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Moss' first hill walk...with no reaching the summit!

Moss' first hill walk...with no reaching the summit!

Postby KatTai » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:02 pm

Route description: Mither Tap from the Bennachie Centre

Date walked: 21/10/2015

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Decided to go to Bennachie for a walk with two of my three dogs (Millie and Moss, Fly has retired and stayed with my dad) and my mum and her dog, Brodie. We've been up before and my mum kept saying about wanting to go back there so with us both free for the day it seemed a good opportunity to return! Initial plan was to go to the Back o Bennachie car park but there was a fair bit of traffic on the road so we went to the Bennachie Centre instead to head up that way. The kids are off school this week, and the weather was great so the route up was busy. With Moss in training, this meant lots of stops to let people passed so it was a long walk up. She did very well sitting to the side while people - and even other dogs! - passed us by.


She was also very good passing people, though she was spooked by some of them. I can see no pattern with the people she gets spooked by, but this is already happening less and less so hopefully will be a behaviour that will fade with time and be gone by the time we get to any bigger, more challenging walks in the spring. In the meantime, Bennachie is a nice place to get some practice in!


I must admit, I was initially feeling a bit put-off by how busy it was and wished we'd chosen somewhere less popular, but Moss did so well that it turned out to be a great, positive training exercise for her. I think she is going to make a wonderful hillwalking companion once she gets her fitness up and with a bit more training! There are a few things we need to work on, but having only had her 4 weeks I'm amazed and delighted by how well she is doing.


With the weather sunny and clear, there were great views across Aberdeenshire and beyond. It was hard to believe that it was getting towards the end of October as it was a day more fitting for summer! In fact...it was a better day than most of the summer days!


We reached the cross roads with Mither Tap above us. We could see it was very busy up there with a fair few people standing on the summit and others descending and descending. The wind had picked up here too and it was a relief to feel the breeze!


We stopped for a break and a little photo-shoot with the dogs before deciding to just head back down to the car park rather than continuing up. My mum's dog was tired out and Moss was getting tired as well, the last thing I wanted was to ruin a very positive trip by continuing on and pushing her too much running the risks of her making mistakes because she is tired. She might only be 2-3 years old, but she is far from fit and doesn't have the stamina of 11 year old Millie. We've both been up to the top before, so it wasn't a mission to reach the summit we were just after a nice walk and that is what we got.

Wee Brodie enjoying the breeze

Millie - posing level: Expert

Moss among the heather

So Moss has yet to reach her first summit, but that will come. In the meantime, she needs to work on her gears and figuring out what to do with her legs as she was like Bambi up there at some points!
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