Sunday, 10 October 2010

First and third

Yesterday, we decided to take three of our children up their first Munro (my third), the eldest having decided to stay at home, outdoors isn't her thing.
It was a beautiful day, clear blue skies, quite warm with a slight breeze. We'd chosen A' Chailleach, just north of Newtonmore. We left the car in the car park just before the bridge and set off on a lovely path past woodland and beside the Allt a Chaorainn. We easily found the small cairn marking the track down to the bridge.

 The rickety bride

Looking upstream, Allt a Chaorainn

Soon after the bridge, the ground became boggy and never really improved, the path was quite indistinct in places. The boys took the lead, as usual, but they travel light, unlike Ciara and myself who carry a little extra padding for comfort, (she's built just like her mother!) We eventually reached the bothy where we stopped for a lunch break before continuing up An Leitir and towards our goal.
Lunch at the bothy

We didn't mind too much that we were slightly off track, due to the disappearing path, we could see it wasn't going to give us any problems reaching the summit.

Woo hoo! (David managed to include himself in the picture, just to prove he was there too!)
 The views north
The views south. It looks a bit bleak and I suppose it would be on a rubbish day.

We knew we'd been off track slightly, so I practiced a bit of compass and map work to take us back down the true path to the bothy and it was no less boggy. It was quite a giggle as we bog-hopped our way off the hill and Ciara and I both took unplanned rests as we slid gracefully to sit in the bog.

Snap!

I managed to sink up to my left knee in a bit of unexpected bog, but I was just checking the effectiveness of my beloved merino kit. My Icebreaker knickers dried quickly after their ducking (so did my Marmot scree pants) and my merino mitts kept my hands cosy despite being damp (and mucky, yuk!) and my Foothills socks are just amazing. Despite a good bog soaking and the initial freezing cold, my foot was soon warm and snug again inside my boot and there was none of the usual rubbing you might expect from a wet sock. Fabulous.
There was wildlife too, but no photographs as I wasn't in charge of the camera. We saw plenty of raven, they are so playful and obviously having loads of fun as they fly to and from wherever. There were mountain hare, golden plover, red deer hind, red grouse and loads of red/orange harvestman type spiders, I've never seen so many on a hill! We could hear red deer stags roaring in the glens below us which was an extraordinary experience, second only to being with my children atop their first Munro.
Magical.

7.14 miles
3 hours 52 minutes moving
2 hours 22 minutes resting
1.8 average mph
2067 ft ascent

4 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Well done and superb. Just think it was not long back we all kept saying you can do a munro and there you are on no 3 and with your kids.

Louise said...

Hi Martin,
I did get a little disheartened after Gleoraich, but I've discovered quite a few high 'fat' hills that suit me well, so I shall enjoy them and see what happens!
Was a wonderful experience being there with my children, wouldn't have missed it.

The Odyssee said...

looks like you had a great day. Superb views.And you had it all to yourselves too.

Louise said...

Hi Alan,
It was a wonderful day and quite a contrast to the two hills we've done recently at Glen Feshie. It was like Picadilly Circus up those, even on a grey windy day! We only spoke to one couple on Saturday, their way down as we stopped at the bothy and there were two gents ahead of us we never quite caught up with, they disappeared over the top.
An amazing day.