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Ben Challum reprise

Ben Challum reprise


Postby kevsbald » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:40 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 10/12/2010

Time taken: 5 hours

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Not having 'compleated' it seemed damned odd to be heading back out on a hill, I did only 2.5 years ago. On that day, I had amazing conditions but I smelt of yak dung due to my inappropriate clothing. This time, I was far better equipped in every sense and it was this that got me thinking - what has happened in the 2.5 years since then? The mountains are timeless yet unfortunately we are not. It was a sobering thought but I began to look back at all that had happened to me and my family since 2008. The last time I had been on this hill, I was a relative and excited newcomer to hill-walking and hadn't even broken the 50 Munro mark. 2.5 years on and I was just ticking the 150-mark, content to notch up my experiences at a more leisurely pace. Peaks and days had flashed by and it was almost incredible to think so much had happened in that time. I was now married to a lovely and doting wife who only bollocked me when it was snowing in Glasgow - me - "the forecast says it's not snowing in the Glenfinnan area" - her wifiness - " you can take your Glenfinnan and shove it....". I had been on a couple of bothy meets with some 'weird and wonderful' people from WalkHighlands. Good times. I had lost several members of my family through ill-health and old age - in that sense, it was a particularly sobering process of thoughts and because I had been so deep in my cogitations, I hadn't noticed how impressive the surroundings were once again becoming. Indeed, the higher I got, the more eerily it seemed that today was just as impressive if not more so than in January 2008. It was definitely more crisp this time though. By the time I reached the south Summit, I was struck by just how amazingly 'pure' Scotland looked. Looking over to the East, it looked like the hills were covered in paper-mache rather than the huge amount of snow, which had recently fallen. Making the small deviation on to the ridge connecting the two summits, it didn't take long to get to the top and the rewards were frankly the best I have encountered, if not at all, then definitely in Winter. I was alone at the summit and in my thoughts. There is sometimes a defining moment when you are on the hill, which nothing can come close to in terms of peace, resolution, well-being and happiness. I was in that moment.
IMG_2203.jpg
Starting out near St Fillans
P1020459.jpg
Beautiful world
P1020468.jpg
Paper mache mountains
P1020471.jpg
Looking back to the South summit
P1020472.jpg
In the moment
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kevsbald
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby rockhopper » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:03 am

Now these are the type of photos I like :clap: straight into the sun over the snow. It's strange how we get to looking back at this time of year. Oddly enough, I'm hoping to get to 50 by the end of the year with the aim of Making Ben Challum the 50th.....but I need to do cover another two before then so not sure if I'll make it - we'll see. :D
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby dooterbang » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:11 am

Brilliant report, and some soooper photos :)

I will be doing this with my group on Jan 3rd, hope it looks as good.

Enjoyed that you reflected on life, although it changes and people sadly leave us the one constant is them hills :D I often think on a deeper level when solo and nearing summits, i think the solitude, surroundings and aura of the mountains evokes such reflections.

Your past the half way mark, plenty more to think about :wink: :wink:

Well done.
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby mountain coward » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:26 am

I'm always surprised at how much of a 'slagging off' Ben Challuim gets as I think it's a superb hill, especially in snow. I fully intend to drag the 'famous Richard' up it in snow as I think it's perfect for fairly inexperienced people in those conditions - well, done via that route anyway. I really enjoyed my walk up it - admittedly in not as much snow as that, and I'll definitely be doing it again.

I've also been looking back on my year and will be probably putting out a similar post nearer the end of the year, although probably more 'totals' based and not linked to any particular mountain. I too have had a great year chiefly due to being on 'Walkhighlands' :D It's certainly got me doing more and different things - and probably more hills due to the 'competitive' element it introduces for those of that kind of mentality (like me :D ). So, cracking report Kev and superb pictures.

BTW - I always think of snowy scenes as meringue - but then, being a total foodie/pig, I have to introduce food into it :lol:

Oh yeah - and I remember your 'smelling like a yak' report :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby Les Stuart » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:18 pm

Hi
Did this walk last Saturday with some friends and it looks as if there has been fresh snow since then. Yes a good hill to climb.
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby Graeme D » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:49 pm

Cracking stuff Mr P! Ye cannae beat a bit of hill reverie. 8)
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby happyhiker » Thu Dec 16, 2010 11:01 pm

Nice report and good pics! I did this in snow last February and just loved it in the snow. It was a perfect day with blue skies and crisp snow - great hill. :)
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby jonny616 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:17 pm

kevsbald wrote:Not having 'compleated' it seemed damned odd to be heading back out on a hill,

Hi

I too have not compleated, but have done some hills twice & one three times. Sometimes with friends & others with my kids. I look at it that i am undertaking three rounds of munro's simultaneously. So far i am a 70, 9 & 1 :lol: :lol: :lol:

Regards

Jonny
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby CurlyWurly » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:32 pm

Nice Kev, very nice indeed.
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby malky_c » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:04 pm

8) Crystal clear and so sunny - opportunity well grabbed!
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby kevsbald » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:40 am

MC - I think it is a very under-rated hill and would agree with you on that.

Probably one of my finest hilldays so far. 8)
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby mountain coward » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:42 am

Last time I saw a description of it it was something like: 'an uninspiring slagheap of a hill'! Skiddaw gets the same treatment and there are some really nice routes up it - the only boring one is the 'tourist' track up Jenkin Hill!
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby kinley » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:57 pm

Good to do this one when the bogs are frozen 8) - what a fantastic day and the sun and snow shots are drool-inducing.

This one has a bad rep with us but mainly because Hazel broke her wrist slipping on ice just above the railway (but on the plus side that was on the way down so the day wasn't wasted ;) ). The next 6 weeks were though - I almost started some DIY :shock:

Nothing wrong with repeating hills - we've been doing that since the start - the right hill for the day is far better than the wrong hill for a tick in our books. :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:38 pm

Cracking pics. I have a feeling this might just be my 1st of 2011, IF i can shake off the manflu by new year :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum reprise

Postby LeithySuburbs » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:23 am

Some lovely pics Kev :D . I too am a connoisseur of the "straight into the sun over the snow" pics as Rockhopper puts it - they are one of the very few photographic effects which match and sometimes exceed what the eye sees.

Like yourself, I have taken to a more relaxed perspective on compleating. Don't get me wrong - I still want to bag all the Munros (and Corbetts and Grahams and Marilyns ... :? ) but now I kinda think along the lines of "the longer I can drag this journey out the better" :) .
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