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This one was for Allan

This one was for Allan


Postby Beaner001 » Mon May 11, 2015 12:02 pm

Route description: A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire

Munros included on this walk: A' Chralaig, Mullach Fraoch-choire

Date walked: 09/05/2015

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 14.4 km

Ascent: 1287m

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A text from my ex-army mate Andy during the week led to this walk. Andy now works in Tanzania so time at home is special for us but usually involves lots of booze and tomfoolery. Andy has only really just come to terms with the Iraq war and out of all the guys I know he more than most has the troubles of a soldier on his mind. Back in 2006 he witnessed his good mate (whom I never had the pleasure of meeting) Allan take a head shot from a sniper while he was changing the communications on a police station roof top in Al Amarah, Iraq. Allan died instantly and seeing the pictures of Allan’s coffin being carried down Aberdeen’s Union Street nearly brought me to tears. Lance Corporal Allan Stewart Douglas of the Highlanders was only 22 and his birthday was May the 2nd, he would just have turned 32. This one was for Allan.
Parked up in the lay by a couple of km’s East of the Cluanie inn and set off toward the track that takes you to Glen Affric. We cut off the track almost instantly and began the relentlessly steep climb up the side of Fuaran Mor Chluainidh.

photo 1.JPG
The track to Glen Affric

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Andy and Roy

photo 3.JPG
The steep ascent up Fuaran Mor Chluainidh


Andy struggled to start with as his fitness is not what it was, he has completed lots of courses at Glenmore Lodge so he loves the hills but work keeps him away for great periods. Behind us there was a couple and their wee Terrier, they soon caught up with Andy but stopped for lunch. The views were fantastic over to the SGR and also the rest of Kintail, the Ben even made a cloud free appearance.

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Looking over to South Glenshiel Ridge

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The Corbett Am Bathach and Brother ridge behind

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Back down to the road and Andy

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A dogs eye view of the SGR


Once up on the ridge to the summit I met a guy that was taking part in the TGO challenge, well played sir that’s some undertaking.

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Coming to summit Ridge A'Chralaig

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Beautiful Ciste Dhubh

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Brothers ridge


I soon made the summit and waited for Andy, the summit cairn was huge. Andy made the summit and was chuffed to bits, luckily the couple made the summit at the same time and kindly took our photo.

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Summit A'Chralaig

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Huge summit cairn

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Andy reaching the summit

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Great pals


We replaced used energy with sandwiches and fruit and then made our way along the ridge to the second Munro. I had read that there were pinnacles to negotiate (Na Geurdain) on the way but there was a bypass path so the dogs would be ok.

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Looking at the snaking ridge to Mullach Fraoch-choire

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Pinnacles coming into view

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Dogs cracking on


Once I got to the pinnacles there was no sign of a bypass path, the snow had covered all traces. We therefore made our own way down to the right and traversed along a snow field to the end of the path which I made out. The dogs did just fine and soon we were waiting on Andy and the other couple and their dog to get across.

photo 19.JPG
Andy coming over the rock pinnacle

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Andy zoomed


I pushed on to the summit as I did not want the dogs mucking around here, I met a guy and his Collie dog there and we chatted a while. He decided not to negotiate the pinnacles and I decided I’d not go back that way either. He set off North and Andy made the summit and we stayed taking photos a while.

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A'Chralaig in distance

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Me and dogs on summit

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Roy with the Glen Affric backdrop


We followed the guy North before heading west down into the Glen on the steep grassy slopes, they were dry so no issues.

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Our descent back down into the valley

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Ciste Dhubh


We made the path which soon turns into a Landrover track and motored along bumping into another TGO wanderer. He had collected a 6 pointer stags Antler. Just before we made the road again we bumped into a guy that was back up looking for his GPS which he had lost a few weeks ago, hope he finds it. Once we made the road it was a short walk back to the layby. When we were driving back along the road I saw my dad’s car, it turns out he was up doing the three Munros East of the two we were doing, it’s a small world after all. We stopped in Inverness ‘right enuf/rubber bumper’ for a chippy tea and the evening was lovely, soon we were back to the Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen. Cracking day, I never asked but I’m sure Allan was in Andy’s thoughts, the hills seemed to be therapeutic for him.
Allan.gif
Lance Corporal Allan Stewart Douglas, Photo: The Highlanders
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Beaner001
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 11, 2015 1:45 pm

A great day for it and a fitting way to bring back the memories - cheers :)
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby kev_russ » Mon May 11, 2015 3:12 pm

Great report and pics and a really nice touch for Allan :clap:
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon May 11, 2015 3:57 pm

Great report and photographs there Beaner, looks like a fantastic day on the hills :D
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby martin.h » Mon May 11, 2015 7:22 pm

Another great report Matthew with some nice photos.
Its good that our soldiers are remembered, they put their lives on the line to make sure we continue to live the lives we're used to, a lovely private dedication, I hope Andy's memories ease with time. Thanks.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby Beaner001 » Tue May 12, 2015 1:16 pm

rockhopper wrote:A great day for it and a fitting way to bring back the memories - cheers :)


Scored with the weather and the views :D

kev_russ wrote:Great report and pics and a really nice touch for Allan :clap:


Thanks Kev :D

The Rodmiester wrote:Great report and photographs there Beaner, looks like a fantastic day on the hills :D


Cheers Rod, it was a good hill to do, if I'd been myself I may have gone for a longer trip but didn't want Andy collapsing on me, he'd be a big beast to help back :lol: :lol:

martin.h wrote:Another great report Matthew with some nice photos.
Its good that our soldiers are remembered, they put their lives on the line to make sure we continue to live the lives we're used to, a lovely private dedication, I hope Andy's memories ease with time. Thanks.


Thanks Marts, it's a lovely area, no long walk in's just climbing straight from the road :lol:
Cheers for your kind words :D
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby CJM Skye » Tue May 12, 2015 8:21 pm

Nice one.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue May 12, 2015 8:33 pm

Superb report, Beaner. What a great way to remember a friend.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby dogplodder » Tue May 12, 2015 8:50 pm

Great walk and a fitting tribute to a brave soldier.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue May 12, 2015 9:10 pm

Smashing report, and two great hills in a fantastic part of the country. Great dog pics as usual! The hills are great healers, I hope they were good for Andy. A fitting tribute to Allan - thanks for posting this it's good for us all to remember. :clap:
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue May 12, 2015 9:12 pm

Meant to say that when we did these two part of the bypass path looked as it if was about to break off :shock:
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue May 12, 2015 10:17 pm

Great stuff Matthew, fantastic photo's and area :clap: :clap:
Always touching to remember those who are sadly not with us.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby Silverhill » Wed May 13, 2015 9:56 pm

Great that you can support your mate this way. Days out on the hills are good for the soul. :)
Also, a handy report for me. I’m planning to do these two in a few weeks time. Good to know about the pinnacles and the bypass path.
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby bikeman » Wed May 13, 2015 10:56 pm

Had to go back and login just to mark this as a great report
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Re: This one was for Allan

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu May 14, 2015 8:07 pm

A1 Beaner, hope your mate Andy manages to get plenty more days on the hills too.....Cheers Kenny
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