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Girls' Own Adventure

Girls' Own Adventure


Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:17 am

Route description: Ben Donich, via Rest and Be Thankful

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich

Date walked: 05/02/2012

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 7.2 km

Ascent: 575m

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So there I was sitting at my laptop on Friday night typing up my report for Beinn Dearg when the phone rang. Now I don't know about you but I never answer the house phone unless I'm expecting a specific call. I'm not interested in any home improvements, claiming back PPI's, increasing life insurance or having a conversation with a computer about super mega fast broadband!!! Luckily this time my resolve waivered and I was greeted by a retired colleague of mine asking if I fancied taking in a hill together on Sunday. I was so so chuffed! Margaret is now in her late 60's and having compleated over 30 years ago, she has continued to climb hills here but also in Nepal, Peru, North America to name but a few!! There was a snag, Sunday was my father-in-law's birthday and I had agreed to host a birthday dinner at home. :(

'Not a problem' said Margaret 'we'll just go for something quick up in Arrochar'.

Beinn an Lochan had been suggested but I had already been there years ago and I was keen to do its close neighbour Ben Donich. It was agreed that we would meet at the Little Chef near Dumbarton at 8.15 and share the journey onwards. And so I left the house on an icy Sunday morning looking forward to my 3rd outing on the hills this week :D

I came off the Erskine Bridge (no not by some bizarre accident!) at 7.30 and drove along looking for the Little Chef- lordy I couldn't find it! I kept driving and driving until I was at the big roundabout at Alexandria.I headed back to where I came and asked a guy at a petrol station and he said 'that's it across the road but its closed up now' I looked over and there was a large congregation of hill walking types hanging about the abandoned building. I thought I was going alone with Margaret but hey maybe not- I didn't care! By the time I had driven to a turning point and pulled into the proper carpark they had all gone!!! Oh no!! It was 8am and I was late. Not to be detered I decided to head up to Ben Donich myself and meet them at the carpark there.....and then the penny dropped.... I wasn't too late, I was too early!!! Good lord!! And so I turned the car around again and got to the correct carpark at the correct time and lo and behold there was Margaret just pulling in !!!

And so with kit transferred over we were off :D

We got to the carpark and got kitted up in our waterproofs because the sky was a bit grim.

The hill is very well signposted and its just a case of following the path onwards and upwards.
P1000137.JPG
Start

P1000141.JPG
Margaret, my mentor.

I should say that we didn't use the path for most of the walk because it was covered in lumpy bumpy slidey ice and Margaret did take a wee bit of a tumble at one stage :(
P1000162.JPG
Icy path!!Danger!


The views weren't fab but we did see enough of the hills and lochs to give us plenty to smile about :D

P1000144.JPG
Loch Restil


Slippy paths aside this was an easy walk until I came to the scrambly descent :shock: :shock:

P1000154.JPG
Oft! Off she disappears!

I had been dreading this and Margaret gave me every bit of help and advice she possibly could. Mostly to trust my ice axe to take my weight as I shifted position. She went first and guided me down step by step. I was so pleased to reach the bottom safely without falling and landing my carcass on poor wee Margaret. Just be like the thing that this experienced mountaineer survives some of the world's most extreme environments and then gets killed by a falling muppet like me :lol:

From here there was still a fair amount of use of the axe but mostly just to help me clamber over some big boulders and for stability on some of the steeper parts of the hill. I was constantly being encouraged to use it properly and I could feel my confidence growing as we carried towards the summit. After walking for 2hrs 10 mins we were there- yippee!!!
P1000160.JPG
Summit

We said a quick hello to 3 other walkers and after taking the obligatory photos we headed back down to find somewhere to eat. I should say that the conditions weren't awful and although there was a wind. it didn't feel like an icy blast :thumbup:

In no time at all we were back at the tricky bit again :( But this time I really made an effort to get my axe into a good position and managed the ascent no bother. It wasn't until I looked back down that I realised that it was a very short drop down and would probably have come to very little harm if I had slipped. I wasn't taking any chances though!!!
P1000155.JPG
Drop down

It was now just a case of heading down the grassy slopes and getting back to the car.
P1000164.JPG
Yeeks ! Slimey pond alert!


Our journey time was 4 hrs overall. We didn't make very many stops but we did spend a fair amount of time looking for the safest routes up and down.

