Cannae Decide !

Is it spring or is it a gap in winter ?

Dont think the weather can decide either !

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Just because !

That age-old question asked by dumbasses ! “why do you climb mountains ?”

I have though a lot when I read about people doing crazy adventure, what would my answer be ?

After 6 months or more of working on DofE Expeditions and MT Courses the thought of going back to the hills was sometimes a distant one in some ways !

It was a dreich morning but checking the traffic cams it showed a different scene passed Tyndrum.

We had the new La Sportiva Trango Cubes straight out the box and on to our feet.

Its weird and refreshing sticking the map in the top of the rucksack and walking up the way instead of squiggle and puddle hunting !

The inversion as we entered the glen was stunning, Ben Cruachan was sticking out clearly but that was not the objective.

It was warm in the sun as we moved steady up the track wheezing through snot filled lungs.

There are some traces of some crazy land slips along the side of the track by Beinn Eunnaich, you can see why they chose the area for a Hydro schemes given the amount of water running off the hills in this area.

Above the mist it was crystal clear and still warm in the sun.

Leaving the track at the top of the glen we skirted onto the shoulder, I guess the natural line would be to go to Lairig Noe then up but it was really nice to just skirt in and out the cliffs and boulders to test the limit of grip on the trango cubes.

Loch Etive was like a mirror as we summited.

The temptation to run off and pick off the summit of Beinn Eunnaich was there but with the sun setting behind Cruachan it was way too tempting to sit and watch.

The flask came out and we had some chicken noodle soup as we chucked layer after layer on as the sun drooped as well as the temp.

We walked off down the ridge Eastwards to catch the sun in the gap, as we sat down to watch a bit more I realised that I had left the bino’s on the summit of Beinn a Chocuill so ended up running back up to get them.

It was getting really cold and the realisation that it was time to change all the kit over to winter weight hit home !

I never get bored with the crazy sunset colours whilst sitting on winter mountains, I hate to think how many 100’s of pics like the one below I have.

Heading down was a joy as the inversion started creeping in again on the valley floor and the sunset just kept giving !

Back to the car and it was pitch dark just to knock home completely that it was now truly winter !

And why do we do it ??????????????

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Thats better !

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Camban Bothy Banter

We were invited to a wee chat in a remote bothy in the middle of Glen Affric.

The chat was to be delivered by Lennart Ekberg that I had mentioned way back here , he is the head dude of sustainability for Haglofs.

Joining in on the chat were Angus and Iain from Gear Pest, PTC,Michael Thomson and Gus the Northern Rep for Haglofs.

Everybody had different plans for getting into the bothy, Viks and I had decided to bike in as we had to be back in Glasgow early afternoon for the Annual DofE Awards Ceremony.

We left Glasgow and drove up through th inversions at Glencoe.

We arrived at the Cluanie Inn and had a coffee whilst deciding the best way in.

PTC,Mt and co were planning on coming from Morvich and looking at the path there was a wee steep bit on the map that would be interesting on bikes.

We opted for going in from Cluanie side, crossing fingers that the track was bikeable all the way.

The climb started straight away, my bob was heavy and having not been on the bike for a while I was worried that it was going to be a nightmare !

A few miles in and the nice landrover track ran out, to be replaced with a boggy un bikable track which was no joy to push along either.

Close to the Beallach we decided to dump the bikes and walk the rest.

It was nice to be in the hills with no other real agenda than just being there.

In the shadow of the hill it was cold, a proper feel of winter at last !

It’s always a strange and difficult time of year to be out, you are in light layers whilst moving but as soon as you stop or are in the shade you want all the layers known to man.

We got to the bothy and there was no body about.

We had a brew and a wee walk about making decisions on which was the best route out for the next morning.

We were about to start cooking dinner when Iain and Angus arrived, it was a bit of relief to see someone else and thoughts that nobody was going to bother coming in were soon gone.

After much banter and fire trickery we finally had a blaze going in the fireplace (thanks to Angus for biking in with the coal)

It was late and we had decided that the rest of the crew were in some bar somewhere, i nicked outside for a pee before going to bed, it was a crisp night.

We were all cosy in our bags, it was the first time I had the PHD K Series Minimus out, I reckoned I would be out with the comfort rating but wanted to see how it would perform.

Just then PTC and MT arrived in a blur of activity with tales of car crashes blocking roads and flat battery’s and half of Scotland detours.

Gus and Lennart were coming in from the other end of Glen Affric but did not have a complete map.

Iain and Angus went to meet them whilst the guys got some food etc.

At some point everybody was here but we drifted in and out of sleep knowing a 04:30 start was just around the corner.

Much whisky and wine were consumed and I have no idea when the giggling stopped, all I know was that my alarm went off not long after that and we were up and packing and into the crispy morning all before 05:00.

We hiked back to the bikes sticking to the main track (including the dead couple of KM’s to get to the bridge) , the sun was coming up as we picked the bikes up and prepared our selves for the slog of a push.

15 minutes later and we were at the track getting changed into bike kit.

The ride out down the track was enjoyable despite the cold and before we knew it we were back at the car and heading back to the weege.

Meanwhile back at the bothy the guys were talking sustainability and eating breakfast !

Nice to be back in the hills for my own reasons rather than work !

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Communications Reinstated

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