Traveled up from Glasgow, arriving around 9:30. The day was bright, but the cloud was pretty low around. No sign of the angry deerstalker on this occasion. Got ready and headed along to the gate at the start of the walk, only to find that there was a sign saying that the hill route was closed. Had seen walkers ahead who disappeared apparently up the route, so decided to ignore the notice and make an effort. on reaching the first section of the forest it was obvious that the reason for the sign at the entrance was logging activities that had obliterated the path. There was an area fenced off, although there were unlocked gates to allow access, but there were no paths through an area of recently felled trees. Although not a huge area, traversing it was tricky and required some careful scrambling around and over recently felled trees and debris. Eventually emerging onto the track.
Set off up towards the first of the 4 programmed peaks, Carn Gorm, with the cloud still quite low. Met several pockets of climbers and although could not be described as busy, never really felt alone on the hill at any point. The climb was sustained, although not too steep and as I was climbing the cloud was beginning to lift and there was a feel of the sun starting to burn away the clouds. I emerged onto the summit, just as the cloud disappeared and the sun broke through. The views were spectacular.
Felt good at this stage and was looking forward to the rest of the climb. The banter at the summit was good and people still fresh were also looking forward to the challenge.
I didn't really hang about and set of towards the second target, Meall Garbh. had to lose quite a lot of height to do so and hated this! Got to the summit, starting to feel the strain, although the day was lovely and warm and the views were amazing. reached the summit and was closely followed by a few of the guys from the previous summit. I had detoured and gone over An Sgorr just to bag it, although there was an alternative path which just went around it and those following were evenly split by those who went each route. On reaching the summit was looking towards what appeared to be the next summit and thinking how far away it looked and I was already feeling a little out of power. I rested for a wee while at the summit and decided to push on the next summit. Although quite a distance away when looking at it, was not as far as it seemed and the climb was not in general as hard as it looked either.
Managed the last two peaks, Carn Mairg and Creag Mhor, in quite good time although well into deficit on the energy stakes . Had a wee spit of rain, but only acted as a good cooling.
Set out back down from the final peak following an obvious path, however, after a short distance the path petered out. Referred to my GPS and discovered that I was well off the track, although there was no obvious alternative that I had missed? Traversed over to the marked path, having discovered another path to take me there, so obviously other people had been caught out in the same way. The descent was long an sustained and probably the least enjoyable part of the climb, although this was maybe more due to tiredness and the urge for the flask of coffee back at the car!!
Got back to the car park in almost exactly 6 hours, which is my longest ever climb. I was exhausted and stiff, but felt really good to achieved the climb. Probably not one that I will do again, but was nice to do and not too much of a bind, unlike last week at Ben Vane.
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