Thursday 31 May 2018

The Hill Before

A couple of weekends before the beginning of the Challenge, I wanted to test my fitness a bit and my new rucksack (Osprey Ariel 55 AG), on the spur of the moment, we went off to climb a hill we’ve been looking at from a distance for quite some time. It’s a very prominent, rounded lump, along the west of Loch Ness south of Drumnadrochit, Meall Fuar-mhonaidh. Off we set, having purchased our Meal Deals from Tesco, to drive to Balbeg and then abandon the car neatly just before the pottery.


The lump we were heading for


After leaving the car park, we followed a road for a short while to its end, then a path lead us to a pretty silver birch wood.


The path through the trees eventually gave way to open hillside and the path continued gently upwards.


There were showers around about us, but none came our way all day.



Still heading up.



A stile to cross the deer fence, good practice…



And the views just kept coming


Along the Great Glen towards Inverness and the Moray coast




…glad we weren’t caught in that downpour…






The obligatory…


My first primroses of the year

P4282065A bench, or a stile to nowhere?

I make no apologies for the amount of photographs, it was a glorious day and we had a fabulous day out. My pack was beautifully comfortable, although it was only half what I might expect to carry on the Challenge.

Roughly 9.34 km total distance 523m total ascent and 2.4km/h

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Pre-Challenge Strolls

A short while before the Challenge, Laura and I had a couple of walks. The first, before the end of April, saw Laura arrive here with several gas canisters and a gadget. First, we went for a stroll (we’d been putting off playing with the gadget for about a year and a half, going for a walk wasn’t going to make much difference!), just my average morning walk, before returning to drink coffee and risk life and limb playing with the gadget and gas.

All went well and we were able to walk another day.

Roughly 11.4km total distance, 88.6m total ascent at 4.2 km/h

The second walk took place in Laura’s neck of the woods. We met in Aberlour and after visiting the Co-op, we set off for Little Conval. There are a few exposed sections of road walking before reaching the woods below the hill and we had been somewhat buffeted by the wind, we decided a discretion and valour thing, it was too windy for even a little hill as it is so exposed, so we thought we’d just check out the ends of the tracks we would be using to make sure they would go in future. We actually made a very pleasant circuit through the woods and had a thoroughly good walk, putting the world to rights and discussing all things route and gear related.

Roughly 12km total distance, 353m total ascent and 3.2 km/h

I have no idea why there is a distinct lack of photographs. Think we were too busy talking!