I first set eyes on Ben Dorain in 1973 as the train entered Horseshoe Curve. Wow! "That is steep!", I thought. As years went on, I really fancied climbing it, but not by that way. The revelation that there was a back door was great. But then, I heard of 'The slough of despond' as Ralph Storer's book put it. On Sunday, someone told me it would be muddy. Still, the new Scotrail regime had made a special offer of 50% discount on a day return and I had booked for Thursday. A challenge, to be sure! Well, the great weather of recent has done a great job and I hardly got any glaur on my boots. I had obviously picked the right time. Got to the summit in 'book' time via a pleasant encounter with a family. The teenage girl had just bagged her first Munro (as had the family dog). Like myself, the lady was from Ireland and we congratulated each other on holding on to our accents after several decades in this delightful country that is my home now. I lingered for 1/2 hr on the summit, peeking down that slope that struck awe in me in 1973.
I did Beinn an Dothaidh too, but was slow. It seemed to be wetter than Dorain, but the views northwards were well worth the slog. Coming down was jarring on 61 yr old joints and seemed quite steep: ironically, it didn't seem that bad going up! Another great day in the hills and due praise to the Creator.
Steep slopes and slough of despond? Ach sure, I just outfoxed them!
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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.