(An Cabar & Glas Leathad Mor)
Saturday 27th July 2013
Weather/Conditions: Warm summer, with threats of downpours that surprisingly didn't come to anything. We were lucky - other hills absolutely poured with slow-moving showers. A good day.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 13.6km / 930m / 5h 20m
Accompanying: Ron's completion party
In May, near the beginning of my walk, I met Ron, Pauline and Mark (from Walkhighlands) on Beinn Heasgarnich. Ron had mentioned he was going to spend his summer finishing his Munros and his last would be Ben Wyvis on the 27 July. He invited me, it sounded like it would be amazing. I shifted my plans accordingly to be there.
Today was finally the day. My week based out of Torridon was over, and I headed east into blue skies and sun. I didn't feel too well, but I expected it wouldn't be a problem on Ben Wyvis. I turned left at Garve and pulled into the Wyvis car park.
I was one of the first there. Cars arrived; one after another until the place was rammed with folk, all there for Ron's completion. It turned out a woman was completing on Ben Wyvis the same day. I've never been to a completers final Munro before, now I was at attending two at the same time!
Soon the place was buzzing and we set off; the sun out, the skies bright. There must have been 30-40 people there in total. For once, for myself, a chilled out ascent. You will have noticed I've been a bit high on the stress side recently.
I think the day gave me a bit of perspective away from the self-contained world of solo mountain travel. It was great to see everyone, faces known and new ones too.
In the afternoon, under bright skies, I stood on the summit. More importantly, Ron stood on the summit, thus completing his Munros. Everyone had a great time, we took it nice and easy, cracking out the bubbly and gawping at vast northwest views.
Big congrats Ron. I'll join the club next week!
One of the most notable aspects of the day was that it was completely different to most Munros I've been doing. Some celebration was refreshing, and the WalkHighlands bunch made sure it was a party. What a great bunch of folk.
We headed down the hill and back to the cars. I saw everyone off and drove to Ullapool to meet mum and dad. The place we've got for this week is brilliant, it's very easy to chill out here. I had chips for tea in Ullapool with Struan and then we came back to the house.
Ben Wyvis also marked my 250th Munro of the Munro Round. I remember sitting on Meall nan Tarmachan a long time ago (it feels), and thinking there's so, so far to go. When I got to 100, I was glad to be out of double figures. At 150 I tried not to think about the fact I was only just past half way. On 200, I was on Skye, having a great time, and was beginning to taste the end.
For the moment, I'm down to my last batch of Munros. The Round is going to 'go' now: for the first time, just tonight, I can see a very clear passage toward the end. I've got a day-by-day plan of action and there's a good chance that will be on the 7th August as intended. It better be - I know folk who are coming up just for it! It's a good incentive to keep pushing hard... Motivation tends to rise to the challenge.
The weather forecast has improved, as they've removed most of the thunder. Phew. I still feel a bit sicky, which will be my only real barrier to keeping on schedule. The new base is refreshing. I had dinner with Michael Kerrigan last night and Struan is staying over this evening.
So I'm in a much better place mentally than I have been recently. I've finally got the easy hills out the way and I'll be happy to get stuck into some tough mountains. That's where the real progress is made. I prefer to stare the hard ones in the face than have them hanging over me for days. The only problem is, my timidness earlier this week meant I've climbed all the single northern hills; in retrospect a stupid move. If I'm really tired some day next week, I've got no easy escape option. Oops. Oh well.
Tomorrow I'll be going over An Teallach to Shenaval bothy. Then I'll do a big walk through Fisherfield, and back to the road in a day. After that, there are big days on the Fannaich's, Beinn Dearg group, and Monar. Then the pressure eases and the job is almost done. What a thought.
Plan for the coming days:
28 SUN - An Teallach (to Shenaval)
29 MON - Fisherfield
30 TUE - Fannaichs
31 WED - Ullapool/Beinn Dearg 6 (w/ Monty?)
1 THU - Fannaichs
2 FRI - Monar (camp Glen Fhiodhaig)
3 SAT - Monar
4 SUN - Slioch
5 MON - Ben More Assynt + Conival
6 TUE - Ben Klibreck
7 WED - Ben Hope
Glas Leathad Mor - 180° North
Glas Leathad Mor - 180° South
(0.00) c. 10.40am Garbat parking
(2.25) 1.05pm An Cabar
(3.05) 1.45pm Glas Leathad Mor
(3.50) 2.30pm Glas Leathad Mor (left)
(5.20) 4.00pm Parking