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I climbed a hill!

I climbed a hill!


Postby basscadet » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:15 pm

Route description: Biod an Fhithich, south Glenshiel

Fionas included on this walk: Biod an Fhithich

Date walked: 05/03/2016

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 6.5 km

Ascent: 640m

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First report for a while – my left ankle still isnie really healed, but we decided on the annual early March pilgrimage to Kintail to see the baby goats none the less. 8)
So on Saturday morning, after a night in our home from home camp spot, and time spent ogling wee cutie kids, we parked up at Malagan Bridge. Dougie had plans to do a route up Sgurr na Sgine, I thought I would maybe manage up the forcan path a short distance, maybe even up to the snowline if I was lucky. We said our goodbyes, and set off in our opposing directions. I rattled like a pill box with all the pain relief I had taken, but knew it was necessary or I wouldnie last very long. :roll:
I was soon hobbling up the fine stalkers path, blue skies above and wind ruffling my hair – so good to be out again I was beaming all the way. The first section of the path is pretty good, which gave me confidence, but I have learned that I need a good break every km or so, so I had a seat once I could see the SnS ridge, and waited until I could see Dougie before resuming. I tried to wave without a response. He looked like he was toiling – really steep that bit :shock:
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The path meandered through knolls and below rocky outcrops. I stopped again just before the long traverse to the bealach, and watched Dougie reaching the snowline before continuing. Not far on though, there was a section of the path that was less than perfect, a little bit of an incline had caused the path to erode, with rocks and boulders ruining the nice flat surface. Before the broken ankle, I wouldn’t of even noticed, but in my current condition, this was a major obstacle! :crazy: I picked my way through, often shifting rocks with my poles, more often just picking them up and tossing them over the edge to roll down the hillside. Progress was slow. I looked back after half an hour of hard work and sweat to see I had only got about 50 yards. :lol:

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The path improved again and I enjoyed it once more – uphill on a flat path is OK. I stopped again, pain killers starting to wear off slightly and thought about heading back, but the bealach was so close, going downhill so sore, and I was enjoying myself..

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So onward I went, some big drifts of snow near the top, already well ploughed by the feet of those that had gone before me, were less of a problem than I envisaged. I was so glad to get this far – Bonny views of Forcan and the Sisters so far away from what I have endured these past few months – Just Brilliant 8)

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I found a dry hollow and hunkered down out of the wind for another rest. I could see a good bit of the SnS ridge, but no sign of Dougie. I had lost any concept of how far along he would of got by now anyway. :roll:
So what next – I wasn’t ready for the pain I knew that downward would mean, so only the graham, or Forcan as options – the latter looked a mite outwith my reach with no ice axe and a gammy leg, so I looked to the graham which I had always been saving for a lazy Sunday.. Would I manage without a path? The terrain looked OK, either snowy, or with foliage flattened by previous snow, so I gingerly set off along the vague baggers path. The path took the easiest route by most folks standards, but I cannot tolerate a camber with the ground higher on the left than the right, so I left the path pretty quickly, to seek out cambers that were manageable. I also cant move my foot up and down normally, so the steepness was too much in a couple of sections, which meant a long hobble left for a long traverse back to the ridge.

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As I got higher, more snow patches appeared and I discovered that I couldn’t kick into the snow with my left foot – the pain was searing when I tried. My right leg tired quickly with doing all the kicking and in the sunshine it was hot work. Progress was made however, and before I knew it I was on the final ascent which proved to be the toughest bit – way too steep and snowy, but I was determined by then, I couldn’t fail with only 10M to climb. Much pain, shuffling, and expletives later I was on the top of a hill! Hurrah – oh hurrah on the highest levels.. :D

Image :D

It was windy and cold however, so a few photos with my crappy phone and I was off. If getting up that last bit was hard, getting down was awful. Painkillers were almost worn off, so I took more, but ended up crawling off the summit backward with my bad leg up in the air behind me, if anyone had been about, they would of thought me bonkers – the joys of lone walking :lol:
Generally the retreat from the hill was made more difficult by the copious amounts of snow on the left hand side of the ridge. With my problems with walking on certain cambers, this was less than ideal, and I sunk into huge drifts before giving up and trying to grin and bear it on the crest. :? Fortunately digging in heels was tolerable, so the snowy bits were easier. I saw a figure on the SnS ridge get up to the flatter part and start motoring along at a fine pace – Go Dougie I thought! Another wee rest did me the world of good but the last couple of hundred yards to the bealach were still walked sideways – again I was glad for a lack of bystanders. :lol: The clag came in a bit, and some flakes fell so that spurred me onward again.

