Having grown up in Glenelg, I feel I have a certain affinity of being in the mountains. All my childhood memories pretty much involved hills in the background, or driving past them to get places. The hills at the back of the Cluanie Inn, always seemed quite straight forward. They looked like a doddle, just walk up and you'll be at the top in half an hour. Now, while I know this hill wont rank highly compared to many, due to the conditions, and the company of a moaning dog, this was quite tough!
I drove home from Glasgow on Monday, and couldnt see a thing for cloud, and the forecast didnt promise much better, so I wrote the three days off! However, I had one last weather check at 1am before going to sleep, and got a positive result. I am 27 years old, but my mum still isn't happy with me going up the hills alone, so I had to wait till she left for work, before leaving a note and heading off! As long as I was back by 6pm it would stop her worrying!
The website suggests this is an unrelenting slog to the top, and it isnt wrong. Boggy ground made the going tough, and my dog Simba just wasnt keen at all. Many times I looked at her and resigned myself to not making the summit.
I pressed on though, stopping regularly to take in the fantastic views.
Once I got my first sight of the summit, I decided, even if I had to carry Simba, I was making it!!
The last 300m were a joy, walking up the ridge, taking in the views. No snow of note, so it was nice and relaxing.
I met a nice guy from Edinburgh at the top, and needless to say, he was stunned at me piping. He looked so happy taking pictures and videos. Bit of a different day out for him.
As is always the case, I had to go down. I had set out with the target of also climbing Mullach Fraoch-choire, but with a narrow snowy ridge, and a very non climbing dog with me, I decided best not.
On the descent I have never been on my backside so many times. The boggy ground made finding solid footing difficult.
I felt I had earned my haggis at the Cluanie Inn by this point, before heading back to Glenelg, to relax properly in the Glenelg Inn.
I am annoyed I never managed Mullach Fraoch-choire, but its not going anywhere. Hopefully be able to increase my numbers in the coming summer months, and begin my fund raising for Heart and Stroke Scotland, and Friends of Beatson.
As always, if you with to follow my progress, "like" my page www.facebook.com/munrobagpiper or follow me on twitter @munrobagpiper.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.