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A stormy 69 for Team Railton

A stormy 69 for Team Railton


Postby railton22 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:37 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

Munros included on this walk: Ben Avon

Date walked: 01/07/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 34 km

Ascent: 1004m

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Well, we won't forget our 69th Munro in a hurry. We should have had second thoughts when the car thermometer read 28 degrees C at 08:30am. After all this is Scotland where the 28 degrees normally has an F after it. Figuring (naively as it would turn out) that a High Cairngorm would be MUCH cooler was our first mistake.

Second mistake was over-estimating the Hubs's capacity to shake off a virus. Still not well at all as it transpired....but there's not a lot you can do about it high on the shoulder of a monstrous Munro approx 10miles from the nearest habitation (not counting ptarmigan houses). Thoughts of how I could effectively drag him down the mighty Munro should he collapse formed a large part of my thoughts as we climbed the zig-zag path on the steepest part of the ascent.

Anyway, back to the beginning and after parking at Keiloch (a reasonable £2.50 for the day) we set out on our mountain bikes smugly overtaking the handful of walkers out in the sweltering temps.
DSC05130Altdourie.jpg
At Altdourie near the start with the Hubs feeling well. So he told me

DSC05134Altdourie.jpg
Smiling in the baking sun at Altdourie

Granted we walked more than biked (it was hot, we're out of practice re:biking and only pedalled when we thought anyone was looking).

We managed a pitiful 4mph average speed. Apologies to the real bikers out there. Shameful, just shameful. Maybe we should just attach some plastic streamers to our handlebars (think 4 year old girls with stabilisers) and be done with it.
DSC05137Gleann an Slugain.jpg
Gleann an-Slugain (far too hot to pronounce it properly)

DSC05139Gleann an Slugain.jpg
Too warm for biking, as we soon discovered

We bike-walked to the Fairy Glen which was incredibly pretty and noting that the path got steeper and rockier, we opted to leave the bikes chained up under a birch tree.
DSC05141Fairy Glen.jpg
Fairy Glen. Oh why oh why did we leave the bikes here?


That was mistake No 3.

Passing the ruined lodge and braving the burning (thank Heaven's for P20) sun, we made it to the head of the glen to look out onto the upper reaches of Glen Quoich.
DSC05143Slugain lodge.jpg
Slugain Lodge (looked like a Greek ruin in the boiling sun).

After rounding the first corner the mahoosive glacial valley opened up before us and to the right and as far as the eye can see....the most beautiful path for mountain bikes.
DSC05145GlenQuoich Beinn a Bhuird.jpg
Glen Quoich. That path stretched on for ever. What we could use right now is a...........bike


DSC05149Glen Quoich.jpg
Hmmm shall I go back and get the bikes????

Thinking miserably of our lovely bikes chained up in the Fairy Glen we did what walkers do best and just put one foot in front of the other and tried to erase the annoying thought of how much easier it would've been on our bikes.
DSC05150Glen Quoich Beinn a Bhuird.jpg
Mighty Beinn a Bhuird from Glen Quoich. PLENTY of opportunity to stare at it.

The path was tough namely because of the great distance and the relentless heat. The rapid snow melt off the side of the surrounding hills ensured that the numerous burns were full of deliciously cool, fresh, fast flowing water.

Crossing the Glas Allt Mor provided me with the excuse to throw my hot boots and socks off and wade across. Hubs opted to do the rock jumping thing but I had more fun...and delightfully cool feet for several minutes.
DSC05151Glas Allt Mor.jpg
Hubs jumped. None of that for me. I wanted a nice wade. My ugly little feet were in foot Nirvana for all of four minutes. Lovely.

The next stage was the turn to the sizeable Clach aCleirich boulder.....and here things got a lot more heated. As the heat climbed, so did we. The Hubs really began to struggle and stopped more and more. It was obvious he was not right. I insisted that we turn around but a Taurean Husband is the most stubborn of creatures and scarlet-faced and shiny with sweat he was determined to continue the walk.

The welcome sight of the smaller tors at the Sneck provided a focus until we reached the Sneck itself and spotted what the map contour lines had been telling us all along, that a nice steep sided shoulder was waiting to be climbed.
Oh bliss and joy. Still if it was easy, everyone would do it and bang goes the sense of achievement.