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The nice flat path down was great initially, after all those steep bits and funny cambers, it felt brilliant underfoot. When I got to the rocky steeper bit I had thought that my path through the rocks would of still been there, but it looked like there had been more rocks dumped just to annoy me with no sign of my previous route.. So it was back to the routine of kicking and throwing boulders over the edge to make way for gammy ankle.. The second dose of painkillers had not worked, just made me slightly dowally, so fell over a couple of times and felt generally shoddy. As Dougie was going to be a while, I just lay down and managed to get some kip in the heather by the side of the path, which certainly helped. Past the rocky section I noticed my hobble and pain were getting bad, but I knew more painkillers were not the answer. So it was a stop every 100 yards, all the way back. :roll:
It was just a wee hill conquered – one off the smallest Grahams around, but so glad to get out there again – so chuffed I managed something 8)
Last edited by basscadet on Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby peter tindal » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:41 pm

You are aff yer heid :lol:

Well done, great effort
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby Jaxter » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:06 pm

Had a good laugh at that - it's amazing the ridiculous things we do when there's no-one watching :lol:

Glad you managed to get out again :clap: and hope the after-effects aren't too bad :shock:
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:29 pm

Nice to see you chose a simple straightforward pimple with an easy gradient and top notch path up for your first hill :wink:
Hope the healing continues, good that you're back out in circulation again
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:56 pm

Aye S' math a rínn thú :clap: :clap:
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby jupe1407 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:09 am

That's brilliant. Well done on getting out so soon after that injury. :D I trashed my ankle in 2012 and was extremely wary on anything approaching dodgy terrain for a long time after it.
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:20 am

Welcome to the recovery club :D I also did my first post-injury hill last weekend. Will be a while before I tackle any Kintail slopes though.

I remember, we visited BnF one winter for Christmas, in very similar conditions to yours. Great viewpoint to Forcan Ridge.
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby basscadet » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:39 am

Thanks everyone - thought it would be good to share an update of progress.. I'm rusty at even doing walk reports it seems :lol:

The after effects werent great, was OK on Sunday after an evening with my feet up in the tent, and managed up to the zig-zags on the ben Fhada path, but Monday and Tuesday were pretty stiff and swollen :?

Any suggestions for more hills with pony tracks up em?.. I can think of a few, but I bet there are more that I have forgotten about.. :wink:
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:13 pm

basscadet wrote:Any suggestions for more hills with pony tracks up em?.. I can think of a few, but I bet there are more that I have forgotten about.. :wink:


i think it would be a good opportunity for getting some Donalds done...
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby basscadet » Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:24 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
basscadet wrote:Any suggestions for more hills with pony tracks up em?.. I can think of a few, but I bet there are more that I have forgotten about.. :wink:


I think it would be a good opportunity for getting some Donalds done...


Oh I was hoping for suggestions for exciting, bonny places :?

:lol:

Might go to the lakes - good paths round there and every pimple is a tick..
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby jacob » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:48 pm

Good to see you're back on y'r feet.
Good to see you didn't lose y'r photographyskills.
Good luck with getting back at it the way you used to.
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby litljortindan » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:09 pm

Nothing so good as easing yourself back into hillwalking.
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby rockhopper » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:29 pm

well done - good to hear you're getting out and about - cheers :)
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:57 pm

Enjoyed reading this - and your fan mail!!
Keep going! :clap: :clap:
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Re: I climbed a hill!

Postby BobMcBob » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:07 pm

Heartwarming to see you out and about again. I felt for you reading that but it was so encouraging to read of your refusal to give in.

My boss (and one of my best friends) always says, when I moan about how my back hurts and can he please help me lift this lawnmower into the van, that "pain is just weakness leaving the body". And he's kind of right, it may have hurt this time but you've strengthened it and it'll hurt less next time. :)
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