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The long way down

The long way down


Postby Jeannie » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:25 pm

Route description: Beinn Alligin

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)

Date walked: 15/08/2010

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Our visit to pretty little Shieldaig for a week with husband and kids (10 & 13yrs) will not be forgotten in a hurry! Not just for the amazing otter encounter a mere 15ft away and the dazzling highland scenery, but for me the roller coaster of a family journey experienced whilst bagging of our first munro will be stamped in my memory bank forever :D !

Having printed out a variety of different walks from this site, some munros, some smaller walks, and driving through the Torridon area, the mountains proved too irrisistable to not walk at least one whilst we were here (much to the kids dismay!). The decision was made that we would 'try' Beinn Alligin, as it was possibly the easiest of the 3 munros in the area. Wednesday would be a good day, we decided (well...by 'we', I mean the adults!). I was a little concerned that the children would struggle but wanted to give it a go.

Bags packed and midge repellant on, we joined 3 other cars in the car park and set off using the path to the west side of the stream. Kids were in good spirits and skipped off ahead :) sharing a small rucksack between them. Meanwhile my husband diligently stayed behind with his snail of a wife whose heart rate was running wild trying to beat off big time leg burn. We hadn't even got to the deer fence :lol:

Not liking heights much, I carefully clambered over the style of the deer fence and watched my husband roll his eyes, wondering how the hell I was going to cope at the top (if he ever got me there!). The view back of the loch was awesome as we started to walk through the corrie (I should know I stopped to look at it enough times!). Following the waterfall children were still a way in front. My daughter even spotted a lone stag not far from us, as she waited patiently for her slow Mum.

Even though it was slow going (for me) I was surprised to find us at the first Munro Tom na Gruagaich, with all smiles from everyone. Unfortunately, the views were not very good, so we took our first Munro picture in the cloud as proof we did it, and sat down to eat a luxuroius lunch of sandwiches with a flask of tea, that never tasted so good. Within minutes the cloud cleared and we had stunning views all round. WOW! Wow and wow again! :D

Looking over to the horns and the second munro Sgurr Mhòr called out to us....we had to make a decision whether to continue....shall we....or shall we not? In between breaks of cloud....it looked a worthy challenge and it really wasn't that far away was it? And..we were here anyway...so why not??!!!

Re-packing the flask and lunchboxes, the kids sprung back into action, I started my slow stroll and we set off over the rocks. My husband stopped at the AEag Dubh and I could see him peering down in awe and admiration. As an avid outdoor pursuiter and thrill seaker I could read his dangerous thoughts and dragged him away as quick as I could :shock: . After quite alot more puffing and panting (yes...from me) we made it (oh Yes!) to Sgurr Mhòr at about 4pm. The views were again stunning and we took our second Munro pic.

Clouds started to blow in and my husband (the one who looks after us all) started to look concerned. Looking over to the horns and then back at me...he shook his head. Having not walked this before, not being able to see the path that went below the horns and knowing how I didn't like heights much, he decided we shouldn't do the horns today. This, of course, then meant we had to trudge back along the (very long) way we came. It had taken us 5 hours to just get here!

We started back at a quicker pace (well quick for me) back along the track towards Tom na Gruagaich. However, as the cloud descended we couldn't see the path and missed it. This then saw four figures slowly making their way up by hugging the side of the mountain (lots of deep breaths here!). Navigated by my husband, we made it to the top and found the path to the corrie, which we had come up, phew! Now for the long way down!!

Legs had given up screaming now and instead had turned to jelly and were not being helpful in keeping me upright. Kids were amazingly in good spirits despite my grumbles. Down the corrie we stopped for a break, whilst being watched by a welcome distraction of a herd a red deer from above.

Down, down, down...would it ever end?? This was the worst down hill me and my legs had ever encountered. The kids unbelievingly charged off into the distance, with a little arguing over whose trun it was to carry their bag, and my husband lovingly trying to keep me going as best he could. By the end, I was almost in tears....stupid mountain..whose idea was this anyway..oh yes it was mine!! Doh! :(

Our car, surprisingly was not the last at the car park at quarter to 8. 9 hours it had taken us...well the kids would have walked it much quicker without the disadvantage of their very slow mother! Beans on toast for dinner and I was a very happy woman...because I had bagged my first and second munro? Well maybe...but also that I had made it back in one piece and could go to bed very soon!!

It took me 4 days to be able to walk properly again!

An epic journey with awesome scenery and a roller coaster of emotions. Amazing!

Would I do it again.....what do you think?

(Okay maybe I do need to be a bit fitter and have enough time to recover before I have to go back to work!!)
IMG_3152.jpg
The start of the way 'up'

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Up the corrie.

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'Friend' along the way.

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View from Tom na Gruagaich of the horns

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A lovely view as the cloud cleared.

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Walking towards Sgurr Mhòr

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At Sgurr Mhor.

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The 'on lookers'.

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Looking 'back'.

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What a long way down!
Jeannie
 
Posts: 28
Munros:2   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Mar 27, 2010

Re: The long way down

Postby headless spectre » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:23 pm

Well done, its a really great area, did u do any other walks along the coast?
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headless spectre
Wanderer
 
Posts: 81
Munros:12   Corbetts:1
Grahams:4   
Joined: Oct 20, 2009

Re: The long way down

Postby Jeannie » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:59 pm

The Torridon area was a truly stunning region. We didn't do as much walking as we would have liked as the kids
didn't want to, but did a small walk up the shieldaig penninsula which was quite nice. We did find a small beach in Applecross that was gorgeous and we had it all ourselves! We are back near here, in the Dundonell area, next week without the kids but camping this time, so are planning our next walking excursions! Not sure if it will incorporate a munro or not, as I also have my eye on Suilven with a possible overnighter. Watch this space!!
Jeannie
 
Posts: 28
Munros:2   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Mar 27, 2010

Re: The long way down

Postby soulminer » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:20 pm

Alligin is a gem indeed, my absolute favourite 8)
Liathach comes a close second after being up there on 'sunburst' Sunday, but still stared over to Alligin.
Hope you enjoy Suilven, a logish walk in but well worth it for the scenery. Maybe Cul mor as a reserve :)
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soulminer
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: The long way down

Postby Jeannie » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:51 pm

Thanks soulminer will look at that too!!

And..yes I expect Alligin will be in my memory forever, I keep re-looking at my pics...stunning.
Jeannie
 
Posts: 28
Munros:2   Corbetts:1
Grahams:1   
Hewitts:13
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Mar 27, 2010

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