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A tough initial climb.

A tough initial climb.

Postby NBrooks » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:43 am

Route description: Càrn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: A' Bhuidheanach Bheag, Càrn na Caim

Date walked: 07/07/2016

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 831m

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My first ever post, so a bit brief and a bit sketchy.
I chose this climb for today as it looked not too bad for ascent and also the distance was longer than I have been doing recently. I'm trying to build up my endurance to tackle harder climbs. I was a bit concerned by previous reports that had said it was boggy, so I took my gaiters and waterproofs.
Arrived at lay-by 87 at 7:45am, a little behind schedule as I slept in. Weather was mild and fair with very light breeze. Crossing the road was easy and then I set off up the landrover track. After 20 mins, the seat was beginning to erupt out of every pore. So a brief pause to disrobe (not completely), have a drink and go again. Another 5 mins later on I discovered O'd left my cap behind. After a brief internal debate, I thought it'll probably be there when I get back. That proved to be true as I got in on the way down. However, I hadn't realised the cap was multi purpose she, protection, heat but most of all - a seat band. Climbing higher, the sweat was like a waterfall and running into my eyes all the time - it stung.
The pace I had set was cracking. But as the track steepened I realised that it was too quick so I slowed down to a plod and even at that still needed lots of mini breaks. I was so glad to reach the track divide and stopped for a longer break and a snack.
Recharged, I head to left and the going was easy. The boggy bits had mostly dried up so no problems there either. I missed the fence off to the right as I was too engrossed in following the clear path. So that meant a little bit of back tracking which wasn't to bad as the terrain was reasonable forgiving. Reached the top and basically did an about turn after a quick look around.
I got back to the centre point in good time and set off for the second top. Once again, I was seduced by the track and missed the sharp left turn at the big white stone, so this meant a very steep descent over rough grass. Ultimately it was fine, but was annoyed with myself for making the same error twice in one day.
I passed a couple on their way back down, moving slowly but steadily. Then finished the longish haul up to the top, took a quick picture and started back.

Here was a real eye opener as I passed a lady who must have been around 70-75 looking like she was out for an afternoon stroll and there was me puffing and beads of sweat (yes, sweat again). I was falloff admiration and hope I can keep going as long. We chatted for a while and then I set off. i warned her about the sharp left.
I reached the centre point and then started down the track. I hadn't realised just how difficult it was to walk on a track with lots of loose boulders so I had to keep to the side whenever possible. Stopped about a quarter of the way down for another snack.
I got back to the car in just under 5 hrs and I was glad to sink into the seat and munch on a few delights. At that moment a light rain started, so that was a bonus that I managed to keep dry.
These two hills took my tally to 45. I have to say it was not the most enjoyable I've ever done. I found the landrover track ascent was just exhausting, coupled with me setting off too quick. The views were never that impressive compared to others I've done.
Lessons learned: Better pacing. Don't lose your hat and take a sweat band. Read the route reports more carefully and consult the map more frequently to prevent backtracking
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Posts: 7
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Re: A tough initial climb.

Postby simon-b » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:03 pm

Every time you climb a hill, there's something new to learn, N. I don't think any of us ever stop learning. You reached the summits and made it back down OK, that's the main thing. Keep going and that endurance will come :)
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Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

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