If at first you don’t succeed, fail and fail again

Munros: An Riabhachan

Date walked: 16/03/2024

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 13.8km

Ascent: 665m

At the start of lockdown, 4 years ago, I vowed that when I got back into the hills, it would be big hill days. My first foray into the hills was a walk from Killilan over the Corbetts towards Iron Lodge, where I camped beside a very noisy waterfall. I had since been back into that area to grab An Socach and while at the summit, was very conscious of the cornices over to An Riabhachain. I returned with tail between legs. Fail one.

Then, in 2022, I cycled in the entire length of Glen Strathfarrar to the power station, only to realise I had not brought in my hill trainers. I couldn’t walk up An Riabhachain in MTB shoes. Fail two but a nice cycle of 52km.

This year, I had just had some surgery and so this would be 3rd time in, with Graeme D. The day before I had managed up Sgurr na Diollaid, a fine wee hill. But my fitness wasn’t the best and already, I was doubting myself on the sunny morning of our walk. We were away from the dam at 0730 and made good if not squelchy progress along the Loch path. As we started the ascent proper up Mullach a Ghlas Thuill, I began to think that I may not be fit enough for an out and back trip on to this bete noir of Munros. Indeed, as we topped out on this great hill, my mind was made up when I saw the depth of snow over towards our target. It would be hard-going from this point. I clapped Graeme on the back, wished him good luck and hoped he’d succeed after his own misfortune last year during the heat wave. I’m sure his report will summarise his own endeavours.

My descent was uncomplicated and I enjoyed the walk back out especially having the pleasure of the view across Mullardoch to hills already in the bag. With a 17-day window end of May, I’ll be back as one famous Austrian said.

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Comments: 2

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Epidemiologist
Interests: The hills.....
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: The Anderson
Mountain: Ben Avon
Place: Torridon
Gear: Icebreaker underwear
Ideal day out: Anything epic and airy with good company
Ambition: Cremation

Munros: 277
Corbetts: 134
Fionas: 82
Donalds: 53
Wainwrights: 29
Hewitts: 17
Sub 2000: 17

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Ascent: 665m
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Distance: 143 km
Munros: 33
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 1

Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Last visited: May 11, 2024
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