Having a 'crack' at reaching Mum's 141st and my 90th

Munros: Stob Bàn (Grey Corries), Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 20/09/2014

This report was almost entitled:


Unusually, the planning hadn't been done to the nth degree last week, apart from finding out there would be no Glenlyon 4 due to the stalking. Mum was determined to reach her 141 at the weekend and I'd be up to 90;
the weather gods were smiling upon us with a huge high pressure coming in from the west - so that was it decided, it would be camping at Glen Nevis for the weekend, with a walk from Spean Bridge up the glen to Stob Ban, then on to the Grey Corries Ridge - SORTED! Hmmm...methinks she ought to plan a bit more carefully in future... :shock:

All went swimmingly with the gear sorted out on Thursday. The other wifie, the teenager and Travis the dog would be going over in Ivan the van. Dad would be taking the 'new' old BMW motorbike, and since there's no sidecar for me, Mum would be taking the wee red car. So straight after school on Friday everything was shoved in the back, and I leapt into the boot, excited to be away for another mountain adventure. :D

For those of you who haven't stayed at Glen Nevis campsite, it's brill, plenty of space, and the facilities are great for the humans. I was happy there were other dogs there to say hello to, and plenty of trees (canine facilities, if you get my drift!!!)

A very convivial evening was spent in the van once Mum's new tent was set up - loads of space in this one for the 3 of us. Anyways, the humans had dinner and wine, and played a post indyref game of scrabble - there was a heck of a lot of laughter amongst them, and I'm pretty sure they weren't playing by the rules, but it seemed they were happy! Travis and me just lay down, resting up before what WE knew would be a big day tomorrow. :wink:

Anyways, the walk: I DID try to get everyone up and moving in the morning which had dawned clear, sunny and already warm. But this camping mallarky seems to slow everyone down, and after the humans' breakfast was sorted out, the wee red car was packed to the gunnels. Travis and I were beside ourselves with excitement, way too hyped up to eat anything - let's get this show on the road folks! Woof! Woof! That was the 1st mistake!
morning campers - a way too relaxing start to the day, jammies still on for goodness sake!

We didn't set off until after 10. That was the 2nd mistake.

The track from the farm near Spean Bridge is a great wee track - it you're in a sherpa tank that is!!! But Mum steered carefully and very slowly round all the pot holes, and somehow we managed to get to the top of the track near the gate. A quick exit, packs on, a farewell to Dad who was taking the car back to the campsite as we were walking all the way through, and we were off! At 11am - the 3rd mistake!

The walk up the glen to the bothy is stunning, especially at this time of year with the sky azure blue, hardly a cloud was seen and the autumn colours just coming into their prime. The bellowing roar of the stags would keep us company all day - oh it's good to be alive!
the walk in

We'd been passed by a couple of vehicles on the way in, headed to the bothy to man a checkpoint on some mountain bike race through from Glen Nevis, so when we arrived at the bothy for a wee rest and a snack, there was a veritable party going on - burgers cooking, drinks being dispensed and lots of laughter in the sun as the marshalls waited for the first of the bikes. We waited a wee while to see if anyone fell in the river, but no, they were pretty skilled it seemed.
the party ahead!

Anyways, having looked closely at the map, it was time to head up the gorgeous corrie following the burn and the pretty waterfalls before reaching the beallach and turning left up the scree track to Stob Ban, our first Munro of the day.
the beautiful way up to the beallach
Me looking handsome
the teenager cooling off!
Well, that should of been what happened, but no, mum and the teenager decided it looked absolutely no problem at all, no sweat folks, to just head straight up the near vertical, loose, scary slope instead. This was after the resounding CRACK (the first of the day) of the teenager's phone screen breaking on a rock... :shock: :( Think maybe the teenager just wanted to escape a row for being a bit careless, but anyways, off we went! It was a bit scary for the humans, but us dogs coped just fine, and very quickly we were at the summit. No hanging around here, time was pressing on, and so it was we dropped back to the beallach, past the conveniently placed lochans for us dogs to replenish our water levels.

But again, no hanging about - time for Mum to test her fitness and stick to Naismith's rule on the way up to the 2nd Munro of the day- she did too! Nothing like the sands of time to be running out for her to get the skates on!!! She was well chuffed as she reached the summit of Stob Choire Claurigh in about 35 minutes...oh dear, Pride before a fall I thought...
the two wifies, and Mum's 139th

There was a fair few folks up there, all happy to see us dogs, and they offered us snacks of sausages, sarnies, pork pies - I reckon our drooling gave the game away, our tums were rumbling BIG time. Should have eaten breakfast I reckon.

So now, time to head west along the wonderful ridge, a bit rocky for our paws to be honest, but we were making good progress as the views blew our accompanying humans away. What a place to be! Mum was relaxed, enjoying the day, marvelling at the views, when conversation turned to someone they knew's friend had broken an ankle up here and then...

