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An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain


Postby Hillbeback » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:07 am

Route description: Stuchd an Lochain

Munros included on this walk: Stuchd an Lochain

Date walked: 16/10/2015

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9.4 km

Ascent: 580m

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This is my first post so bear with me. I hope there will be more to follow. If I may share my story so far.
In my mid 20's to early 30's I enjoyed frequent outings on the hills. I suppose I was a bit of a Munro bagger. I had a wallchart of the Scottish peaks over 3000ft and after completing each walk I duly ticked them off. I felt quite elated when I reached my first 50. In this time I had also climbed several Corbetts etc and I enjoyed many of them as I did the Munros.
For various reasons my adventures in the hills ceased and I took up other pursuits. In my mid 40's I became unwell and eventually I was diagnosed with ME. I had heard of the condition but was ignorant as to just how much it could affect people's lives. It certainly affected mine. I had to give up work and all activities came to a grinding halt. Very gradually my health improved with the odd relapse along the way. I had now lived with the condition for 9 years. I will most likely always live with ME but on a much more mild level. Earlier this year I had been looking at the many photos I have of my walking days and wondered if I would ever get up these hills again, never thinking in my wildest dreams it would be possible. In June I decided to give it a go. It was quite scary for me as I didn't know what the outcome would be knowing that it could cause a relapse and make me feel alot worse. I went with friends up the Campsies and much to my amazement there were no repercussions. And so I continued. Next up was Ben A'an followed by, wait for it, Meall nan Tarmachan. I did suffer for about a week after that one due to the fact it was a very windy day and it really took its toll on me. However the body did recover and l continued on to add Ben Ledi and some quite long forest walks to the list. I was hoping to try for one more Munro before the hint of winter set in. I had always loved the peace and tranquillity of Glen Lyon so when the forecast for the Friday was looking good I didn't need much persuading. Myself and a good friend who has only recently started going hillwalking, along with his dog set off looking forward to our day ahead. As we passed through Callander and round the banks of Loch Lubnaig the low lying mist was sporadic. It was clear as we drove through Lochearnhead but as we got to the end of Glen Ogle and headed for Killin it was thick. We drove up towards the Ben Lawers car park and l started to wonder if it wasn't going to clear. As we continued down the 8 mile single track road to Bridge of Balgie it was as if someone had suddenly opened a door. The mist disappeared and ahead was crystal clear blue skies. The scenery was wonderful. Beautiful autumn colours. I remember someone telling me that Glen Lyon was well worth a visit at this time of year and now l saw why. We finally arrived at Loch an Daimh and eagerly set off.



our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I'll be damned.jpg
Well i'll be damned


almost a mirror reflection.jpg
Almost a mirror refection


and another.jpg
And another


I know it does state that the initial climb is steep and I certainly found that it was. A bit testing for me however the adrenaline had kicked in and sheer determination was helping me along.

The view back down to Glen Lyon.jpg
The view back down to Glen Lyon


Big Ben comes into view.jpg
Big Ben pops up


I was quite surprised just how quiet the hill was although I wasn't complaining. With the weather being so good I expected to see more walkers. It would seem that if you avoid the weekends then the hills are much less crowded which in turn gives you the feeling of total solitude.

The Lawers Range.jpg
The Lawers Range


As we gained height the views started to open up. I've always enjoyed photography. I suppose it goes hand in hand with hillwalking. I am still very much an amateur but I get alot of self satisfaction from taking good photos. For me it's a bit of the "teach yourself". Hopefully Santa might surprise me with a new and better lens which will improve the quality of the photos.

The Tarmachan Ridge peeping over.jpg
The Tarmachan Ridge peeping over


The Buachaille and Glencoe.jpg
The Buachaille and Glencoe


What a relief to get on to the ridge. I had to stop for a wee break. I was in need of some sustenance as I was feeling a bit depleted. After a cup of Tetleys and a sandwich I was up and eager to go. Shane, my friend's labrador was having the time of his life. A number of the times he decided to have a roll on his back but he chose to do it in the most awkward of places. Doing it on the steep part coming up wasn't ideal although he didn't see it being a problem. He agreed to pose for photos on the summit. We continued on our way stopping many times just simply to admire the scenery and enjoy the ambiance. We could now see the final part of the ridge leading up to the top.

The final hike to the top.jpg
The end is in sight


The final ascent.jpg
The final ascent


After a final push we made the summit. At this point I felt quite emotional and overjoyed at the same time. It's hard to put into words what this meant to me. Certainly a day to savour. Of course I had to take a few photos from the top.

