Munro Adventure 2015 Day 76 ( 15th July ) Skye Again – Sgurr nan Eag – Sgurr Dubh – Mor – Sgurr Alasdair – Sgurr Mhic Choinnich.

MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 76 ( 15th JULY )

Skye Munros

Skye Munros

Skye Again

Sgurr nan Eag (924m, Munro 265) – ‘peak of the notches’

Sgurr Dubh Mor (944m, Munro 228) – ‘big black peak’

Sgurr Alasdair (992m, Munro 154) –   ‘Alexander’s peak’

Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (948m, Munro 217) – ‘Mackenzie’s peak’

The famous Stone shoot on Skye be aware of the loose rocks on Skye.

The famous Stone shoot on Skye be aware of the loose rocks on Skye.

With a good forecast for the next 2 days I decided to head to Skye again . After yesterday’s long day a drive all the way to Skye afterwards was probably not the best thing to do so I went as far as Lundie by Loch Cluaine parked up for the night made my tea and had a early night.
It was stunning this morning in Glen Sheil a stark difference from the last 2 hill days I had here. I set off at 8.30 and had a 1.5hr drive to get to Glen Brittle, as I approached Skye the red Cuillin was clear but the black Cuillin had light cloud cover but hopefully it would burn off later.

I set off heading for Coire Ghrunnda the nearer I got I could see Sgurr nan Eag was clear so once at the loch I headed up on a rough path just below the ridge line and finally on the ridge itself to the summit , it was calm and clear and so was my next objective Sgurr Dubh Mor . Headed down on the ridge this time and bypassed the Caisteal on the right and a scramble up onto Da Bheinn back down again and more scrambling onto the main summit. I could see a path leading to the W side of Sgurr Alisdair so headed for there , on the way I heard a rock fall from the cliffs above I ducked in against them Penny was missed by about 3 feet by a fist size rock she was a very lucky dog .By memory there was a short climb to get up onto the summit ridge which is dog proof if you have no help but I went anyway in the chance someone might turn up to help, had lunch there but no luck no one about today. Had a look down into Coire Lagan and could see the stone Shute and reckoned by going down the Sgumain screes I could pick it up which was not that bad and came onto the main Shute quite high up , ascended the remaining part and a short climb Sgurr Alasdair which unfortunately had mist on it. Only Sgurr Mhic Choinnich to go but I didn’t fancy going over Thearlaich to find Collie’s ledge on my own so went for the long option back down the shute to the corrie floor up a long slog up the An Stac screes to the col and a scramble up to the summit which was now clear again.

The small summit of Sgurr McConnich

The small summit of Sgurr McChonnich

Had a few lifts to give Penny on the way down, she seemed to get up easily enough though. A scree run saw us back at the Lochan in Coire Lagan in no time where we had a paddle to cool the feet down (and paws). Back down on the main track past the camp site and back to the van for a brew and a snooze.
Today’s totals:11.91mls,1953m ascent,6hrs 50 min.
232 Munros to date.

Sunset on the ridge at the end of a great day.

Sunset on the ridge at the end of a great day.

A great day and a superb effort by Penny and Graeme Skye is not easy I did a 3 day traverse with my dog Teallach and had some epics on that trip as I am no climber. It also shows that Penny is some mountaineer and was very lucky when that stone fell so near her.

Take care on Sgurr Na Gillean and then Skyes last Munro Blaven.

It will soon be over Penny get these last two done on Skye and then back on the big hills of the North!

It will soon be over Penny get these last two done on Skye and then back on the big hills of the North!

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Munro Adventure – Big Affric Hills -Mullach na Dheiragain (982m, Munro 167) – ‘summit of the hawks’ Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan –     (1151m, Munro 22) –  ‘rocky peak of the quarters’ An Socach (921m, Munro 270) – rocky peak of the quarters’ :  Mam Sodhail (1181m, Munro 14) –  ’rounded hill of the barn’ Beinn Fhionnlaidh (1005m, Munro 127) – ‘Finlay’s hill” Carn Eighe (1183m, Munro 12) – ‘file cairn’

MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 75 ( 14th JULY )
THE AFFRIC BIG HILLS
Mam Sodhail – 1181m, Munro 14) –  ’rounded hill of the barn’
Carn Eighe – (1183m, Munro 12) ‘file cairn’
Beinn Fhionnlaidh – 1005m, Munro 127) – ‘Finlay’s hill”
Mullach na Dheiragain –  982m, Munro 167 ‘summit of the hawks’
Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan -(1151m, Munro 22) –  ‘rocky peak of the quarters’
An Socach  – 921m, Munro 270) – rocky peak of the quarters’

 

Section 11 - Affric and Kintail

Section 11 – Affric and Kintail

I spent the night where I had parked for yesterday’s hills as there was no point moving a mile down the road at this time.
The forecast for today was good so I was up early as there could be a long day on the hill to come. I had most things sorted out last night so no faffing about this morning and I was off on the bike at 7.15am down over the bridge and onto the road on the south side of loch Affric . I have done thick cycle a few times before and it’s by no means a easy ride either going in or coming back. I crossed the river , passed Strawberry cottage and Continued to the bottom of the Allt Coire Ghaidhail where I left the bike . I followed the extremely wet stalkers path up to the Bealach and onto a path which skirted round the corrie and finally onto the clear summit of Mam Sodhail.

Summit MamSodhail

Summit MamSodhail

I met a chap here who had come up from the Alltbeithe hostel and had been doing his Munros for the last 32 years and after this summit he had 9 to go to finish, he took a photo for me and I returned the favour for him . Down the steep ridge and up onto Carn Eighe in no time . There was a bit of light cloud here so had to take a bearing to pick up the right ridge down towards Beinn Fhionnlaidh and it was a wet grassy ascent to the summit . I returned to the low point and descended in a SW direction way down to the valley below and crossed the river at the 300m contour.

MamSodhail

I aimed for the ridge which ended up at the N top of Mullach na Dheiragain and finally to the summit itself , it was a steep 700m climb but it saved a lot of miles on the long run. At least doing these hills this way you haven’t got the reascent to do on the out and backs. It’s a long undulating ridge to get onto Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan but what a grand viewpoint it was today especially to the northern hills. One hill to go but it’s down a very long up and down ridge to finally get onto An Socach . Headed NE down to the bealach I started at many hours ago and back down the boggy path to pick up my bike. It was now a 6.5 mile undulating cycle back to the van for a well-deserved brew . It was a long day today but very rewarding to get these big hills done in one outing. I have now completed all hills in sections 1/11.

Mid 50's

Mid 50’s

Today’s totals:32.03mls:3035m ascent,9hrs 46 mins

228 Munros to date.

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Sandy Allan – In Some Lost Place 

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I bought this book for reading before and after my operation in Aberdeen. I knew the story and have been priveledged to meet the author Sandy Allen and his climbing companion Rick Allan. Both are local Scots of  my era! They both served a Scottish Apprentiship when young meeting and learning from the great characters of their era!  The book gives you an open view on Sandy’s varied life – his wild days and had days at home in the Alps and the Himalayas! At times he is brave in telling how his life was going and the effect on his family! 

 

The book is about the unclimbed Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbet in the Himalayas! This is one of the worlds great peaks and one of the last great mountaineering problems

It tells of the years of effort on this mountain and a trip with a few friends into the “light and fast” total committement of climbing an 8000 metre peak by an unclimbed  ten kilometre ridge which has several summits over 7000 metres! “‘A Skye ridge at altitude”

The journey through Pakistan Just after the murders at Nanga Parbat  Base by Islamic terrorists and Sandys views are simple ! He loves the mountain people and feels for their hurt!
It is a great adventure – right to the wire, the strength shown by both no food or water for the last few days are incredible! It takes you into the minds of two incredible people and a fight for life and to see those who you care and love about in the end!

I really enjoyed the books honesty and too achieve what they did Alpine Style is incredible!  Also both were nearer 60 than 50 and shows what can be achieved! The toll of the mountains especially in the extremely high ones is hard to appreciate ! Despite the incredible changes in equipment and knowledge so many of Sandy’s pals are gone!  Why do they do it why do they push it too extreme?

Maybe some of the answers are here? If you look?

Mountaineering is a crazy , selfish game with few rewards. Other sportsmen become household names and millionaires for kicking a ball or other disciplines!  This in mountaineering was simular to any World Class achievement how few know about it!

