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lochnagar sprint

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:29 am
by madrock289
It's taken a couple of weeks to get round to this and it's been a while since my last post so I'm prepared for a torrent of abuse about it.

I parked up at the Spittal of Glen Muick car park. Paid the obligatory £3. Then started to get ready. I still hadn't decided at this point if I was walking or attempting to run. I had the means and time for both since it was only 8ish in the morning. Anyway that decision was quickly made for me by the early attack of midges! Running it was. Right out of the car park clinging to my camelbak. Into the morning breeze. A quick stop at the loo and I was away. As I passed the small visitor centre I started my stopwatch. Might aswell know how long it takes. The plan almost 90% decided I took the right turn at the gate and headed for Lochnagar.

As I started up the long gradual ascent my legs already felt like lead weights. I was regretting this already. I stopped for a moment to fish through my bag. I left in such a hurry I never even knew what was packed. The usual suspects were found. Map, compass, waterproof jacket, hat & gloves, sandwich, 2 apples, a granola bar, headphones and iPhone, camelbak full of water and my trusty copy of Tom Pateys book - One Man's Mountains. I actually have two copies of the book. A first edition and this paperback I drag around with me. Kind of a love affair. I plugged the headphones in, got some tunes blaring and off I went. My soundtrack to sports differ as much as the sports themselves. If I'm climbing or on the weights it's rock/metal etc. out running on the streets then some dance/trance is the choice. Hillwalking attracts some patriotic folk/celtic rock ie Martyn Bennett, wolfstone etc. Today the choice was trance, Above and Beyond to be precise. Once the playlist was pumping out I quickly forgot about tired heavy legs and felt fresh again. Bounding up the open hillside.

I stopped in the Col between miekle pap and the ladder for a quick self portrait on a timer. I posed for a minute. Watched the camera flash off to tell me shot had been taken.

Geared up then trudged up onto the ridge via the small boulder field. I got up onto the ridge and was immediately hit by a wall of wind. I had expected this from the forecast. I twisted round to get my hat & gloves out of the wee side pouch on my bag and cracked on. As I climbed the final slope onto the summit ridge the cloud dropped right on top of me. Enveloping me in a thick, wet screen. I pushed on to the summit, scrambled up the last few blocks to the viewpoint. I sat down for a minute to catch my breath, take a few iPhone snaps and take on some water.

Next stop Carn a'Choire Bhoideach.

A quick run and I was straddling the bare cloud shrouded summit within 30 minutes or so. I headed back down the sparse open track I had just come up. The next couple of kilometres flew past as I descended into the deep valley that leads onto Loch Muick. Next stop Carn an t-Sagairt Mor. Again this was a fairly straight forward down and up run.

The clouds were now rolling freely over the summit and I was soaked to the bone. I very quickly ascended, reached the summit, turned around and headed back down again.

Getting hungry now with the time approaching 12 I had to make the decision to lunch it at some point. The plan was to have lunch on the summit of Cairn Bannoch. Reaching the summit took less time than planned so on arrival I just stopped for a minute and made a quick map check to satisfy myself of the direction to Broad Cairn as the cloud was now smothering me and visibility was down to a few metres. I picked my way off the summit following my rough compass bearing towards the final summit of the day. With the tiredness in my legs long gone I was pressing on to a very familiar seat where I knew I'd be having a break and some scran. I arrived at the top, hidden by a grey screen of cloud. I pulled on my waterproof jacket. Made of green parachute silk it's a nice investment from back in my army days. A quick dig in my bag for my sandwich and an apple. I savoured the taste of both the tuna and the crunchy refreshing apple. All fed I made a quick map check, set a compass bearing and headed off into the unknown.

I was now making ground very quickly. I now had in the back of my head to get the complete circuit finished in under 5 hours. I arrived at the hut at the foot of Broad Cairn. Took my jacket off, dug out the last apple and granola bar and slid them into the wee pouch on the side of the bag. Sitting below the cloud base now the weather warmed up slightly and it felt nice on my cold wet skin. I checked the map too see roughly how far I had to go.. Approx 10km and just over an hour to go to make 5 hours. Do-able!

I sorted myself out. Stowed all my gear and headed off. A couple of minutes in and I passed the first group of walkers of the day. Music still blaring I took my headphones off as I ran passed and said hello. Attracting strange looks from them. Hardly surprising when faced with a guy heading the opposite way in leggings and a Tshirt as opposed to the traditional attire expected in the hills. I plodded on past numerous other groups of varying sizes. All attracting similar odd looks. It's always a great feeling when you're heading down and everyone else is heading up. I quickly found the top of the zig zag path at corrie chash. Briefly admiring the view of the Loch I headed down. I reached the bottom and after that it was just a matter of plodding along the path back to the Spittal and the sanctuary of my car!

I approached the gate at the visitor centre, picking up speed like I would in a running race with a sprint finish. I passed the gate and stopped my watch. I checked the time, big smile as I'd just spent 4hrs 52mins in the hills.

Mission accomplished!!

Re: lochnagar sprint

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:57 am
by basscadet
Wow what a time to do them in.. Its a fair long way! Respect! :clap:

Re: lochnagar sprint

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:16 pm
by madrock289
Cheers. I was putting the foot down quite a bit.

Re: lochnagar sprint

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:17 pm
by monty
Excellent effort Madrock. If only I were younger :lol: :lol:

Re: lochnagar sprint

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:20 pm
by madrock289
monty wrote:Excellent effort Madrock. If only I were younger :lol: :lol:

I'm nae that young myself...