A friend of mine who is more enthused about hill walking than I am was determined to bag a Munro. We were on a
family vacation near Inverness and we chose Ben Wyvis as it is easily accessible and quite popular. In addition to me
(age 68) and my friend (age 66) we were joined by two of my sort of granddaughters aged 23 and 10.
We were not prepared for the amount of steps that had been imposed on the ascent and it turned into a grind. Once
you reach a certain age, slopes or ramps are much easier than stairs. Long story short the two younger members of our
party could have done laps around us as we struggled up the mountain. Truthfully, only I was struggling as I have a left hip that does not like going up. My companion Pam kept encouraging with "We're almost there. Look, we're almost there." About five hundred feet (elevationwise) from the cairn which marks the false (something I knew, but Pam didn't) summit, I remarked to Pam, while we were looking over a precipice, "There are worse places to die than a mountain in Scotland." She found that quite humorous. It was two days before she realized I might not have been talking about my death.
We made it and what was supposed to be a clear day we were able to see clear to our hands in front of our faces.
The young girls had made it to the marker, eaten, chatted with several other walkers, and were on their way back when we finally made it to the true summit. They returned with us, took some pictures, and then got to the bottom a full hour to hour and a half before us. From a distance I could see them at the bottom dancing their version of a highland fling. And you wonder why old people hate young people.
Because of our slowness the expedition took much longer than anticipated and the cafe we had decided on for lunch was long since closed, and we had to wait another hour of travel before we got to a pub where all four of us including, no especially, the 10 ten year old ate a full meal consisting of appetizer, entree and dessert. Truth be told she also ate some of my onion rings and sampled everyone else's dessert. And of course she did this without suffering indigestion or weight gain. Did I mention the legitimate grudges that old people have against young people.
Later in the year Pam and I tackled Knocknarea in County Sligo and found it a quite easy climb compared to Ben Wyvis, but we found our view to be comparable. I swear that in the future I'm not climbing on anything but a clear day when I can see forever. As a footnote I must mention that I had climbed Ben Bhraggie near Golspie on a day when it was so foggy I couldn't see the top of the statue even when I was standing immediately beneath it.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.