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18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!!

18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!!


Postby jstalker66621 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:25 pm

Route description: Beinn Dearg from near Blair Atholl

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl)

Date walked: 21/02/2012

Time taken: 5.52 hours

Distance: 29 km

Ascent: 1028m

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A week off work...my first of the year...and not only that but it included both weekends (9 days off in total)!! Now what was a young single man about town going to do with all that time off?? God only knows...but I was going walking!!

Initial plans were a little weather disrupted, we had terrible forecast for the weekend, which included snow and gales higher up, leading to thawing and mildness at the start of the week. Given that I was involved in a car crash two years ago, on the 19th Feb, and still have vivid memories of it, I avoid doing any driving on that date. So with that and the weather against me anyway I settled for trying the 21st and 22nd instead...but where to go?? I had heard that Beinn Dearg and Carn a'Chlamain were not really much more than elongated walks, with a little steep rise near the end of both, and as I was going alone and did not quite know what to expect from the weather, I settled on them (it was also in my mind to get them out of the way as they were such looooong isolated Munro's, and as it was still winter I could justify only doing one summit per day).
With all that in mind I headed down the A90 and up the A9 to Blair Atholl, arriving at the car park at Old Blair just before ten on Tuesday 21st Feb.
P2210023.JPG

There were already a few cars in the car park...it's a popular walking area with a variety of routes for all abilities (but as I was to later discover there was only one other hill walker out that day...the rest were dog walkers taking advantage of the surprisingly mild conditions). As I was still expecting snow and freezing summits I dressed accordingly...baselayers (top and bottom) warm new winter trousers (what an asset they are proving to be, I should have bought them long ago) and my thick soft shell jacket and fleece hat...most of which I had to discard in the opening half an hour!!! The start of the walk follows a road out of the car park and out towards Banvie woods, some slight uphill incline as you follow the route of the burn and ignoring any branches off to the left or right...unfortunately wearing rigid soled four season boots on this terrain was to prove a nightmare as my shins were burning very early on and I could feel the start of a blister (can only remember having had three previous blisters in 152 Munro's).

As I left Banvie woods I stopped to remove my Jacket and hat, in the hope that it would be enough to cool me down as I continued my walk...within half a mile I had to stop again and remove my baselayer trousers (thankfully no-one was around to see me in a state of half-nakedness cursing the mild weather as I stripped down to my pants and socks) as I took time to reassess my attire.
Once dressed again I set off again...on what felt like the road to nowhere...mile after mile of desolate moorland stretched out in front of me...cloud hanging so low that there were none of the hoped for views of what is apparently a lovely area for walking!!!
P2210030.JPG

The track was monotonous...save for a cairn in the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason...most odd...and a few cairns I could see on some of the surrounding low hills. After two hours of trudging (and indeed that's exactly how it felt today) I arrived at the bothy at the bottom of Beinn Dearg.
P2210037.JPG

I stepped inside and read through some of the entries in the log book (ha ha ha we are the peepil indeed...not anymore son!!!) and left a mention of Jelly McBaby and where we were heading.

Beyond the bothy the track rises, following the route of the Allt Sheicheachan until you reach a point in the path where you can cross the stream. At this point the route continues on the left of the stream, heading in zig-zags uphill, as crossing the stream on the right is the return route. So off I headed, zig-zagging all the way up a steep path, in decreasing visibility, to a summit that I was going to see nothing off the top of...with a blister that was beginning to get to me a little...all in the name of fun...canna beat it!!! Around halfway up the slopes the path splits, the main one off to the right, and a minor one to the left. I took the minor one as it felt like an opportunity to leave the clear path and head up grassy slopes...feels more like a hill I think. This path peters out and I was left finding my own way to the top, in poor visibility now, until regaining the main path as it arrives at, what appeared to be, a summit cairn.
P2210040.JPG

Now I know what happens on the hills stays on the hills...however I feel it's appropriate to share this with you as I found it invaluable today...THIS IS NOT THE SUMMIT CAIRN...IS IT POLLY??? Having read her recent report, and seen pictorial evidence supporting this, I knew that the true summit lay another 50m higher and a few hundred meters further on...cheers for the pointer Polly. Out of the gloom came the only other person foolish enough to be out here today, an older English fella from Dundee who informed me that he had retired (lucky bugger, though it must have been early retirement by the look of him) and was going to do all the Munro's this year...good luck to you indeed. He informed me that the summit lay where I knew it would (sorry Polly, that's the last mention) and that I should stick to the left of the path as the snow had iced over and he had almost landed on his behind a few times crossing it. With this in mind I thanked him and forged on to the summit cairn, which sits on the middle of a field of rocks, a trig point surrounded by a shelter cairn at 1008m.
P2210041.JPG

By the time I got up here I could feel the wind chilling me considerably as the wind picked up and was blasting me quite forcibly sideways. I took shelter behind the cairn long enough to get Jelly McBaby out and catch him posing on the trig point.
With the wind increasing it seemed prudent to leave, saving my ginger cake and custard for later...so I stuffed a sandwich in my mouth and left sharpish!! Mother nature had obviously decided to punish me for removing so much layers of clothing earlier...it was bloody freezing now...the wind was a nightmare as I progressed slowly back to the 'other' cairn and found my minor path down the slopes again. By the time I got to the main path again the wind had subsided and I was able to enjoy the rest of my sandwich as I stopped for a well deserved five minutes.

