Monthly Archives: July 2009

Are we there yet !

A week and a half of the holiday programme left and then we are back to some kind of normality !

Its been a busy few weeks, the weather has been changeable from hot to wet.

This has made life difficult in its own different ways.

Rain has made the gorges high making every trip an adventure not just for clients but the instructors as well.

Its good though as it keeps you on your toes and saves you getting bored with the same old !

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Its been a godsend to be doing some activities, as it breaks up the “ground hog day” like mundane of towing the trailer to parks, unloading and then going to do the reverse at the end of the day.

I had a wee group rafting and cliff jumping at Calvine gorge last week.

2 of the folks were getting married and the other 2 were best man and brides maid.

P7240209It was nice not be constrained by timings and just have a good old childish  time doing slides and high jumps.

The group were dressed in some very different types of kit.

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All was good and as I passed Blair Atholl on the way down the A9 my thoughts drifted to snowy memories on Carn Liath and the un-finished business of Beinn A Ghlo.

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When I got home I had wee look at PTC‘s blog and there he was hankering after winter too !

I dunno what it is, the lack of midges, shorter days and more gear to play with?

Any way I have an orange LIM jacket on its way and a Gold PHD bag sitting unused.

The Wan dae is coming up in Sept and a WHW bike mission hopefully in Oct so I having something to focus on training wise.

Just need to find the time !

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Its Ben Lomond folks but not as we know it !

A text message came in this week saying ” what are your movements this week ”

The reply to PTC was “work work having a cuppa at Tiso with you and work ”

The reply was simple “Gay !”

Then the 2 text rule kicked in and I phoned rather than going through the whole text rigmarole !

The discussion was thrown about around the alternative route to the top of Ben Lomond that PTC had to do for Trail.

This had been a point of much discussion and even some intricate drawing on napkins in Tiso cafe.

So it was on !

The Z was in then out due to the overwhelming stack of Admin he had !

That left 2 !

I tended to my work duties and then boosted to PTC HQ,after a quick breakfast stop we were on the road.

After some interesting driving we arrived at the usuall car park, and after a quick application of sun screen we were off.

The sudden steepness of the Ptarmigan route hits you right in the lungs, combined with heat and several weeks of work induced apathy and that puts you in bad shape and for me a sweaty mess !

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It had been a fair few months since I had been up this path and was taken aback by the lush green colours on offer.

The odd stop to take in the view was called for as we paced on up the now well trodden path.

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We stopped at the tarn at 357 023 to take the classic pic.

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We dropped off the path at 363 030 and traversed round the back of the summit trying to maintain height whilst following some faint sheep tracks through the tussocks of grass.

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As we traversed round we were constantly quizzing each other on hills features lochs etc

On reaching 373 031 we crossed the stream and the un seen corrie opened up to us !

It was like you had been let into a toy shop pre launch of the latest coolest toy for Christmas !

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Much banter and scanning of gullies etc was had !

Its July but many thoughts were propelled forward to winter and the offerings that this unseen corrie could offer !

We pushed on to the bottom of the ridge, the wind was picking up and wind-shirts  were put on to shield us from the blustery buffeting.

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No doubt about it the going was “sporty” giving many opportunities to stop and enjoy the vista north !

Even to the point where we were like hey there is Arran and hey there is Ben Nevis !

You really cant help getting passionate about Scotland when you do this !

The last top of the ridge brings you to the tourist path.

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You try hard to avoid it but you have to admit defeat and trot along it to reach the summit trig point !

I just had to eat when I was there despite the clock ticking against our favour for prior in conveniences (work ).

We took of back down Ptarmigan overtaking gumbies falling about on the steeper sections with much hilarity !

My legs were saying they had nothing left !

Then the fuel from the top started kicking in and we moved faster and faster over the terrain to the point where walking was not efficient !

This builds into a trot to a jog to a run !

Before you know it you have Z’s voice in your head saying “Heel Strike, That just stops you !” you check you en grained technique and become fluid and efficient again as you bound down the hill stopping to check on each other and sup down some NUUN.

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The gryptonite sole on the Montrail Continental Divides does not fail you, but the high heel pad is very unstable on rough terrain !

40 mins later and we are at the car park reality kicks in as some weedgie comments on how another fellow weedge has eaten all the sandwiches !

Joy !

On the road and as usuall all the slow traffic is in front of us !

Ach well it makes it bearable when you just had the views we had !

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All work no play !

When you look at certain blogs and chat to certain people it appears that everybody is suffering from the above !

In some ways it is a good a thing that we are lucky and the recession has not hit us yet !

On the other hand it sucks as there is no play time !

I decided to redress the balance and go out on my bike.

Despite the heat I packed the truck after work and 10 mins later was on the Eaglesham Moor.

As I biked up the usuall track I decided to explore the left branch from the gate, I had always looked at it on the map but not bothered to have a look as it appears to come to a dead end.

The main track dies away at some recently planted native trees which give a welcome break from the regimented rows of pine.

Their is a faint track that continues on so I followed that as water poured out me in the heat and flies swarmed around me.

Despite the dry weather there was still a few patches that were still really soft giving some tricky lines to attempt to ride.

The grassy ground just sucked all the momentum out the bike and at one point I gave up and pushed a few hundred metres.

The faint path follows the Munzie Burn giving interesting terrain.

A short down hill of nice single track seen me joining the usual track just before the gate that is padlocked.

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The going was a bit easier on the hard pack of the track with some of the downhill undulations giving a pleasant free wheel.

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Interestingly when I got to the end of the track things had changed !

Instead of the big piles of boulders that you normally have to scramble over to get onto the wind farm road there was i nice ramp which you could simply ride up !

I done a wee loop round the turbines, listening to the woosh of the blades as I passed.

I don’t find them offensive and some ways like them !

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After the loop I returned to the top of the track and had a look at the sign.

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Its refreshing to see that they are embracing access and not hindering it like before.

I descended the track and back to the truck just as the rain shower started.

I was wearing a Dale Merino short sleeve top which done an amazing job of wicking the sweat away as did the Montane liner bike shorts (which they don’t make any more !BOOO!)

Its a whole different kit choice choosing what to wear in this heat and I guess its something we may have to get use to.

I could not help picture myself sliding along that wee track on a set of nordic ski’s or stomping along soft snow drifts with the snow shoes on !

Bring on winter !!??? is that wrong ?

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