The zig zag ascent path opened up some truly spectacular views but my main focus was the rapidly deteriorating state of the Hubs. Again I pleaded with him to turn around but step by step with more breaks than paces we painfully ascended the shoulder.
DSC05154 Ben Avon shoulder.jpg
Perched on the shoulder of Ben Avon

DSC05153bein a Bhuird from Ben Avon.jpg
Beinn a Bhuird from Ben Avon shoulder. Behind me I think that my Hubs is dying.

DSC05157Ben Avon.jpg
...and he's nearly there. never seen him struggle so much. How on EARTH do I hoick him back down this mountain?

DSC05159Ben Avon.jpg
Keep going Hubs. Please don't drop.

The large plateau of Ben Avon was THE most welcome sight, as was the crowning tor. After a water-break, Hubs found some minuscule energy reserves and together we made it to the Tor and all the way to the very top just as the WH instructions said.
DSC05163 Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide.jpg
Good job he's a stubborn Taurean.

Enjoyed our achievement, posed for photos in our wild and lonely world of two and then noticed that the heat was dropping, the wind rising and the sky ahead rapidly turning the colour of Satan's bottom.
DSC05167Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide towards Beinn  a Bhuird.jpg
Yay! The top of the tor, Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide

DSC05161Ben Avon.jpg
Too poorly to notice the thunderous clouds building behind him

DSC05173 Ben Avon summit tor Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide.jpg
Yay! In the bag goes Ben Avon.

Not good.

We scrambled down and at the base of the Tor tucked into a much-needed lunch, speed-eating as the skies grew darker. Just before we finished large warm drops of rain began to fall.
DSC05177Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide.jpg
Inspired by the thought of a well earned lunch

Out came the waterproofs and ruckie protecters and not a moment too soon as the rain got fiercer and fiercer. Bouyed by our fuel we picked up the pace to a reasonable walk and made it the the very edge of the shoulder when the thunderstorm hit. Pretty awesome but terrifying too as there was nowhere to shelter at all and as the 5p sized hailstones hurled down at us we hunked into the ground with our backs to the stinging hail whilst thunder and lightning cracked over our heads.
DSC05179Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuide another walker.jpg
On our return we spotted a lone walker who'd appeared out of thin air. Minutes later we we hunched up in tiny foetal balls as a mean thunderstorm dumped 5p-sized hail stones on us. Even through our waterproofs it HURT

The storm passed and we got up and continued our descent.
DSC05183 heading down towards the Sneck.jpg
The storm passes and we continue down towards the Sneck
The storm had made the air temp much more comfortable for walking and this made the return a lot easier. Other storms blew up on the return but none as fierce or bothersome as the first one.
DSC05189thunderstorm Ben Avon shoulder.jpg
Waving goodbye to our thunderstorm

Eventually got back to the bikes at the Fairy Glen and unchained them only to discover that the seats were COVERED in bird poo. Cheers, feathered friends, no more sandwich crumbs for you lot. A bit of alcohol gel and some Kleenex did the trick and we managed to cycle back in considerably less time than we'd come in, reaching a heady 23mph at one point.

Hubs survived and the pair of us managed the whole thing in just under 8 hours. Off home for a chicken curry pie.

Walked by Sarah and David.
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railton22
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby dav2930 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:25 pm

I was getting heat exhaustion just reading that! Very entertaining. Well done for seeing it through in such enervating conditions and with Hubs not feeling so well and all :clap:. Grand hill Ben Avon.
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dav2930
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:21 pm

dav2930 wrote:I was getting heat exhaustion just reading that! Very entertaining. Well done for seeing it through in such enervating conditions and with Hubs not feeling so well and all :clap:. Grand hill Ben Avon.