I zig-zagged my way back down hill to the stream at the bottom, crossed it and headed steeply back uphill slightly on the slopes of Beinn a Chait before following the bull dozed track back along the headwaters of the Allt Slanaidh...eventually crossing it and following the path high above the firing range below in Glen Tilt...I even caught a brief glimpse of my target for tomorrow Carn a'Chlamain...
P2210059.JPG

...arriving back at the car tired and sore (well parts of me anyway) after a gruelling five hours fifty two minutes of often monotonous plodding!! What a relief it was to get my boots off and let my feet breathe...and even better knowing that it was a mere five minute drive to my overnight accommodation in Blair Atholl...bliss!! At least the route tomorrow is two miles shorter than today's 18 mile epic...phew.


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jstalker66621
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:47 pm

How on earth did you managed nearl 30 km in less than 6h?? Thats pretty good going!! Enjoyed your report as well :D :D
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:21 pm

Mountainlove wrote:How on earth did you managed nearl 30 km in less than 6h?? Thats pretty good going!! Enjoyed your report as well :D :D


Eh, I think it's called walking rather than dawdling, and is only 3 miles an hour after all, could explain the gargantuan blister that occurred of course :wink:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby morag1 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:28 pm

A bit of an epic walk, not surprised your legs are sore :lol:

Great way to spend your days off work 8)
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:35 pm

morag1 wrote:A bit of an epic walk, not surprised your legs are sore :lol:

Great way to spend your days off work 8)


Cheers, canna think of a better way to spend a day (well I can but not saying on a family site!!) :oops: :angel:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby morag1 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:38 pm

jstalker66621 wrote:well I can but not saying on a family site!!)


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:23 pm

Oi Jelly baby/bloggy man you forgot to mention the false cairn....oooops I see now that you did!!! Several times :lol: :lol:

Stripping off? Again! Exhibitionist methinks!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Your walking time is not too bad I suppose, I guess you're much faster without me holding you back :lol: :lol:

Bit of a bummer about the blister, I have the very same boots as you (although mine are probably a few sizes bigger) and I didn't get a blister- you must have delicate wee feet :( :( :(

PS smashing report :thumbup: :thumbup:

P XX
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby SusieThePensioner » Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:36 pm

I've done the blog already :D

Well done JMcB on an epic walk, along with John :lol: Some great photos as well :thumbup:

Hope the blister has healed up?

jstalker66621 wrote:Cheers, canna think of a better way to spend a day (well I can but not saying on a family site!!)
Perhaps we could have a few suggestions on your blog and choose the best one ?? :lol: :lol:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby basscadet » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:36 pm

Check oot the 'fake' dearg cairn a coupla weeks ago.. was just like a monkey :lol:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:02 am

pollyh33 wrote:Oi Jelly baby/bloggy man you forgot to mention the false cairn....oooops I see now that you did!!! Several times :lol: :lol:

Stripping off? Again! Exhibitionist methinks!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Your walking time is not too bad I suppose, I guess you're much faster without me holding you back :lol: :lol:

Bit of a bummer about the blister, I have the very same boots as you (although mine are probably a few sizes bigger) and I didn't get a blister- you must have delicate wee feet :( :( :(

PS smashing report :thumbup: :thumbup:

P XX


Oh Polly...where to start??

I felt compelled to mention your foopah regards cairns as it was simply too funny not to...My walking time is usually quick on my own, head down and do it and all that...Your just gutted that you weren't there to see me get naked this time...My feet are considerably smaller than the boats that you possess...Hobbit feet!!!

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:06 am

SusieThePensioner wrote:I've done the blog already :D

Well done JMcB on an epic walk, along with John :lol: Some great photos as well :thumbup:

Hope the blister has healed up?

jstalker66621 wrote:Cheers, canna think of a better way to spend a day (well I can but not saying on a family site!!)
Perhaps we could have a few suggestions on your blog and choose the best one ?? :lol: :lol:


Cheers Susie...it's loyal fans that keeps me motivated to write the sh*te like what I do :)

The blister has healed up nicely already, delicate wee feet you see :lol:

Feel free to suggest away on the blog...but remember I moderate the comments so keep it semi clean 8)
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:07 am

basscadet wrote:Check oot the 'fake' dearg cairn a coupla weeks ago.. was just like a monkey :lol:



Hahahahaha looks like it's puckering up for you there big man...
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jonny616 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:13 am

Nice one John. When i did this one i didn't even see the false summit untill after i had been to the true one thank god otherwise i would have walked 29.6K & not topped out :lol: :lol: :lol:

Shame about your foot. We changed into trainers that we had left at the bothy for the walk out
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby jstalker66621 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:18 am

jonny616 wrote:Nice one John. When i did this one i didn't even see the false summit untill after i had been to the true one thank god otherwise i would have walked 29.6K & not topped out :lol: :lol: :lol:

Shame about your foot. We changed into trainers that we had left at the bothy for the walk out


Sounds like a good idea that...my mate used to do that during summer with sandals...wouldna catch me dead in a pair of them tho!!!
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Re: 18 miles + 1 Munro + 1 huge blister = me legs are sore!!

Postby JLamont86 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:19 am

That big cairn in your pic is 'The Lady March' cairn. I don't know much about it other than 'Lady March' had a picnic here in the 19th century and subsequently built a cairn to mark the occasion. I shall rake out the book and have a nosey!
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