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Mitral Man Manages Maiden Munro

Mitral Man Manages Maiden Munro

Postby allymacp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:41 pm

Route description: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 02/08/2015

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 712m

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There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be into hillwalking and the Scottish outdoors as much, if it wasn't for my dad - Tom (Tomahawk to us :D ). He was always taking the family out when I was younger, and, as is always the reflection when your older, I wish I had paid it all a bit more attention at the time!! My early outings to the Campsies, Kilpatricks and first Munros were done with him and there hasn't been a better walking companion. Unfortunately a year ago he had an infection on his mitral heart valve and became a cyborg by getting a replacement metal valve :D It has meant for the last while I have been doing a lot of walking on my own, gaining experience and taking on some bigger and badder Munros. Now a year on, his fitness has returned and he's been back out on the hills and walking more.

As usual commitments with work mean opportunities for getting out have been tricky to come by, and finally we pinned down one of the easier Munros for our outing. Ben Chonzie gets a really bad rep in some of the official guides and books, but as folk on here have experienced its really not a bad walk at all and our wonderful backyard always throws up a few surprises along the way.

We set out from Glasgow at 7am to parts unknown and began walking around 8.45. The weather window was for dry weather up until 1pm (and for the first time the forecasts were spot on), we headed up in pleasant early morning temperatures. The path is very straight forward, following a track behind Invergeldie and up onto the hill. The clouds were covering the summit but that was to be expected.


Underfoot the rocky track does get a bit tiresome as there are few flat areas to stretch the legs to begin with. You keep rising though and so height is gained constantly. For me, it was great to be back to the old ways, catching up on goings on, stopping for photos and picking out landmarks on the horizon. Up we went and into the clouds, and once the track runs out the walking becomes much easier along the grassy plateau, undulating up and over the various hillocks before the summit.

On the way up

The visibility wasn't great and not a particularly great day for photos, but the fence posts make for easy navigation. Not long after hitting the broad ridge at about 2000ft, we encountered one of the strangest sights on a munro. A herd of cows, having a graze, looking quite the part!! I really had to check and check again that there was in fact a bunch of cows this high up, it was a bit bizarre! Tomahawk remarked it must be some of the best grass around!

Cows in the mist!

me on up.JPG

me and dad.jpg

Poor visibility up top

We reached the summit after about 2.5 hours and took a seat in the shelter at the top. The opening for the shelter though, was where the wind was blowing and after being on the move, it did get cold quite quickly. Without the rain though we were able to stop for sandwiches and hot drinks, chatting to a chap who had brought his dog on her first munro. He was getting some practice in before tackling Mont Blanc in a months time. Best of luck to you, hope the weather holds out!

summit shot.JPG
Back on top!

Before we got moving it was on with the gloves, jackets and hats. August in Scotland eh!? Once we were off we quickly warmed up and followed the fence posts back out of the clouds. Someone had also made a make-shift arrow using fallen fence posts indicating the way down off the ridge. Very clever whoever's idea that was!!

A handy sign

Easy stuff on the way down, the descent was wiled away talking of past and future trips, stopping again for a peek at the herd of cows. Even as I type this it brings a smile to my face!

The coos again!

The rain began to drizzle on time, but nothing to severe. We took a short detour to an outcrop where there was a interesting tower of rock. No plaque or anything to say what it was for, maybe someone just had some spare time and rocks? Or perhaps in preparation of a game of rock-jenga?

off to rock.JPG

rock jenga.jpg
Rock Jenga

The crags of Meall Reamhar

dow to glen lednock.JPG
Towards Glen Lednock

By the time we hit the track again, the rain was coming down a little heavier but it really wasn't too bad and we made the car just after half one.

lednock burn.jpg
Invergeldie Burn


I've said it before but theres no such thing as an unremarkable hill and I was glad to be out with my dad again, enjoying what we both do - the serene hillsides, peacefulness and fresh air. Of course a cloud-free top would have been nice for the return, but thats an element we are never in control of. I guess there is a lot we cannot control and I'm grateful that days out with Toma are not over and we still have plenty of steam left. Now that fitness has returned, I sense there will be a few more Munros to be tackled together in the future!
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Re: Mitral Man Manages Maiden Munro

Postby ancancha » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:01 pm

Glad you and your father got a walk 8)
Very much agree with you about every hill being remarkable, they all have something to bring a smile to the dial :clap:
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Re: Mitral Man Manages Maiden Munro

Postby allymacp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:12 pm

ancancha wrote:Glad you and your father got a walk 8)

Thanks Ancancha, very much a joy to be back on the hills with him :)
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Grahams:6   Donalds:8
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