Thanks dav2930. It sure is a grand hill and thankfully the walk didn't kill my Hubs (although we came close) :sick: . Just looking at your mightily impressive Munro count. I'll probably be 89 by the time I reach that amount :wink:
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railton22
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby dav2930 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:49 pm

Shucks! - It's taken me more years than I care to remember to reach that number of Munros and I'll probably be 89 by the time I compleat! :lol: :wink:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby basscadet » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:49 pm

Brilliant report, cheered me up no end :)

Its rubbish when a storm hits you like that.. I have a very amusing photo of me wearing a giant orange bivvy bag on Sheihallion, in just such a moment :lol:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby Bruno » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:50 pm

Hey Sarah
Great report as ever! good photies and always entertaining. Glad you got great weather. Virtually everything I`ve done this summer has been in mist from 400 meters up :( :crazy:
Hope your hubby has a speedy recovery - post viral states can have a long recovery period.....
Never saw a thing in Knoydart 3 weeks ago. Was up Corbett collecting, but might as well have stayed at home..... :(
Iain
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:12 pm

Good to see your pics as we were up there a week before you - with no bikes so chuffed to have done the distance. As your photos show it's an awesome landscape up there. 8)
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby dooterbang » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:28 am

Well done all, hot stuff :)

The cycle in and out is fantastic, such a buzz when returning. Ben Avon brings back memories of beeb eating alive by midges, so thanks for that thought :lol:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby ancancha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:28 pm

Great another bike walk :thumbup:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:50 pm

basscadet wrote:Brilliant report, cheered me up no end :)

Its rubbish when a storm hits you like that.. I have a very amusing photo of me wearing a giant orange bivvy bag on Sheihallion, in just such a moment :lol:


Thanks Basscadet. Smart use of a bivvy bag!!! I'll try and remember that one :lol:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:56 pm

Bruno wrote:Hey Sarah
Great report as ever! good photies and always entertaining. Glad you got great weather. Virtually everything I`ve done this summer has been in mist from 400 meters up :( :crazy:
Hope your hubby has a speedy recovery - post viral states can have a long recovery period.....
Never saw a thing in Knoydart 3 weeks ago. Was up Corbett collecting, but might as well have stayed at home..... :(
Iain


Hi Iain :) Thank you. Bummer about the misty summits....lets hope it's all clear sunny ones from now on (well we can hope can't we :wink: )
Hubs has completely recovered now thank you. We both clearly underestimated just how unwell he was. Won't be making that mistake again anytime soon. He should be a great big wuss like me and cry off at the slightest sniffle!!

Hope that you're getting some sunny Corbetts.

Sarah :)
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:01 pm

dooterbang wrote:Well done all, hot stuff :)

The cycle in and out is fantastic, such a buzz when returning. Ben Avon brings back memories of beeb eating alive by midges, so thanks for that thought :lol:



Thanks Dooterbang. It was certainly hot stuff. Really wished we'd biked through Glen Quoich too but ah well...I imagine it would have been a buzz, like you say.

Luckily no midges for us. Think that they were all lying on a rock somewhere sporting Hawaiian Tropic and sipping margaritas :wink:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:05 pm

dogplodder wrote:Good to see your pics as we were up there a week before you - with no bikes so chuffed to have done the distance. As your photos show it's an awesome landscape up there. 8)


Thanks Dogplodder. Given your reports I hope it was an uneventful walk for you (no Mountain rescue, broken limbs, airlifting etc :wink: ). Your walk reports are NEVER dull that's for sure. Have to agree with you re: awesome landscape. it's breathtaking! :)
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby railton22 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:09 pm

ancancha wrote:Great another bike walk :thumbup:


Thanks Ancancha :) We've only got really lengthy walks left in the Cairngorms now, I'm not that tough so bike-walks it is!!
Although given our pretty lame "biking speed" I'm wondering whether or not a quadbike counts as cheating :wink:
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Re: A stormy 69 for Team Railton

Postby ancancha » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:40 pm

railton22 wrote:
ancancha wrote:Great another bike walk :thumbup:


Thanks Ancancha :) We've only got really lengthy walks left in the Cairngorms now, I'm not that tough so bike-walks it is!!
Although given our pretty lame "biking speed" I'm wondering whether or not a quadbike counts as cheating :wink:


I wouldn't be without the bike now, and certainly wouldn't be doing the likes of Carn an Fhidhleir / An Sgarsoch without it :!:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52841
45km on foot, nae chance :lol:
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