This is my first trip report on WH, hope you enjoy it as much as we did walking it today!
I've become totally hooked on the hills in the last year, and my enthusiasm for the Munro's appears to be rubbing off on friends and family! My sister has been keen to head up her first Munro for a while now, so we agreed after running the Edinburgh Marathon last week we'd fire up North today. Racking my brain I came up with Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers as a good first two - fairly close to home and the forecast looked decent!
Now I climbed Beinn Ghlas last November in the snow with my more experienced Munro buddy Callum (currently he's on 205), that day we turned back due to the wind and mist. Today was going to be a totally different proposition!
Set off at midday (I work nightshift ) and arrived at the old visitor centre car park just after 2. Lots of cars as you would expect.
The weather really was fantastic, not many clouds in the sky and beaming sunshine! My sister (Julie) was flying up the hill - and we made it to the top of Beinn Ghlas in an astonishing 70 minutes! (Walking!!)
A couple with their dog kindly took our photograph...
After a brief 5-10 minute stop to take in the scenery and acquire some snaps Julie, already keen to double her Munro tally and looking eagerly at Lawers, insisted it was time to head on.
We were making such good time and the weather was so good I suggested heading on to bag An Stuc after Lawers, met with no resistance by Julie. Just 25 minutes after we left BG we were at the top of Lawers! Makes me almost wish I'd pushed on in the wind and mist (not to mention the snow!) when I was up Beinn Ghlas last November - but on reflection it's wise to heed the advice of a vastly more experienced Munro bagger!
The views were excellent, Ben More and Stob Binnein still gleaming with patches of snow, through to Glencoe, and a surprisingly cloud free Nevis. Another 5-10 minute break and we pushed on with An Stuc firmly in our sights, following the well defined path. "I have a feeling I'm going to get addicted to this..." mused my sister, "Maybe I'll even get a Munro's wallchart to tick them off like yourself!"
The summit of An Stuc was a great unplanned bonus, again superb views all round and we had the summit (and indeed rest of the day on the mountain) to ourselves.
We had definitely settled for three Munro's, but I wanted a very quick look at what the scramble was like on the other side of AS. My sister definitely wasn't comfortable as we neared it - "I'll just wait here" - she nervously muttered - although I suppose she will grow in confidence with more experience.
Now for the return. I'd already thought about skirting round the western slopes of Lawers and Beinn Ghlas to avoid the up and downs again. I could see a rough path leading off round that direction from the bealach and although it wasn't marked on the map the going looked OK. The route wasn't great however, hard work on the ankles and a bit slippery at times - given the choice again I would probably opt to go back up Ben Lawers and down the better defined path that skirts round Beinn Ghlas. We did get to go round a few snowfields on the side of the hill and jump across some small burns however!
We made for the bealach between BG & Meall Corranaich (briefly considered climbing it, but will leave for another day!). Once at the bealach we joined the main Beinn Ghlas bypass path, better going now and we made it back down to the car in around 50 minutes. My sister was panicking as we realised we'd completely forgotten to get a ticket for the car in the car park and was worried she'd have a parking ticket! I didn't think it was likely, but we checked and it was just a voluntary donation (although we stuck the £2 in in any case!). Finished off the day sitting outside The Old Smiddy in Killin with delicious fish and chips!
We both really enjoyed ourselves, to be honest I was struggling to keep up with my sister at times her enthusiasm was so great! I think this was the first of many days on the hills for her!
Munro's Bagged: 3 - Distance: 15km (est)- Accent: 1200m (est) - Time: 4 hours 30 mins - Very Happy People: 2
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