Two munros = two knackered knees

Route: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 17/05/2014

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Ascent: 968m

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Of the last couple munros I've been up, I've suffered on the way down with a dodgy left knee. Worked out roughly how far I got before it bothered me, and decided ben lawers was within the distance so I should be ok.
Set off with left knee suitably strapped up.
I did take a couple photos, but to save me uploading them, just find the greyest object nearby, and stare at it till you see nothing but grey. That pretty much covers the view for the entire day. And rain. Lots and lots of rain.
Path up over ben ghlas to ben lawers is pretty easy to follow and well maintained. Theres even little signs pointing the way, with the exception of where the path splits by ben ghlas. (right to go up ben ghlas, left to go on bypass path round it where it joins path again to go up ben lawers)
Got to the summit of ben ghlas in little over an hour. Saw a couple folk. Kept thinking I'd reached the summit every time I found a flat bit of ground with a cairn (visibility so poor couldnt see the mountain still rising in distance.)
By the fourth cairn, it seemed I was actually at the top.
Walking along the ridge there was snow patches, some on path which I skirted round, given they merged nicely with the dismal grey surrounding me.
The views from the ridge to the surrounding mountains is stunning. Probably, all I saw was, you guessed it, grey cloud and rain.
Got to the top of ben lawers where I found a walking pole basket wedged in the trig point which nicely replaced the one I lost on the peat bogs of Sgurr Breac.
Had lunch sheltered behind the cairn before deciding to make my way back to the car. 2 hours to top including lunch. Pretty good going I thought. Left knee was doing fine.
Then my right knee decided to descend into fiery fits of agony with every downward step. Didnt take long for my left knee to join the party (ibuprofen did nothing). One guy in a group (seemed to have the air of a mountain guide about him) stopped and kindly asked if I was ok and offered to hang back with me.
I assured him I'd be fine, just a bit slower. Side stepping and walking backwards down the steeper slopes and steps seemed to ease things a little. decided on the bypass path rather than tackle a steeper descent over ben ghlas.
Nice big patch of snow gave me the opportunity to slide down a steep slope on my arse rather than endure the pain.
2 1/2 hours after leaving the summit, I made it back to the car with a combination of walking backwards, sideways and generally waddling like I'd pooped myself.
4 1/2 hours in total seemed a pretty good time given my dodgy knees.
Back at the car I discovered I hadn't closed my pocket zip properly and my car key was full of water. Remote ceased to work, but luckily the car still started.
Back home for a hot bath, a nice big bruichladdich and ordered takeaway and contemplated how much a physio is going to cost me if I ever want to climb another mountain again.
( I suspect its inflammation of bursal sack caused by illiotal band, but damned if I know how to sort it, hence the physio visit)

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Comments: 9

Eididh nan Clach Geala

Attachment(s) Munros: Eididh nan Clach Geala
Date walked: 01/03/2014
Distance: 19km
Ascent: 956m
Comments: 1
Views: 1809


Munros: 10
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 1
Sub 2000: 4

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Trips: 2
Distance: 19 km
Ascent: 1924m
Munros: 3

Joined: Feb 18, 2014
Last visited: Sep 21, 2020
Total posts: 185 | Search posts