Petestack Blog

4 October 2009

Running on neglected hills

Filed under: Climbing,Running — admin @ 10:17 pm

Despite desperately craving some good outdoor activity, yesterday was so foul that I had no hesitation in agreeing to climb indoors at The Ice Factor with Stevie Abbott. And I managed a good two hours of sensibly-chosen routes without making my fingers obviously worse.

Today looked much better, so I was looking for a half-decent run. And I chose to do Beinn na Caillich and Mam na Gualainn, which are nice hills (the latter a Corbett) between the West Highland Way and the Loch that I’ve rather neglected over the years having only been over them once before. This was several years ago, but I still had clear memories of the good zigzag path up Beinn na Caillich (taking that unnecessary detour out south where it becomes easy to lose before the final rise), gloriously runnable grassy ridge to Mam na Gualainn and tricky descent down its craggy north ridge that I didn’t want to repeat today. So I came off the west ridge looking to pick up the path from Callart to Lairigmor, but was still somewhat hampered on wet grass here (as it started to rain) by the road shoes I’d chosen to wear knowing I’d have miles of easy trail to run on the way home.

It was surprisingly busy up there, with one large party of walkers, two or three smaller ones and another runner with dog coming down Beinn na Caillich as I headed up. While anticipation of the great views from this ridge (like Meall Cumhann in Glen Nevis and Beinn a’ Chrulaiste opposite the Buachaille, in just the right place!) had tempted me to take my pocket camera, the deteriorating conditions limited my photography to firing off a speculative series of quick shots from the east top of Mam na Gualainn with a panorama in mind and a couple more of Stob Ban on the way home. But the panorama’s not turned out too badly for something that wasn’t really done with much care, and you can see (from L to R) the whole Mamore range, Beinn na Caillich, Kinlochleven with the Blackwater Reservoir beyond, Garbh Bheinn, the Caolasnacon campsite with Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) just peaking out above the glen behind, and the Aonach Eagach.

Today’s run weighed in at about 13.4 miles with 4,200 ft of ascent and took just under 3 hrs 15 mins to complete. So, like my Mamore run of 12 September (slightly shorter but steeper and taking an almost identical time), not very fast. But my descending speed was limited by the road shoes, I took my time picking my way along the south bank of the Allt na Lairige Moire looking for a nice place to cross and I’m still nursing the hamstring niggle, which currently seems to be under reasonable control.




1 Comment

  1. You’ve no idea how appealing those hills and cloudy skies appear to Scotsman in Milton Keynes … :-)

    Comment by Brian Mc — 5 October 2009 @ 11:38 am

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