I thanked Margaret for taking me out on this adventure. Of my three trips this week, this was by far the most challenging. I'm sure that during the summer this would be a short benign hill walk and the scrambly bits would be a breeze but in the conditions we had today I was ever so glad to have such a patient experienced person like Margaret by my side :thumbup: :thumbup:
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pollyh33
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby ChrisW » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:26 am

Lovely wee tale Polly, not sure what you were messing about with at the start though :lol: glad you finally found the right place and time to get going :wink: looks like a good day out in great company :D
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby 2dalmatians » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:11 am

Great report Polly. I did have a chuckle about the Little Chef bit. I am forever getting lost trying to get to the hills. Also can you ask Margaret if she is available for hire! :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby Gavin99 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:16 am

That looks a very nice wee day out , from what I remember you might damage a bit more than your pride if you fell off that rocky step so you were right to be cautious . No wonder you couldn't find the Little Chef , they did a great job of 'dissappearing ' it , there it was ...... gone !
:D
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 am

ChrisW wrote:Lovely wee tale Polly, not sure what you were messing about with at the start though :lol: glad you finally found the right place and time to get going :wink: looks like a good day out in great company :D


Thanks Chris,

Oh I don't half make life difficult for myself sometimes. Think I'm getting to that age when I should be writing everything down!!! Now where did I put that pen?!! :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:27 am

2dalmatians wrote:Great report Polly. I did have a chuckle about the Little Chef bit. I am forever getting lost trying to get to the hills. Also can you ask Margaret if she is available for hire! :lol:


Cheers 2D.

Margaret is one of the most knowledgeable people you will ever meet with regards to the outdoors and incredibly practical- no flaffing about with her!!!
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:34 am

Gavin99 wrote:That looks a very nice wee day out , from what I remember you might damage a bit more than your pride if you fell off that rocky step so you were right to be cautious . No wonder you couldn't find the Little Chef , they did a great job of 'dissappearing ' it , there it was ...... gone !
:D


Thanks Gavin,

Cautious?? Took me blooming ages!!! But at least I learned a thing or two- well worth!! :lol:

As for the Little Chef.......arghh!!!!
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby davetherave » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:16 am

I think it would be great to walk with an experienced hill walker like Margaret. Looks like a great day was had by you both.
pollyh33 wrote:I looked over and there was a large congregation of hill walking types hanging about the abandoned building. I thought I was going alone with Margaret but hey maybe not- I didn't care! By the time I had driven to a turning point and pulled into the proper carpark they had all gone!!!


i wonder where their legs took them on that day !
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby Redrock » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:42 pm

Enjoyed your wee report, Polly. :D It illustrates the surprising way snow and ice can change the character of a hill - sometimes making simple hills challenging and big hills easier! :? It's good to get the mentoring of an experienced walker like Margaret, isn't it! :D As to the Little Chef thing - I think they should add something on "how to find your friends and the hills" to navigation courses! :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:50 pm

Well done Polly, enjoyed reading your report and looking at the photos :thumbup:

Glad Margaret was such a help! Women in their sixties still have a vital role to play :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:07 pm

davetherave wrote:I think it would be great to walk with an experienced hill walker like Margaret. Looks like a great day was had by you both.
pollyh33 wrote:I looked over and there was a large congregation of hill walking types hanging about the abandoned building. I thought I was going alone with Margaret but hey maybe not- I didn't care! By the time I had driven to a turning point and pulled into the proper carpark they had all gone!!!


i wonder where their legs took them on that day !


Cheers Dave.

Yes it was a free winter walking course with a great woman. Don't want to make you jealous by Margaret has taken her poodle across the A/E ridge four times in her rucsac! Hope your owner does the same with you! :shock: :shock:

As for the other walkers, my first guess would be the Cobbler- the carpark at Succouth was heaving!!! :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:12 pm

Redrock wrote:Enjoyed your wee report, Polly. :D It illustrates the surprising way snow and ice can change the character of a hill - sometimes making simple hills challenging and big hills easier! :? It's good to get the mentoring of an experienced walker like Margaret, isn't it! :D As to the Little Chef thing - I think they should add something on "how to find your friends and the hills" to navigation courses! :lol:


Cheers Mrs R's husband.

I can say honestly that if Margaret hadn't been with me I would have turned back :( I'm a big fearty!! :D

Well at least I know where the non-existent building is now and there will be no problem meeting up again- just need to get the timing right!!! :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:14 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:Well done Polly, enjoyed reading your report and looking at the photos :thumbup:

Glad Margaret was such a help! Women in their sixties still have a vital role to play :lol: :lol: :lol:


Hey Susie, thanks for that!

Women will always have a vital role to play regardless of their age, we can't help being fab!!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:44 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Hey Susie, thanks for that!

Women will always have a vital role to play regardless of their age, we can't help being fab!!!


Glad you said that Polly, I can totally agree with you, aren't we just fabbie fab :lol: :lol:
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Re: Girls' Own Adventure

Postby Del246 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:28 pm

Great wee report Polly. I plan to do this and more Corbetts in this are over the summer. Cheers.
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