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What if you get up and can't get down?

What if you get up and can't get down?

Postby Dubh Linn » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:35 pm

Route description: Gairich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Gairich

Date walked: 09/06/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

Ascent: 870m

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After almost 3 months of inactivity due to a ski injury - a torn MCL in my left knee, plus meniscus damage, plus the news that my ACL didn't exist, even before the injury - I was keen to determine if my rehab was on track for a trip to the Alps at the end of July. My knee felt good enough and the consultant was happy it had healed. I mentioned to my physio that I was going to climb a munro at the weekend not expected the look of horror on her face. What's the worst that can happen I asked? What if you get up and can't get down? I'll get down OK I replied, I have chosen one with a long walk in and out and only the last bit is really steep. So Gairich it was.

The beginning

The summit looked a long way away from the dam, but my reasoning was I could turn back at any point if things were not going well. Given I had only had a couple of 20 minute walks in the woods with the dog I was quite expecting that might happen. We crossed the dam and I was feeling excited to be out in the hills again. The weather was good, the ground was firm and we made good progress towards the base of the ridge. The stalkers path helped our progress up onto the long grassy slope. So far so good. We heard the plaintive cries of a golden plover then spotted it sitting on a rock. It circled around a few times as we passed.

The golden plover

We reached the steeper section, I was feeling great though I had a some concerns that the loose stones on the path might be tricky for my descent. The scrambling was straightforward and I was enjoying myself. We reached the top in 3 hours which I as very happy about, sat down and had some cheese, tomatoes, oatcakes and malt loaf. Another couple of folk arrived and exchanged pleasantries. Now for the descent.

I concentrated hard going down the steep section, making sure not to slip although my knee was still feeling fine. We made it back to the grassy ridge without mishaps. The dam seemed miles away but the rest of the walk should be easy now I thought. About 10 minutes later I was starting to suffer. My hips were sore, I slowed down. What if I can't get down! Well, of course I can but it is going to take some time. It took an age to get to the stalkers path down the nose of the ridge. I was walking so slowly, concentrating on putting on foot in front of the other. It hurt. My knee was good. I hadn't anticipated this problem although it really should not have been a surprise given my lack of activity apart from knee exercises. Eventually we made it off the ridge to the path back to the dam. Some of this was uphill, which normally would be a chore and a psychological downer but today it was wonderful. My legs seemed more capable of carrying me upwards. I'm going to make it now. Oh no, another downhill bit, at least it wasn't boggy. I crossed the dam and asked for the car to be brought to it as I could hardly move. In fact, I could hardly move for the rest of the week as my calves were suffering big style. But I had done it. Broken the barrier in my mind. My knee rehab had worked, now to get the rest of me sorted out.

The end
Dubh Linn
Munro compleatist
Posts: 8
Munros:258   Corbetts:27
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:104
Wainwrights:138   Islands:13
Joined: Oct 13, 2014

Re: What if you get up and can't get down?

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:48 pm

Well done. Always good to know injuries are over the worst.

I turned back on this in March, thanks to a knee injury. Was tempted to struggle on, but it was the right call as on the walk in it was properly painful on the short descent from the moor to the bottom of the ridge, which didn't bode well for later. I turned back and the other two went on, successfully. The irony was that all the bogs were completely frozen, so it was a nice easy walk out - slowly!
User avatar
Mal Grey
Posts: 3888
Munros:112   Corbetts:20
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

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