My wee country produced some people and many who remain in the background. I hope people read this , enjoy the honesty of it and above all appreciate the tale of a wild few days on an incredible route in a land that Nature rules and we are tolerated above 7000 meters!

Sandy & Rick received the Poilet De’ Or in 2013 a prestigious mountaineering award in recognition of their acheivements .
This was written on my IPhone at sea level in Aberdeen ARI after an operation! Apologises for the spelling etc I will tidy it up when I recover !
Well done to the publishers for this book

 

 

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Munro Adventure 2015 Day 74 ( 13th July ) Into Glen Affric Tom a’Choinnich (1112m, Munro 41) – ‘hill of the moss’ Toll Creagach (1054m, Munro 77) – ‘rocky hollow’

Munro Adventure 2015
DAY 74 ( 13th JULY )
Into Glen Affric

Map Toll Creagach

Tom a’Choinnich (1112m, Munro 41) – ‘hill of the moss’

Toll Creagach (1054m, Munro 77) – ‘rocky hollow’

After yesterday’s hills I had to take Steven back to Lhanbryde which meant I got home to my own bed for the night . The weather forecast for today was rain in the morning clearing up in the afternoon so I was in no rush to get away early as I was having a easy hill day today. Left home at 11am and arrived in Glen Affric at 1pm and it was still raining lightly , had lunch ,waited a while and eventually set off at 2.15 when it was just spitting rain and no more . I had parked beside the bridge and took the track up past the forest and out into the open following the river as far as the stalkers path which headed up the Allt Toll Easa. I was pleasantly surprised to see the summit of Tom a’Choinich clear, a change from the last 2 days.

Tom a Connich Glen Affric

Tom a Connich Glen Affric

After a while the path split and I took to the rocky SE ridge which curved round the corrie and eventually onto the top, the higher Affric hills were just in the cloud as were the Mullardoch ones across the loch.

Descending Tom a Chonnich

Descending Tom a Chonnich

Took the steep narrow E ridge down to the coll and now it was just a undulating grassy ascent up onto Tom a’ Choinnich which was also cloud free, there was basically no wind today and a pleasure to be out.  We descended the broad SSE ridge and eventually a track which joined onto the outward route and back to the van.

Quite a lot of people on the hill today and the narrow Affric road very busy on the drive in, it’s holiday season obviously.
Today’s totals:10.84mls:1116m ascent, 4hrs 21mins.

222 Munros to date.

Glen Affric – what a place.

Athnamullach, Glen Affric, Photo Jim McAuleyJustly renowned for the glory of its woodlands, this classical blend of natural forest, shimmering loch and rugged hill, found in Glen Affric has inspired many Victorian artists, and the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ painted by Landseer was set amidst this fine panorama. The spectacle of the Dog Falls at the foot of the glen leads the visitor to Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, known for the excellence of its trout fishing and beyond, by pathways, along Loch Affric to enjoy the magnificence of the Highlands.

Glen Affric, often described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland, stretches for some 30 miles from Kintail in the west to within a couple of miles of Cannich in Strathglass. The burns tumbling down the mountains on the north side of Glen Shiel and from Beinn Fhada culminate in two major streams – Allt a Chòmhlain and Allt Cam-bàn. Together they combine to create the River Affric that flows through two major lochs to Fasnakyle in Strathglass where it meets with the Abhainn Deabhag to form the River Glass.


 

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Slowly slowly – Health is Wealth never take it for granted!

rEDHTHE HVY

 

I thought I would heal quick I usually do and most of my life I have bounced back after minor illnesses  and I suppose that 60 years of pretty good health is a great run!  For several years  I had felt pretty worn out I just thought it was old age and slowing down! In the end after lots of visits to the doctors so many blood test and the most obtrusive of inspections after being ill for about three years it was diagnosed as an Anal fissure (will leave you to Google it) in the end it burst and left a hole in my anal passage which put me in a bad way and which would not heal, without surgery.  It was a terrible time my body was being poisoned every day  . It gave a new meaning “to a real pain in the arse” It was a world of many daily baths up to 4 or 5 a day showers and incredible pain. I was glad that I live on my own as this was a personal journey where you are on your own no one can help and you at times live in the toilet and your bed.  I was worried on each operation had a risk that I may become incontinent a real fear.  These are really private times and if you do not watch they can be long periods of self-doubt. I have had so many friends offer help  but little can be given  it is a journey that you have to do on your own and maybe after over a year I am now improving.

