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First Walk

First Walk


Postby 1969msnairn » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:24 am

Route description: Ben Wyvis, near Garve

Munros included on this walk: Ben Wyvis

Date walked: 23/08/2010

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 935m

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Hi
I'm new to all this so bear with me.
I have reached the grand age of 40 so have decided to start bagging some Munro's. Call it a middle-aged crisis as my wife would but I want to see and do as much as I can before my knees give out. It's also important to me that I stay fit so I though what better way.
So Ben Wyvis was my choice as this is the nearest Munro to where I live.
The weather forecast wasn't good, heavy showers through the day though I ain't made of sugar so off I went.
I left the house around half past nine and dropped my wife at work then headed out towards Garve.
There was a steady drizzle and the roads looked as if their had been some heavy showers. As I looked up at the hills the cloud was very low and moving fast.
After three quarters of an hour drive I arrived at the car park for Ben Wyvis thankfully the rain had stopped and I was all fired up.
I jumped out of the car and went around to the other side and started putting on my walking trousers and boots and quickly realised there was one thing I forgot, my midge repellent. Needless to say it didn't take me long to get underway.
I had also brought my dog, which is a Lurcher though I wasn't very sure how he would get on as they have a tendency to have a burst of energy then tire quickly. They also have a tendency to hurt their legs due to them breenging about though I was prepared to turn back if I though he wasn't going to manage it.
Another vehicle had pulled up just as we were getting underway with four walkers and there dog so I was determined they weren’t going to catch up with me so off we went at a good speed. I soon warmed up and the jacket was off.
The walk along side the burn was longer than I expected quite narrow and with a slight incline. The ferns were waist height and wet so I was glad I had waterproof trousers on. When I came out the forest there it was looming up in front of me looking a bit imposing and not particularly welcoming, as the cloud was half way down and moving fast.
I gave the dog a little time to get a good drink and paddle in the burn whilst I read the information boards.
Armed with a bit more knowledge of what to look out for and a keen determination off we set.
The fist part of the accent was relatively easy and by now I had worked up a good sweat. The dog seemed to be taking it in his stride and appeared as if he was constantly waiting for me.
I was surprised to find some boulders placed like steps on the steeper parts though I found this harder on my legs.
Looking back seeing the other walkers coming up behind me encouraged me to push on, probably a bit harder than I should have for my first climb.
After accending, which felt like a stairway to heaven, we entered the cloud. I was surprised at how quiet it was and almost ere. The ground as best I can describe was a sludgy peat but after all those steps it was a relief.
The track up at this height was a bit more difficult to find though somebody was up here as I had seen another vehicle in the car park when I had arrived and I could see fresh footprints in the mud.
The walk had now levelled out to a nice soft plato which the dog enjoyed running about in.
The temperature soon started to fall and the wind was whipping up a bit so I donned my jacket and also put the dogs jacket on and kept him on the lead as I didn’t want him running about as the visibility was only 50ft.
Out of the gloom appeared an elderly gentleman whom I suspect had been responsible for the foot prints I had been following. It was quite reassuring to see him up there so we had a brief conversation and continued in our opposite directions.
A further ten minuets and another slight incline and out of the gloom appeared the white marker surrounded by a circle of stones which marked the end of my accent. We had made it with little drama.
It would have been nice to stop and have a picnic but it was too wild so we about turned and started our decent eating whilst I walked with the dog stuck to my leg and nose in my pocket impatient to receive his treats. Again out of the gloomed appeared the four people that had been following me up with their dog on point, which I rewarded with a treat. I was pleased that I had got up before that group as they looked like seasoned walkers and I figured that I hadn’t done too bad for my first climb.
When we arrived back at the steps I hadn’t realised how steep they were. I don’t know whom though it more daunting the dog or me. We were now out of the cloud so the jackets were off and I let the dog off the lead, as it would be safer for us both. The view was good from here so I snapped a few photos.
I was surprised at how hard it was on my legs on the way down.
Again I met another elderly man on his way up thankfully I was on my way down, he looked as if he was enjoying himself. Then I met another man who looked as if he could run up it. Again five minuets later another couple making there way up, this place is busier than my local walk up the river Nairn.
Once clear of the steps the gradient wasn’t so steep so I had a little jog down much to the displeasure of the dog whom I think by now was starting to feel it. It didn’t take long to get back down to the burn, which the dog was glad to see.
A further twenty minuets and we were back at the car.
So that was my fist Munro approximately four hours which felt a good time though I don’t have anything to compare it too.
My legs are a bit sore and the dog is knackered though I’m looking forward to my next one.
1969msnairn
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Re: First Walk

Postby sid0995 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:42 am

Hey fella,

Good first report. I live in Nairn too and go bagging about once a week. If you want to team up let me know?

Started in February and got 28 so far.
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Re: First Walk

Postby bootsandpaddles » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:50 am

I always find it a bit disconcerting when people talk about being 40 as though they had one foot in the grave. Enjoy the other 282!
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Re: First Walk

Postby skuk007 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:03 pm

Always good to get the first one under your belt without any drama. Hope the next ones will provide you with some stunning views, at which point you'll be truely hooked.
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Re: First Walk

Postby soulminer » Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:11 pm

An interesting read, but don't knock being in your fouth decade :) I'm nearly out of mine and still enjoy, most of , my hillwalking :lol: Started the Munros at 44 after giving up smoking and drinking :lol:
Will be up at Ben Wyvis again in September, looking forward to the fun.
Cheers
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Re: First Walk

Postby doogz » Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:42 am

yeah ...enjoy the hills they get easier thru time and hard work

i will be up ben Wyvis too in september....with him in the post above .. :lol:

their will indeed be much jility as it will be my 283rd munro and COMPLEATION...something i never even contemplated at 40....took this malarkey up when i met him above and another two mates in december 2007..and was 43 when i first went walking properly

seemed daft at the time but now.... :D :D :D

I am so happy i could burst....so you have done one with 282 to go and me i have done 282 with 1 to go

Roll on Ben Wyvis...

Great read my friend and keep going :wink: :wink:
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Re: First Walk

Postby kinley » Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:53 am

Welcome to the free gym that is the Scottish Hills :lol:
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Re: First Walk

Postby HighlandSC » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:07 am

Good stuff, well done :thumbup:
Ben Wyvis was my first hillwalk just over a year ago. I'm the wrong side of 25 :lol: and took twice as long...so yes, you did well! 4 hours, with even a little jog near the end - definitely quick - the rest of the hills await you!
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Re: First Walk

Postby gaffr » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:43 am

You will know that you still enjoy going out amongst the hills when you find yourself chasing after Elsies at the age of 68 :lol:
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