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The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!


Postby jstalker66621 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:26 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 18/01/2012

Time taken: 5.5 hours

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I had been hoping to meet up with a couple of guys from WalkHighlands today but for various reasons they were unable to join me. Putting aside my disappointment at that I set off on my own anyway. As is my preference, I travelled down the night before walking (Tuesday), and stayed local. I booked into the Village Inn in Arrochar and arrived, via a scary drive along the A82 in pitch black and rain, around half five. I spent a relaxing night in bed watching DVD's and sorting through my route for the morning. An early night beckoned and I hoped this would leave me refreshed for the morning...Unfortunately my body had other ideas and at half one in the morning it decided to reject the prawn wrap I had consumed earlier for tea...!!!
I had a terrible night, not ideal preparation for a walk the following day, and still felt rather delicate when I awoke at seven (I even contemplated binning the walk and going home as a result). I skipped breakfast, didn't want to run the risk of a repeat performance, and hoped that a banana would settle my stomach and allow me to get something productive done today.
I settled my bill and apologised for my reclusiveness and promised to return and sample the hospitality on offer (the food smelt divine when I arrived and so did the breakfast when I was leaving) some time soon.

It was a five minute drive from the Inn to the start point, the car park in Succoth, and another five minutes saw me ready to take a risk on walking whilst feeling under the weather.
I had company as I was getting ready at the car, a little robin was hoping for some crumbs but I had nothing to give it.
I crossed the road and headed for the start of the walk, up through the forest walk access gate leading to Beinn Narnain and the Cobbler.
I hung a sharp right at the first bollard and was straight into a strenuous ascent of the hillside, crossing a path further up and continuing to climb...almost 660m before getting a slight respite at a flat section of boggy ground...although the views were worth every ounce of pain in my weakened state.
I was happy to stop and take little breathers as I was snapping away at Loch Long...Ben Lomond (with Loch Lomond beneath it) and any other hill I could see on the way.
Beyond this flat boggy section there is a path rising straight up the face of Cruach nam Miseag, culminating at 813m, and a few scrambly sections as the path rises through rocks, quite narrowly at times. The wind had picked up by this point and there were some violent gusts buffeting me about as I picked my way up through the rocks (if my arse wasn't twitching before it certainly was now!!).
Another flatish bit of ground, and a decent view of the Cobbler, then straight up again through patches of hardened snow amid the rocks.
There was one section I came to where I stepped onto the snow just as a blizzard swirled round me, not thinking I should perhaps adorn my micro-spikes, and as I was halfway across it I realised that it was a long way down if I were to slip (the snow was packed hard and quite icy and at a rather severe angle down onto some rather jaggy rocks a fair way below and my ice axe was safely in the boot of my car) but thankfully I made it across safely as the wind was picking up again and making visibility at this stage rather difficult as it was blowing hail around me. A short scramble across some wet rocks (5p 50p 5p 50p all the way) then a last pull up some frozen scree and eventually I was up top and only needed to locate the summit...if I could stand up long enough!!! The wind was brutal by now and really painful to fight against...then as quickly as it had whipped up it subsided again...and it was a short walk up to the triangulation point and summit cairn at 926m. As I was bending over, rummaging in my rucksack for Jelly McBaby, I got a start as two other walkers appeared beside me (I couldn't hear them for the wind). They had set off from the car park just after me but had erred on the cautious side and avoided the scrambly section in favour of following the 'tourist route' along to the base of the Cobbler and coming up the back of Beinn Narnain.
We exchanged greetings, as best we could in the conditions, and I got a pic of McBaby on the trig point.

I battled against the wind across the summit plateau to drop down the rocky path off Beinn Narnain towards Beinn Ime.
I had been warned that this route is very boggy on the ascent to Beinn Ime but was hoping that the worst of it may still be quite frozen.
I reached the bealach a' mhaim in good time and started to climb the hillside...my hope for frozen paths through the worst of the bog didn't exactly pan out...and continued onwards and upwards until the wind worsened to the extent that I literally could not keep going.
I was standing with my back to the hill as gusts were hitting me like body blows and the hail started again (turning to snow the higher up I got) until eventually it was a full on blizzard and whiteout conditions. I hunkered down for five minutes hoping that the worst of it would pass and I could continue...I was at 900m now, only 200m short of the summit that I could see so clearly only minutes ago...another half an hour would have seen me at the summit and back off again...but not against this wind!!! It killed me to be so close yet have to turn round...but I knew it was the sensible thing to do in the circumstances. I had hardly eaten a thing all day (a banana before setting off then some jelly babies at the first summit) and felt too weak to fight on any longer. My legs were actually shaking as I started to turn and head downhill, I needed to get something inside me for energy and had the very thing. Knowing that this would be a custard free day I had planned ahead and taken a couple of slices of jamaican ginger cake (custardless is not as good) with me...oh they so needed tanning now!!

