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Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Aonach Eagach at 73 years old


Postby Kate66 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:40 pm

Route description: Aonach Eagach

Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach), Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)

Date walked: 20/04/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 967m

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For my first ridge and only 3rd and 4th munro this was challenging to say the very least. I have to admit to having been terrified at one point but there is the challenge. But that's just me. I did this ridge with my 73 year old father who showed no fear at all. To be fair he is an experienced climber and walker but the Aonach Eagach ridge must be respected for its difficulty. Having climbed it during a two day break in the middle of walking the West Highland Way I have to hold tribute to my father who amazes me with his physical ability for his age. I can only hope to continue to walk in his and my mothers courageous footsteps in attempting to traverse some of the ridges and mountains that they have both climbed and continue to conquer.
This ridge is mainly challenging for its narrowness at points when you must scramble, rope free, over short ascents. The scrambling or climbing is not difficult at all but as I say you are not only looking down 10 feet but about 3,000 which should confront any climber with some fear. That's why we do it right?
Do it, but do it wisely and please make sure you are fully aware of what lies ahead and that you are experienced or with someone experienced enough to know how to manage this.
The views on a good day are incredible. Enjoy.
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby CharlesT » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:59 pm

Well done him and you :clap: Another tick for us oldies, though at 5 years younger I'm a mere stripling by comparison :D

I admire and applaud his youthful attitude and hope to continue to walk and climb as he does for as long as my pins will carry me.

At the risk of much approbation I have never considered the AE much of a challenge, the scrambly bits are all pretty easy and the exposure is over-hyped in my view. Mind you I did it when you couldn't see 10 feet ahead for clag, so maybe I never got to see how exposed it was :lol:
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby Caberfeidh » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:58 pm

:clap: Some years back, as I struggled up Carn Crom on the ridge to Derry Cairngorm I was caught up and overtaken by a group of white-haired wiry chaps who were all beyond retiring age. They continued along the ridge, I retreated exhausted...
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby snodland » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:15 am

Hello Kate66. I go along with your general point about the "oldies" not being written off. However I think the paragraphs of your report that are the best are the last

"Do it, but do it wisely and please make sure you are fully aware of what lies ahead and that you are experienced or with someone experienced enough to know how to manage this.
The views on a good day are incredible. Enjoy.!

Walkhighlands is nowhere near as bad as most websites but too many magazines (Trail or Country Walking) and Blogs like to pretend that they found knife edge ridges and 3000 foot drops "exhiliarating". For the people that write them I suspect they are.....after the event though before and during I bet they wet themselves and cried for their mummy.

For those of us who think the mountains and indeed hills, forests and coasts that give us the best (for me the only) reason to go walking in that there is a good view at the top those paragraphs are a lovely bit of common sense
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby tweedledog » Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:19 pm

Really pleased to hear about your father. I'm two years behind him so, hopefully, can trail along in his footsteps :D
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby raykilhams » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:50 pm

Great report , good to hear about our older fellow walkers . It's true that we should never write oldies off , I remember watching a older gentleman swimming , doing length after length in a swimming pool , after getting out of the pool his daughter handed him a towel and said to me " that's the trouble with him , he's 92 and thinks he's still 20 years younger than he is"....... I guess it's true you're only as old as you feel ...... so we need to use it or lose it.



Hope I'm still walking the hills at 73 .
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby litljortindan » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:15 pm

Well done to you and your father. There's hope for me yet maybe!
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby Sgurr » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:43 pm

I still walk on occasion with people who did their National Service (conscription ended for those born in 1939). I may be wrong in thinking they couldn't still do The Fisherfield, but they managed it (camping) 11 years ago when they were only 65.


AE at 73 is pretty good.
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Re: Aonach Eagach at 73 years old

Postby Arthurs Eat » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:30 pm

Well done to your dad Kate! I hope i'm still kicking around and challenging myself when/if I reach his age :clap: . A few years ago I read an obituary to the late great Tom Weir from a climbing colleague of his. In the obituary the author tells of how they celebrated Tom's 80th birthday by doing the AE. Not fancying a 'boring' walk back up Glencoe at the end of the scramble, they turned round and did the ridge again! There's not many like Tom (and Kate's dad) around. Pity!
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