A weekend of compromise, I set off to give me a knee a good test, 5 months post op (ACL redo) ... I did; initially I had a plan to do Seana Bhraigh , followed by the Beinn Dearg group. Things conspired against me starting with a later than ideal set off from Aberdeen, poor weather, motivation issues after my first day!
Whilst driving on route to Seana Bhraigh, decided that i was going to be cutting it fine to get it done on Friday before dark with my knee untested on long descent so instead changed my mind and decided that I should go for a shorter walk to see how thing would go, so decided to go for Ben Kilbreck, which wasn't even on my horizon when I set off so I didn't have a map and had to stop and find one somewhere; Lairg came in handy. Arrived at about 4.30 in the nearby town and at the foot of the hill in about 5. I decide to cook a meal from here given that I had load of time before dark but I did feel guilty for not making use of the beautiful evening knowing that Sundays forecast wasn't so good.
Got going about about 8am on Saturday, it started nicely but it got gradually more and more windy with blizzards on the final summit push. It was pretty wintry from A' Chioch 688m and I had to kick steps up the final ascent of Meall nan Con in a full south easterly gale, not pleasant for Mila, my springer! On the ascent I realised I had lost my phone so I had to descend a couple 100m to search, no joy, so if any of you find an iPhone 5 give us a shout! That cost me an hour. I got down with at 4ish wit a sorer knee than id wished for and realised I wasn't fit for a a long day again the next day so soon.
I'd got a better idea of Sundays weather by now and realised it was going to be a minger so i opted for Ben Hope, I drove up and spent the night there in my van. I was buffeted all night long, the wind lifting the van at times! Next day it still blew hard. No way of even Ben Hope. Plan D! Go and get one of the Beinn Dearg group on Monday as it was an improving forecast. bummed about all day Sunday, let the pup rest and drove to Tongu for a look about, Ben Loyal hotel for breakfast, then Dingwall to get a cheap new hill phone and then to Inverlael to bed down; away by 8.30am next day. .
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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.