As I returned to the bealach the weather on Beinn Narnain and the Cobbler started to clear...but not behind me on Beinn Ime.
Once at the bealach I followed a faint path through the bog toward the Cobbler, where it joins onto an excellent access path running beneath the Cobbler and all the way back to the car park at Succoth.
I stopped briefly when I came to the Narnain Boulders...two HUGE pieces of rock on the lower path that must have made quite a "gdoosh" when they landed there!!
I followed the path back and took a pic of the Cobbler, and planned to return and do it along with Beinn Ime in the next few weeks...I was back at the car five hours after leaving it...knowing that it would only have taken me another half an hour at most if I had summitted Ime.
Just as I arrived at the car the rain came on and didn't let up...one last slap from mother nature before I left!!

Until next time (which hopefully won't be too long) stay safe and continue reading xx


https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2613187255879.2118375.1440975916&type=3&l=ec2a91cd6d
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jstalker66621
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby Fudgie » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:22 pm

It's a pain being that close but you did the right thing. From the sounds of it you did really well to get to the first summit.
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:42 pm

Fudgie wrote:It's a pain being that close but you did the right thing. From the sounds of it you did really well to get to the first summit.


Going back to get Ime next week, also to sample the food at the accommodation as I felt so bad at not spending any money whilst there (I like to put something back into the communities I visit on my trips away, especially overnighters).
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby munrogimp » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:25 am

Why did you take £1.10 in lose change, when you should really have taken your ice axe? :?
Great account with pics too.
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:20 am

munrogimp wrote:Why did you take £1.10 in lose change, when you should really have taken your ice axe? :?
Great account with pics too.


Hahahahahahaha yeah the ice axe, or even micro spikes, would have helped with the anal fluctuation issue right enough :oops:
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby quoman » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:12 am

good read a shame about the sickness fairly drains you of the energy :(
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:32 am

quoman wrote:good read a shame about the sickness fairly drains you of the energy :(



More than I had realised it would....though it would have been a lot worse if it had occurred up the hill rather than through the night!!! :sick: :oops:
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby kevsbald » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:10 pm

Where did you get the wrap from? How long after you ate it, were you sick? Can quite often tell what pathogen was the cause by back-calculating potential incubation times...would be interested in knowing.
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:35 pm

Well done John on getting this smashing report posted on WH :wink:

Make sure you stay well clear of wraps on Monday night or you'll be walking by yourself on Tuesday!!! :lol: :lol:

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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jonny616 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:45 pm

great report. Sorry you were ill.
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:29 pm

kevsbald wrote:Where did you get the wrap from? How long after you ate it, were you sick? Can quite often tell what pathogen was the cause by back-calculating potential incubation times...would be interested in knowing.


A reputable firm that I often buy my food from. Around four hours, though not sick, other end. If you want to back calculate anything out of that feel free...I, on the other hand, cannot be a**ed (if you pardon the pun) :lol:
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:29 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Well done John on getting this smashing report posted on WH :wink:

Make sure you stay well clear of wraps on Monday night or you'll be walking by yourself on Tuesday!!! :lol: :lol:

P XXX


Anything for you Polly xxx
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby ChrisW » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:08 am

Great effort JS, by the description and your fragile condition I think you made the right decision, going without food is a real killer (as I found out myself). At least you still gave it a go even when feeling rough :D good to see McBaby taking shelter from the worst of the elements :lol:
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby 2dalmatians » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:45 am

A really great read - very dramatic! I turned back on Narnain the first time (it was my very first solo munro attempt and the weather was terrible). did Mcbaby forget his spikes/Ice axe too? Guess not otherwise he wouldn't have made it to the top of the "North Face" (of the cairn! :lol: )
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Re: The day mother nature kicked my a**e!!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:11 pm

ChrisW wrote: :D good to see McBaby taking shelter from the worst of the elements :lol:


Oh McBaby can look after himself quite well without me...
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