhere but just note if your about to head off to a waterless section (i.e. summit ridge) in which case drink whats left and refill.

One litre plus the tabs is a lot lighter too.
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby icemandan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:46 pm

Ben Lomond was like that when I did it. I have a near identical picture of soaked figures in cagoules next to a trig point sticking out of a puddle surrounded by black rocks. Your picture doesn't look like a very joyful gathering!. In relation to waterproofs, I've come to the view that there is no such thing and on a day like that it will get through anything.

BTW - your comment about forgetting spare clothes reminds me of some friends of a friend who went up a munro on an appalling wet day, came back soaked and, having nothing to change into, elected to drive home in the altogether. They drove carefully, kept the speed limit, etc. However they realised that they had made a horrible mistake when they got to the Erskine Bridge (which was still a toll bridge at that time). Not only could their state not be shielded from the toll collectors but the toll money (which could no longer be retrieved from a pocket) had to be retrieved from one of their wet garments in the boot. I don't think they ever forgot to take spare clothes after that.
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby skidmerc » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:52 pm

Icemandam - agreed on the waterproofs. They are waterproof to a point.

I'm going to get the re-proofing spray for my jacket. Had it for about 2 years, has to be due it.
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby mrssanta » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:59 pm

icemandan wrote:BTW - your comment about forgetting spare clothes reminds me of some friends of a friend who went up a munro on an appalling wet day, came back soaked and, having nothing to change into, elected to drive home in the altogether. They drove carefully, kept the speed limit, etc. However they realised that they had made a horrible mistake when they got to the Erskine Bridge (which was still a toll bridge at that time). Not only could their state not be shielded from the toll collectors but the toll money (which could no longer be retrieved from a pocket) had to be retrieved from one of their wet garments in the boot. I don't think they ever forgot to take spare clothes after that.


Love It!!
Also reminds me of a time we went up our local woods with daughter who insisted on taking her umbrella (oh the shame!) but it did come in handy when she was thirsty as we just put it upside down under a dripping tree and bashed the tree with a walking pole letting all the water fall into the brolly. hey presto, drink!

Well done for keeping going, and finishing the trip
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby jstalker66621 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:32 pm

Brilliantly funny report...I think Ben Lomond must always get the rain...it was like that when I did it as well. I dont think I have ever gone waterless but can empathise fully on the things going wrong scenario...I have had rucksack straps snap, poles that slide down to the hilt when pressure is put on them, a hole in my drybag containing my fone/camera (which I didn't notice till it was far too late to save the day), inadequate boots for the conditions after forgetting to pack them in my car, waterproof trousers that have leaked through pocket slits in the sides (work wear and not store bought thankfully) and too many other tiny calamities to remember...
I came off Beinn Dearg circuit last month, totally soaked and got changed by the side of the car, including relieving myself behind a bush, thinking I was alone in the car park...only to realise too late that the car that I thought was empty along from mine contained a young couple that were now scarred for life!!!! To make matters worse I thought it would make things okay if I waved at them...oh the shame :oops:
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby taylor94 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:33 pm

Nice, Im planning on climbing Ben Lomond myself in a few weeks.
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby Chrisabelle » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:42 pm

The day I went up Ben Lomond it was sunny! Still windy tho!
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Re: My first solo Munro

Postby Paul_Antonia » Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:52 pm

Well done littlemrs29. A cracking report, very entertaining. You showed real guts and determination to summit under those conditions. I'm sure we wouldn't even have made a start on a day like that. Don't fret about the mistakes just learn from them. I thought I'd learned my lesson about water a few years ago in the Lake District when I actually suffered heat exhaustion through not taking in enough liquids on a scorcher of a day, but I still managed to go up one of my local hills last week in the Indian Summer with not a drop to drink. Silly boy. Look forward to reading more reports by you.
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