CRACK!!! (the 2nd of the day) Mum's iffy knee gave out as she stumbled on the loose rocks, and down she went, head first! I really don't know how she managed it, but somehow she avoided her head hitting an immense rock by about 3/4 of an inch. The knees got it hard, her wrist was belted off a rock and swelling fast, but wait for it - she managed to hang onto the ciggie, I'm guessing she gripped blooming hard! Took her a few minutes to convince the others that she was fine (she wasn't, but knew that she had to keep going - no option to be honest) And so the walk continued, onto towards no 3 of the day, Stob Coire an Laoigh.
Mum and the teenager were hanging back, playing follow my leader I think, when CRACK!!! The knee went again - this time she executed a pretty near perfect forward roll, knees got it again, the arm, the shoulder, the hip and the back...yeah gawds, this was not looking good at all...when the threat of vomitting passed and a frantic phonecall was taken form the teenager's Mum, it was decided we'd convene at the next top, and make a decision.

Mum's knee was really not playing the game, the sun was sinking fast, there was a heck of a long way to go yet, with another Munro in the way...the decision was made (not by Mum I hasten to add, but it was the right decision, and she was instructed NOT TO SULK, but of course she did!) - time to bail, get to the next beallach and head to the river, before starting the long long long walk back out the glen to the top car park at the head of the glen. It would save a 2 hour road march at the end, IF a text would get to Dad, who was off out on the Beemer, enjoying the great wee roads in the area. Text sent...no reply...text sent....no reply...text sent...no choice, we just have to get out of here, and now. It's now 7.30pm...lost count of the mistakes!

I guess everyone was shaken by what had happened, and navigation seemed to lapse, because I'm pretty certain the route we took wasn't in any blooming guide books, loose, slimy, rocky, arse skiting - Travis did well, only freaked out once, and I just stuck with Mum. I was worried - she was too quiet, too serious, too much looking like she'd rather never be on another hill again in her life.
pretty sure this is not the route

Mum tried being brave, she failed, her confidence had totally been smashed - it's weird, folks wonder why she goes to the hills when she's needing a new knee...I think I understand, it is how she puts life into perspective, to escape the rigours of a demanding job, to just be free and to enjoy the grandeur of our landscape. But it's times like these, when the knee plays up big time that I worry, and I know she does too - there's a great degree of risk in these places, and today she felt it...

Half way down the craggy slopes, the going got a bit less scary, the rock gave way to grass and bog, lots of bog. After about an hour and a half, the head torches now on, the glen floor was reached. The river crossed twice (bloody meanders!!!) and the search for the path out begun. It took a while, bog trotting, single file, head torches picking out our way whilst the stars above made it easier to remain positive. We were heading in the right direction, we were safe, there MIGHT be a car at the car park waiting for us (PLEASE) and at least it's not cold, or raining...

And then, Debbie went into one of those bottomless bogs, the ones which eat deer and sheep, and stink to high heavens...a scream, a fearful strain to the voice, everyone on high alert...arms outstretched to pull, walking poles at the ready, a big heave and thankfully she was out...now, if she'd been on her own??? Hmmm. this day was toying with us, not yet time to relax.

The head torches had guided us now for almost 4 hours, and finally we reached the top car park. My ears perked up, I thought the wee red car was there...I rushed over to it, it was blue. Oh no, another 2 hours to go most likely. Nothing for it, just keep going. Mum picked the pace up, now on level ground her usual gritted determination came to the fore. Debbie had done brilliantly leading the way off the hill, it was time for her to chill a bit, the teenager was unusually quiet, his headtorch having now run out of battery, he and mum kept apace, I lead the charge, us collies have stamina - fortunately!

After about a mile and a half, there was a glimmer of light, a glimmer of hope, the distinct sound of a vehicle, THE WEE RED CAR!!! Huge hugs all round as we had finally reached the sanctury of warmth and comfort. THANK YOU!!! It was 11.55pm, we'd walked 29km, been a few traumatic moments, but now, the promise of food...and beer! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Mum and Debbie were hyper when we reached the van, they had a beer or two, the teenager ate a prairie's worth of breakfast cereal, we recounted the day's misadventures, Mum declared her intention to sell the gear on ebay, and then they relaxed, they smiled, and the decision was made, Beinn Dearg at Blair Atholl next Saturday - THAT will get her to 141 - and me to 90!

So, yes, it was a 'cracking' day - in more ways than one :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

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Bob the Dog's first walk report - Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

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Bob the Dog

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Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: The Old Bridge
Mountain: the next one
Place: anywhere near my Mummy
Gear: Mum's grub at lunchtime
Member: TH, WH
Ideal day out: Just a long day with my Mummy in the hills, with good compny and preferably a fellow canine to keep me company

Munros: 130
Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 1

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Trips: 4
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 2174m
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Joined: Mar 04, 2013
Last visited: Sep 30, 2019
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