I was pretty tired yesterday after my early call from Australia and my fun day on the hill at Kintail, one hill and the legs are sore, I must get fit? As I walked off down the track past the end of the South Cluanie ridge I felt great. This is unusual as in the past Creag a’ Mhain is the end of a long day of 7 -9 Munros depending on how one does it this classic walk. I worked out that Teallach my dog had done that 9 Munros – 7 times in his life every time all in one day with me and had twice attempted the Great traverse of the South and North Cluanie plus a few others of 19 -20 Munros in a day. On the successful attempt with Teallach when we stopped at the Cluanie Inn for a break he was not impressed as we continued down the road to Carn Ghulasaid and the rest of a huge 23 hour day. We travelled very light and left some more food behind the Cluanie Inn, some bivy but it was “light and slow” a pair of Walshes “running shoes” and minimal kit and lots of snacks and drinks. It was how fast you could do them in these days but what a feeling being out on such a special place, travelling light, running much of the easy bits of the ridge and being fit enough to enjoy these wonderful hills. You become as one with the hills on days like that and each point a personal battle with the mind and body to continue. The knowledge I had of these ridges was great as you knew where to go and the map was only a check with the Munros marked and roughly the times for each one to remind you and try to keep to a planned schedule. Each Munro done, was one less to do. What a companion Teallach was, what a hill dog and he kept me going all that long day and many others. He was so attuned to the hill, he never chased anything, wild life were safe as were people, but not their food. He just enjoyed the openness of the hill, the wild land, what a companion. At the end of a huge day we were both struggling and he was following in my footsteps unusual for him. He was still able to rush ahead when he saw a wee lochan or mud and dive in.It was two weary companions who struggled off back to the car and exhaustion, I can still feel the pain when it all ended. What a dog for the 12 years of his life, he saw so much and did so much. As I walked down the track yesterday to the Inn I could see him bounding ahead, maybe picking up a bit of bog wood or diving into a river, to be young and daft again. Now it is a different and older person who wandered down the track one Corbett was still a grand day and it is funny now we treated the hills in our youth.
Would I change it? no way, what a life. what a dog what a country. Enjoy every day! Off golfing today at Boat of Garton near Aviemore with Hopeman Seniors!