If you’ve read Tuesday’s blog post, you’ll know exactly what! Meant to turn right at Meall Dearg today to head straight for Garbh Bheinn, but conveniently ‘forgot’ and fortunately found most of the ridge (apart from the steep descent from Am Bodach) in similar good dry condition to Monday. So (armed with GPS) I managed to record some times today, taking 16 minutes from Am Bodach to Meall Dearg then almost exactly half-an-hour each way along the Aonach Eagach proper to Stob Coire Leith and back (= 76 minutes for what I guessed took me 90 on Monday). Thought Garbh Bheinn direct from the south a real b*gg*r with much steep, loose ground, purgatorial scree and the effects of my half litre of water and two gels (see, not travelling so light today!) long since having worn off, so was almost glad when the GPS battery dying (couldn’t find the charger last night) gave me an excuse to slow down and ‘enjoy’ the rest (NB the blue line on the map is my hand-drawn continuation to the red one recorded). And that’s about all I’ve got to report right now, apart from nearly running straight into a baby deer while descending to the bealach between Meall Dearg and Garbh Bheinn (who knows whether its surprised squeal or mine was louder?), a total time almost identical to Monday’s despite the inclusion of Garbh Bheinn, and a feeling that Sron a’ Choire Odhair-bhig (Monday’s route) is after all a more logical and aesthetic approach from the north than Meall Ruigh a’ Bhricleathaid (today’s).
9 June 2012
5 June 2012
Afraid the blogging’s been getting a bit sporadic recently, with some good stuff like May’s excellent Polldubh Club Skye Meet (on which I spent the first day climbing at Neist and the second traversing the ridge from Sgurr nan Eag to Sgurr Dearg) just not getting written up here. But yesterday’s run strikes me as interesting enough to merit a line or two, starting (as it did) as a routine late afternoon jaunt over to Altnafeadh and back, but spontaneously transmogrifying somewhere above the Allt a’ Choire Odhair-mhoir into a double traverse of the Aonach Eagach. So I peeled off the West Highland Way at the top of the zig-zags to run up the lovely broad ridge of Sron a’ Choire Odhair-bhig and over the tops to Am Bodach before slowing down somewhat for the more exposed descent and pinnacled knife-edge between Meall Dearg and Stob Coire Leith. Which, wary of a lightheaded ‘bonk’ in the wrong place when I was carrying neither food nor water (the ridge being 100% spontaneous change of plan), I took pretty steadily in both directions before cutting north from Meall Dearg on the way back. Saw nobody apart from a pair I didn’t quite catch up Stob Coire Leith, and must admit I was almost (but not quite!) tempted by a dropped Gummi Bear I spied on the return traverse before finally finding water on my way out by the Feith nan Lab (between Sron Gharbh and Garbh Bheinn). Having left home at 4:00pm without a watch, I could only guess at the time but, estimating two hours to the top of Am Bodach, ninety minutes for the double traverse (told you it wasn’t quick!) and another hour-and-a-half home from Meall Dearg, I guessed I should be back about 9:00pm… and might have been spot on there but for the three or four sit-down stops on comfortable-looking big rocks that kept me out till 9:10pm (funny how experience of the terrain and that ‘inner clock’ can work so well together!). So I was tired, thirsty, hungry, chafed by my nylon shorts (no planning = no BodyGlide!) and quite glad I’d skipped the return over Garbh Bheinn I’d been contemplating at one point, but what priceless joie de vivre from simply following my nose! :-)