One man and his dog.jpg
One man and his dog......on the summit


A rather hazy Buachaille and Rannoch Moor.jpg
A rather hazy Buachaille and Rannoch Moor


Ben More and Stob Binnein.jpg
Ben More and Stob Binnein


Ben Nevis and The Mamores.jpg
Across the Rannoch Moor to Ben Nevis and The Mamores


Zooming in on Ben Nevis etc.jpg
Zooming in on Ben Nevis and The Mamores


There is one more photo to add to this report. When I took it I never imagined the effect it would have on people when they saw it and yet when I look at it myself I see a wee story in it. There are so many captions that could be added to it but this is what I have chosen.....

Shane and Bob.jpg
"Shane, isn't this amazing. Brilliant weather and breathtaking views. What more could we ask for"
"Yes Dad i'm gobsmacked . Now where's my chicken and biscuits you promised me when we got to the top?"


And so after sitting at the top for a short while, we regretfully made our way down after what had been a most memorable day for me and a great experience for my friend. Shane was eager to get home to tell his brother Glen (not really his brother) who is too old to go hillwalking, all about his adventures on Stuchd An Lochain.

Watch this space for my next adventure on a Munro :thumbup:
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Hillbeback
 
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby spiderwebb » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:01 pm

I hope there will be more to follow, wonderful touching story and great photos too. Glad to hear you're at least able to live with your condition but it cant be easy. Well done for returning to the hills :D
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spiderwebb
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby rockhopper » Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:12 pm

Good first WR :thumbup:
Great day for it and good to hear that things seem to be on the up - hope all goes well from here on - cheers :)
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:10 pm

Lovely report and stunning photos. congratulations on getting back to hillwalking despite the ME. Look forward to reading more of your reports :D :D .
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby katyhills » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:18 pm

What a lovely report and photos - and a great story. Love the pic of you and Shane :D
A fantastic achievement. No other feeling like it - being up on a hill in glorious weather. I wish you the health to have many more days like that :)

And what a smashing hill it is, isn't it? One of my favourites - done it many times in different conditions, and always enjoy it.
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby BobMcBob » Sat Oct 31, 2015 11:47 pm

Smashing. A friend of my Dad's has lived with ME for many years. This took courage for you and the rewards were great, keep up the walking and keep us posted with more enjoyable reports :)
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Hillbeback » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:22 am

spiderwebb wrote:I hope there will be more to follow, wonderful touching story and great photos too. Glad to hear you're at least able to live with your condition but it cant be easy. Well done for returning to the hills :D


Thanks spiderwebb for your kind words. Now l am a member l will enjoy adding comments to the many excellent reports including yours.
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Hillbeback » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:24 am

rockhopper wrote:Good first WR :thumbup:
Great day for it and good to hear that things seem to be on the up - hope all goes well from here on - cheers :)


Thanks rockhopper. Yes they certainly are on the up and fingers crossed they will be from now on :D
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Hillbeback » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:26 am

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Lovely report and stunning photos. congratulations on getting back to hillwalking despite the ME. Look forward to reading more of your reports :D :D .


Thanks "Huff_n_Puff" your comments are very much appreciated
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Hillbeback
 
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Hillbeback » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:31 am

katyhills wrote:What a lovely report and photos - and a great story. Love the pic of you and Shane :D
A fantastic achievement. No other feeling like it - being up on a hill in glorious weather. I wish you the health to have many more days like that :)

And what a smashing hill it is, isn't it? One of my favourites - done it many times in different conditions, and always enjoy it.


Thank you katyhills. I really appreciate your kind comments. It's a woman's determination that kicks in. The pic is actually of my friend and his dog. Yes love this hill because of the views.
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Hillbeback » Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:36 am

BobMcBob wrote:Smashing. A friend of my Dad's has lived with ME for many years. This took courage for you and the rewards were great, keep up the walking and keep us posted with more enjoyable reports :)


Cheers BobMcBob. Yes there are not many people who have the condition that ever get back to full health but i'm happy to get back to even this level and enjoy the pleasures in life once again.
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Re: An Emotional Return to Stuchd an Lochain

Postby Silverhill » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:27 pm

Thanks for sharing your story and well done on your come-back to the hills. :clap: You certainly are determined. I hope your ME stays on the background for you and I look forward to reading your next report.
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