My first Munro of the year and Munro number 3! I currently live in England and had a job interview in Glasgow so I decided to make a few days out of it. MWIS looked promising with 80% chance of cloud free tops the further East in the West Highlands you were, so despite having not walked up a mountain since last July I packed my bag and got the 6:50 bus to Bridge of Orchy. The skies were deceivingly clear in the city but as we began to head North, the clouds started to arrive.
I set off from the bus stop at about 8:50 and by the time I reached the train station I figured I should maybe walk up more mountains - or at least more regularly! Still, I was determined to make my summits and decided to go at "Clara Pace" - aka the speed of a McDonalds employee that gets free food on shift and gets very little exercise - even though I knew I'd be slow I'm too stubborn to not do something like this (though sitting and writing this morning my legs are regretting every step I took!)
The walk up to the Bealach took 2 hours and 20 minutes, a little slower than I'd expected I'd be but I wasn't particularly worried. I was planning on getting the 18:04 bus home so I figured being there at 11:10 wasn't going to be a problem. A quick pit stop for a banana and a drink and I was off up Beinn an Dothaidh. I figured I'd navigate the harder Munro first and save the simpler climb up Beinn Dorain for when I was a little tired.
On the boggy slopes I found myself wondering how to get across to the summit as I couldn't see the path that you're supposed to join - and upon reaching for my map I found nothing but an empty pocket. I'd heard it fall out a couple of times but nothing then, a lady wandering up behind me also hadn't seen anything, so I had to resort to the screenshots of the route on my phone. Better than nothing, but I do miss my map!!
Upon getting to the summit of Beinn an Dothaidh it became evident the clouds were rolling in. Looking across to watch the top of Beinn Dorain disappear was disappointing, and without my map I decided it was going to have to be a one summit day. (I feel like the fates were cursing me. I kept saying I needed to do a single Munro otherwise I'll get used to doing multiples and be disappointed when I had to do a single!)
I was back at the Bealach for 13:40, 90 minutes up and down Dothaidh. Normally I'd spend longer on the summits but the cloud was worrying me. The views weren't as great as promised but Rannoch Moor still looked moody! After a quick sausage roll I set off at 13:50 to head back down, aware that the cloud was now covering the top of Dothaidh and coming in quickly. Almost lost my hat on the way down, caused a slight landslip as I came down the steep Corrie, and I have to give an award to my knees and ankles for not breaking as at one point I was very worried about doing some actual damage to my legs (I think this means I need to have a few more salads on my breaks rather than chicken selects and fries!).
I arrived at the hotel at 15:20 and sat myself down outside to wait for the bus home with a bowl of chips and bottle of J2O (it should be noted the hotel has a minimum spend of £5 on card!) About 15 minutes before the bus arrived, Beinn Dorain poked it's head out from the clouds! $#*%!
I really hope that job interview went well, I need to be closer to Munro country (and away from the McDonalds!), it's been a lovely couple of days Scotland - hope to see you again soon.
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