Ben A'an - Dr.'s orders for Gammy Leg Walker
by Stretch » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:57 pm
Route description: Ben A'an
Date walked: 16/12/2012
Time taken: 2.3 hours
Distance: 3.7 km
Ascent: 340m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I am also truly blessed to have discovered the joys of hillwalking and to have met some individuals of the hillwalking community who have become great friends. I will certainly cherish our walks together and have frequent flashbacks to the many laughs we have had on our shared adventures. I would like to thank Paul and Helen again for running this website which in many ways saved me from abadoning my PhD midway through my time in St Andrews.
When I started packing for my short 5 day trip back to Scotland last week, I knew I would regret not packing gear for a day on the hills. Although I figured it would be extremely cold and that I might encounter snow, I packed as much as possible so that I could stay warm and dry. By the time I made it to the airport, 3/4 of my suitcase was made up of hillwalking gear. That's dedication!
I had been making some preliminary walking plans with Gammy Leg Walker who I would be staying with over the weekend. The night before our walk the whisky and beer flowed at his place, but strangely there was no hangover to deal with Sunday morning. With the cloud down and rain a possibility, we opted for a short walk up Ben A'an near Callander. It was dry most of the day, but the cloud wasn't going anywhere. Rarely in my time walking with GLW did we have views on our walks - thus I dubbed him Gammy Clag Walker. No matter though, our conversations along the way up and down the hills outweigh any potential views we could get.
GLW had not been out on the hills in quite some time due to an ankle injury, so Dr. Stretch was ok with prescribing an easy day out. We took our time and enjoyed the forest walk and its spooky atmosphere. After the forest section we emerged to a clearing and could see the summit of Ben A'an in the fog. Up the steps through the fog we went. At the top we caught some fleeting views of Loch Katrine below. Despite the clag, it felt great to be back on top of a Scottish hill with my pal. Loading my suitcase full of gear was well worth it!
Gammy's ankle held up fine and I believe he enjoyed his first day out in months. Hopefully he'll make a full recovery and get back to the munros early in 2013. After the walk we took a drive across the countryside to see some areas of Scotland that I had not visited during my 5 years in St Andrews. I really enjoyed this, especially since I no longer had any PhD stress to deal with!
Just want to say thanks to GLW and his family for the hospitality during my stay. I never wanted for a beer, a coffee, or a meal. In addition, big thanks to Jonny616 for the Cuban cigar - it made it back to the US despite our embargo! Also, I have to thank Jockstar and Su for taking care of me during the 3 days I stayed at their place in St Andrews, and for Nathan making the trip up to have a meal with us. In all honesty, the experiences I've had in the Scottish hills and the friendships I've made through hillwalking are more valuable to me than any academic degree that I've earned. I am certain that I will visit again soon, hopefully in June for graduation, and I will be back to strap on my boots, cross a few bogs, and scale a few munros in the near future!
All the best to everyone and Happy Holidays!
by Gable Gable End » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:37 pm
Sorry I wasn't able to get down to St Andrews; next time buddy!
by ChrisW » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:43 pm
by gammy leg walker » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:53 pm
Its always good to know some things never change know matter how long you have been away.
by rockhopper » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:41 am
by Scotjamie » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:35 am
G'C'W is becoming as legendary as yourself
Think many of us would like to buy into a Stretch meet in June - stay in touch
by Jockstar » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:39 pm
Also some things will never change with a friendship cemented by the whisky and the cuban cigar smoked in the greenhouse...so correct!! Also well done GLW for arranging the drinks at Stirling and the clag for Ben A'an !! - Happy days !
by Graeme D » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:50 pm
by Bod » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:46 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:03 pm
by gammy leg walker » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:37 am
Johnny Corbett wrote:One of the best walks in Scotland this in my opinion where you don't get a tick in the box
PS,here is what you missed stretch.
- Alans dog Judy.
by Stretch » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:39 pm
by madasa mongoose » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:08 am
by kevsbald » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:19 pm
congratulations that man. Another one slips through the net....
by Alan S » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:12 pm
Good to see a scottish walk report from you again, hopefully there will be a few more next year
Great to see you again
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