81 year old beats 51 year old up

Corbetts: Creag nan Gabhar

Date walked: 11/02/2019

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 12km

Ascent: 500m

Well this was a pleasant surprise. Original plan of a walk to Coire Loch Kander from the west abandoned after being put off by the perceived amount of snow, I doubled back to the Callater car park intending to walk to Creag Phadruig but soon abandoned this idea too (this time because of the absence of snow) in favour of the more inviting walk to Creag nan Gabhar.

On nearing the 584m point I spotted a fast-moving figure below. I estimated that they would pass me in about fifteen minutes and, sure enough, the figure appeared and we exchanged hellos. But I did a double take when I saw the extravagant large, pointy grey beard before me and the undeniably aged facial features. I cheekily enquired if I could ask the chap's age and he obliged with the answer 81 plus the surprising fact that he'd started on the Munros at age 65 and had finished them a few years ago. The speed with which he then disappeared ahead was either inspiring or demoralising (or, ok, my conversation is that bad). I've encountered a few oldies on the hills but none quite so sprightly -they could not escape!

My expectations of the walk were fairly low though I'd noted form the map that I should get a decent view along Loch Callater and of the hills beyond and so it proved. However, the views up and down Glen Clunie were additionally a lot better than anticipated with the cornice on Sgor Mor particularly eye catching.

The final icing on the cake, so to speak, was a fine prospect of The Cairnwell backed by some cloud. Not a hill I'd usually associate with drama but this day it looked very fine in its cloak of white.

In reality I got to the top before the 81 year old but only because he'd stopped to put on his crampons. On the way down he zoomed ahead again. I tried to see if I could match his pace at a distance but there was still a relentless widening of the gap until the crampons came off again. I caught up and asked him what got him started on the Munros. Well it turns out he had been walking before moving to Scotland in 1982 so not quite a start from nothing at age 65. What's more he's still lecturing maths part time for the OU and has tutored either their or the UK'd oldest graduate -a 92 year old!

Had I encountered a possible version of my future self I wondered -still walking and still tutoring maths thirty years hence.

Back to reality with a bump the next morning in the barber's shop as an ex-lorry driver came in on his mobility crutches. Health is a bit of a lottery it seems.

Loch Callater

Sgor Mor (I think) on the right with a bit of snow.

Glas Tulaichean??

View south from top.

Zoom to Cairnwell.

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Comments: 4

Ben Gulabin

Corbetts: Ben Gulabin
Date walked: 03/01/2019
Distance: 6.25km
Ascent: 453m
Views: 98

Fear and Clothing in Caithness

Sub 2000s: Maiden Pap
Date walked: 17/12/2018
Distance: 7km
Ascent: 334m
Comments: 2
Views: 331

Ben Hee

Corbetts: Ben Hee
Date walked: 18/11/2018
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 800m
Comments: 2
Views: 301

Beinn na Cro

Sub 2000s: Beinn na Cro
Date walked: 28/10/2018
Distance: 4km
Ascent: 570m
Comments: 1
Views: 298

on the hunt for a hill

Attachment(s) Grahams: Hunt Hill
Date walked: 15/10/2018
Distance: 16km
Ascent: 450m
Comments: 6
Views: 436

Mount Blair and the year continuing to fizzle out in my mind

Grahams: Mount Blair
Date walked: 01/10/2018
Distance: 4.5km
Ascent: 400m
Comments: 2
Views: 291

48 down, sounds like bat talk

Attachment(s) Date walked: 24/09/2018
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 670m
Views: 111

Ben Vrackie

Corbetts: Ben Vrackie
Date walked: 04/09/2018
Distance: 9.5km
Ascent: 640m
Views: 279

Fara day

Attachment(s) Corbetts: The Fara
Date walked: 12/08/2018
Distance: 15km
Ascent: 800m
Views: 212


User avatar
Activity: Walker
Mountain: Alligin
Place: Assynt

Munros: 110
Corbetts: 54
Grahams: 24
Wainwrights: 10
Hewitts: 12
Sub 2000: 44

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Joined: Dec 11, 2011
Last visited: Feb 13, 2019
Total posts: 1628 | Search posts