Beinn an Dothaidh - 1004m
Beinn Dorain - 1076m

Wednesday 5th November 2014

Weather/Conditions: Sunny and chilly, with a couple rain showers passing by just prior to the top.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 13.3km / 1230m / 9h 50m
Accompanying: Alone

Dammit! Yes! Recently, my hearts been soaring. Ooh what a cliche. Well, it's been happening, and in spades. Every day. Flutters of excitement, anticipation.

First, I went up Beinn an Dothaidh and Beinn Dorain. It was a good day - I walked up into the coire in the early hours and put up my tent as the moon set. The next morning, I missed sunrise for the benefit of sleep and walked to the top of Beinn an Dothaidh in bright sun.

Great conditions but I felt really tired. It was a great day but I had this lingering feeling - I'm tired, again. I just feel knackered. I'm not looking at these mountains and feeling them as fresh and exciting. They are measured by their physical difficulty, not by how they inspire me. Damn. Where did it go? Why did what I lost on my Munro Round never come back? Why should these mountains now be normal, not monuments that transcent the world and rise to the skies? That's what they have been, and that's what I loved. Did it change on Ben Cruachan? Beinn a' Chreachain? I wondered about this.

I felt the physical demands of the body and couldn't find the sense of wonder that rode through the exhaustion. The two must exist in harmony. They must both be present. Effort without inspiration isn't worth making. Here it wasn't.

As I descended Beinn an Dothaidh, I watched two figures reach the 744 saddle and then continue on toward Dorain. At first I thought I might meet them then realised they were heading on too soon. I got back to the bealach, alone. I sat in the sun and wondered what to do. I was tired - ready to go down. But so soon? I wondered about Dorain...

In a moments decision, I went up. I started up Dorain, determined that I'd make something of this. I pushed hard, met the two people - and one of them was Alan "Munrover". Oh my god. We chatted for a while, it was superb to have met him. He was on his second hill day of the year, so that we should have met was a great coincidence. A wonderful coincidence.

I headed on from them, being a bit faster, and really pushed hard. I tried to push hard, banish the tiredness with more work. The crazy thing was, it worked. I got a real kick from this, and realised after a while I'd broken through the lethargy. I guess this is what it's all about. You have to push harder, harder than your body would like, to push through a barrier. Once on the other side of the wall, your body and mind are soaring. But it's sometimes hard to get there. Some times harder than others. This is what I achieved on Dorain, and it was good. I descended well aware I'd just broken that barrier.

360° Panoramas

Beinn an Dothaidh

Beinn Dorain
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 3.50am Bridge of Orchy
(1.10) c.5.00am Campsite, 700m alt

(6.25) 10.15am Left camp
(7.05) 10.55am Beinn an Dothaidh
(8.25) 12.15pm Beinn Dorain
(8.55) 12.45pm 744m Bealach
(9.50) 1.40pm Bridge of Orchy

Written: 2014-11-10