 

Since November 2014 I have had three operations in Aberdeen the first was also a double operation that dealt with a hernia and they put a drainage Seton in place in my fissure. As you can imagine this is not an easy thing to cope with and the last 8 months have been pretty hard going. It is also very uncomfortable and an hourly hygiene worry!  I have really struggled with the constant pain and for weeks at a time I could do little. I found it very hard going and the pain was incredibly intense no matter what pain killers I was on. Weeks were spent house bound with no energy and it is easy to have a mental problem as I was more or less house bound for most of the winter. I could not travel at times and Christmas was awful at home l could not manage a long journey then. It was a lengthy undertaking of penicillin and painkillers and I was worn out. In addition my Psoriasis flared up badly  and I was lucky to have got treatment twice a week for 3 months.  I had little sleep up in the small hours and averaging 2 hours a night.  I was in hospital when the plane crashed in the Alps killing hundreds I was waiting for an operation. I was in the waiting room for 3 hours as there was no bed available . It was wall to wall news all the time to me it was wall to wall horror as I suffered from PTSD after Lockerbie and I was asked by the Press several times that day for my comments  (if you play with devil you at times have to sing their tune) , They weree quickly on for me to give my thoughts but declined it was too much like my own nightmare and had lots of bad nights after that. Some memories will never go and drugs do not help!  The few nights away from home would be a huge undertaking yet I managed a few as the house was my safety blanket. Few could understand the need to be near the toilet and the nightly visits and lack of sleep..I  still managed  to walk most days, not far, but enough to feed a tiny bit of my love for the wild places. I had taken on a few lectures and had to let down Arran Mrt in November a sad time as I could hardly drive. Luckily I managed the two-hour lecture at Findhorn in February though I was ill for a week after it.  I also managed a few walks and even a  short climb with patient pals on local cliffs and loved being out on the cliffs, each was an adventure. I managed also a few hills really exhausted after as I and still am on penicillin daily. A month ago I managed a visit to the Grand kids near Reading a 600 mile journey in the car but made it, it was a great week.  After that I was down in Ayr for my sisters Golden Wedding anniversary another 250 mile trip, so I am feeling better but need lots of rest.  Last week I managed my first two Munros on the West Coast in 9 months in awful weather but what a joy to be out again in the mist and rain.

Kintail View in the mist

Kintail View in the mist

After 9 months I feel a lot better and stronger, yet still have limited energy and sleep a bit better; most of the pain is gone and now pray that my next operation tomorrow is the last!

If not it will be another hard journey. Thanks for all the support and kindness.

We will see what happens wish me well?

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Munro Adventure 2015 Day 73 ( 12th July ) A Boggy day today The Strathfarrar Munros – Sgurr Fuar-thuill : ‘peak of the cold hollow’ Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais : ‘peak of the grey-green coire’ Carn nan Gobhar : ‘hill of the goats’ Sgurr na Ruaidhe : ‘peak of the redness’

Section  12 Cannich and Carron

Section 12 Cannich and Carron

Sgurr Fuar-thuill (1049m, Munro 82) –   ‘peak of the cold hollow’
Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais (1083m, Munro 60) ‘peak of the grey-green coire’

Carn nan Gobhar (992m, Munro 153) ‘hill of the goats’

Sgurr na Ruaidhe (993m, Munro 150) ‘peak of the redness’summits
After yesterday’s wet finish we drove just a few miles up the road and parked up for the night at Lundie again , we got the van heating on and left the engine running to get some of our clothes dry for tomorrow , it was a bit like a sauna inside to be honest . The rain was hammering down and did so for most of the night, looks like it was going to be a wet one tomorrow.

The view on a good day down to Toll a Muic  - great winter climbing on this cliff.

The view on a good day down to Toll a Muic – great winter climbing on this cliff.

