Ardersier encounter on Ben Avon with an unexpected lock in

Munros: Beinn a'Bhuird, Ben Avon

Date walked: 20/09/2015

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 41km

Ascent: 1700m

My cousin John and I set off from Keiloch car park just after 9.30 am. The MWIS website had "promised" a 90% chance of cloud free summits, so we were in our shorts, and ready for a long bike/walk.

After paying our £2.50 and before the midges could really sink their teeth into us, we were off. The track/private road is excellent for biking at first - so good, in fact that we decided to do an extra 2 km thanks to taking a wrong turning, much to the amusement of the elderly couple who we overtook (twice) as a result of our poor map reading.

When we eventually got to it, the track up Gleann an t-Slugain was pretty rough, and after some biking and some pushing, we abandoned our bikes just before the ruined cottage. We crossed the River Quoich and headed up past Carn Fiaclach. We made good time on the stalkers path and were soon on the South top of Beinn a Bhuird. Time for a snack and some messing round on the rocks.

Climbing Beinn a Bhuird Sept 2015 (640x360).jpg
Messing round on rocks with Ben Avon behind

As we headed towards the summit we noticed a couple of walkers ahead of us but thought no more of it. The sun started to come out and I had no sooner said "I think we are going to have a cracking day after all" than the cloud came swirling in and we were left sitting on the North top of Beinn a Bhuird with about 20 metres visibility. Don't you just love the Scottish weather ?

The change in conditions meant that the compass had to come out, along with the GPS, but after some stumbling about we found our way down to the Sneck. Fortunately the cloud was blowing through and we got some views as we continued up Ben Avon and followed the fairly obvious track to the great big tor that marks the highest point.

Ben Avon misty summit Sept 2015 (640x360).jpg
Some people just don't suit shorts !

We climbed up the rocks and as we popped our heads over the top of a boulder almost gave a heart attack to the two girls who were there already tucking into their well earned lunch - not expecting company in the middle of nowhere I guess .

The walk back from the summit of Ben Avon via the Sneck to where we had left the bikes was long but straightforward . We walked with our new companions for some of the way, and indulged in a good natured banter concerning "who had done the most munros, who had climbed what hill the quickest etc.."

It turned out that the girls , who came from ARDESIER and NAIRN , were experienced walkers; one was on her second round of munros, the other had done well over 200, so they had the bragging rights. However, I think we were the quickest walkers, so, girls - if you are reading this, 8hrs 25 minutes is the time to beat for last Sunday :-)

We parted company with the girls at the bikes and headed back to the car park. My cousin headed off in his van and I popped into the toilet (well, I had to get my £2.50 worth?) before starting the drive home.

Disaster struck though - as the toilet door handle gave a nasty "click" when I tried to open it and then refused to budge. I was trapped, in a car park , in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness the window was not locked, and I managed to make my escape , in a rather undignified manner, crawling out backwards via the window. When I tried the door from the outside it seemed ok, but if you are using this car park and plan on using the toilet , I'd take a phone in with you just in case....

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Pub: DCA
Mountain: dreish
Place: assynt
Gear: north face wind jacket
Member: Grampian club (ex member)
Ideal day out: Epic Ridge walk

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 216
Donalds: 7

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Trips: 1
Distance: 41 km
Ascent: 1700m
Munros: 2


Trips: 8
Distance: 124 km
Ascent: 6040m
Corbetts: 5


Trips: 9
Distance: 197.2 km
Ascent: 9170m
Corbetts: 11

Joined: Jun 11, 2009
Last visited: Sep 22, 2015
Total posts: 41 | Search posts