As we had a big day yesterday a easier day was needed today so after breakfast we headed up to Glen Strathfarrar and arrived at the locked gate at 9.30 got our entry ticket and continued down the Glen and parked at the foot of the Allt Coire Mhuillidh. The weather on the drive up looked good with broken cloud and some blue sky showing through, the clouds were moving quickly over the  hills. It looked like a breezy walk was in store for us. We had our bikes with us and set off into a strong wind cycling 4 miles up the road to the starting point , chained them up and set off up the eroded track which soon led onto a boggy path following the Allt Toll a’ Mhuic .

Another river to cross/ All photos Morrision.

Another river to cross/ All photos  Steven Morrision.

The stream was quite high and we had cross higher up than usual and regain the path / bog. As we traversed across the hillside there had been recent landslides several hundred metres across with a mixture of grass mud and hard snow. As we got out of the corrie and onto the final summit ridge the strong winds hit us along with the rain, here we go again a repeat of yesterday we thought. No point in stopping in these conditions so we headed for our second hill Sgurr a’ Choire Ghlais along the narrow ridge for a while getting well blasted on the way and up onto its final rocky summit.

Strathfarrar

On the way to summit number 3 the rain stopped the wind eased and we started to get views of the valleys below and even the summit of Carn nan Gobhar ahead cleared until we reached it and it had clagged in again. Down the rocky ridge for a bit and then a wet grassy descent to the bealach, it was just a long grass ascent to Sgurr na Ruaidhe where we got our first clear summit in 2 days.

 'rocky peak of the quarters'

‘rocky peak of the quarters’

I told Steven I could remember the descent being very wet underfoot and boy was I right this must be the worst of all the Munros ?

Wet, wet wet.

Wet, wet wet.

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It was just a constant bog from top to bottom; a pair of waders would have been needed to keep dry. Got back to the van had a late lunch and drove back up the road to pick up the bikes.

Eating

Another pretty miserable day on the hill again today.

1976 walk big bags Fannichs

1976 walk big bags

todays –  15.98mls, 1606m ascent, 4hrs 52mins

 

220 Munros to date.

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Missing Persons in Glen Nevis – Can you help Lochaber Mountain Rescue ? Going alone on the mountains.

The search for the missing person in Glen Nevis continues with the team now having been out 3 days in a row searching Glen Nevis and the River Nevis. The missing person is 65 yr old Tom Brown from Lanarkshire and he has not been seen since Thursday 2nd July at the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel. His Rucksack may have been seen in location it was found on the evening of the 3rd July at a point about 1 km east of Old Steall. If you were in the Glen Nevis area and saw Tom on the day could you contact Fort William Police on 101.

His picture is posted below.

Tom Brown - Missing Lochaber

Tom Brown – Missing Lochaber

 

Unfortunately Tom is the second person to have gone missing in this general area as Eric Cyl who went missing on 30th of May.

Extensive air, land and river searches are planned over the next few days in fresh efforts to trace the  two hillwalkers – both in their 60s – missing in the Nevis mountains.

Kilmarnock-born Eric Cyl, 62, disappeared exactly six weeks ago. Tom Brown, 65, from Lanarkshire has been missing for 10 days. Both had ventured out alone.

 

Eric missing hillwalker

Eric  Cryl missing hill walker

Any information would assist the Police and the Mountain Rescue Teams.

This was sent via Lochaber MRT Facebook after another huge search by various Agencies.

Thanks to all the people who assisted with the search for Tom over the weekend, in particular the RAF Team, the 2 SARDA people, Coastguard and Tom’s friends, who along with Lochaber team members have covered a huge area extending to over 70km2 with no helicopter support. Unfortunately, the searches were not able to locate Tom but we will continue to search, albeit at a scaled down level.

Over the last week the team and the support above have been out on 5 occasions this week putting in over 700 hours of searching.

We would ask any walkers on Ben Nevis, Mamores, Grey Corries and Aonach Beag areas to keep looking and report back to police if they see anything which might lead us to recovering either Tom or Eric Cyl who has been missing n the same area since May 30th.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team have now been deployed 73 times this year, by far our busiest first half to a year ever.

Lochaber MRT lOGO

Please if you go alone on the mountains I do regularly when fit please leave a message with someone you trust and maybe text your route to a friend. It is well worth it.

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