Petestack Blog

31 August 2015

Summits of stature?

Filed under: Running — admin @ 10:22 pm

Nearly four years ago I somewhat presumptuously described the Glen Etive Corbett Stob Dubh as ‘the only local summit of stature (Munros, Tops, Corbetts etc.) I’d never visited.’ But that was ignoring the Corbett Tops, Grahams and Graham Tops, and even now I’ve still got a few of these sitting unclimbed under my nose. Not that you could miss Sgorr a’ Choise as a regular visitor to Ballachulish Primary School (where it dominates the view from the classroom windows) or descending north-eastwards from Fraochaidh (from which aspect I’d mentally filed it as a pretty little peak years ago), let alone be unaware of the broader dome of Meall Mor as a regular runner from NTS Glen Coe to the mast on Am Meall. But yet I’d still have been prioritising beefy Ardgour Corbett rounds over truly local Grahams had yesterday been a more attractive day… except that it wasn’t, and I only managed to kick myself out at about 3pm thinking I’d better get back to running (rather than walking) the hills with proper rain forecast for 6pm… except that it was raining when I started (so no photos) and dry thereafter…


So what did I make of this little round and what exactly is a ‘summit of stature’? To answer the first question, what joy to be running on the hills again (despite my initial logic there being pushed for time to walk), and pretty runnable hills at that, though I really must stop running hills in Hokas (my constant, comfy, ‘go to’ running companions since May’s ankle injury) because constant slowing up and/or side-stepping to limit shoe-skiing descending steep, wet grass is, well, cramping my style (sure, you could choose worse than clapped-out Hokas for said terrain, but not much!). As for ‘summits of stature’, perhaps beauty’s in the eye of the beholder or perhaps we’re all blind when it seems de rigueur to chase the biggest first with Munros, Corbetts then Grahams being the apparent pecking order even for non-baggers. But does size matter when there’s so much more (and arguably better) to do in Asia than ‘eight-thousanders’, the Alps than ‘four-thousanders’ or Scotland than Munros? How can you compare the Sgurr of Eigg, Heaval on Barra or Hecla on South Uist (all of which I’ve done and enjoyed) to Ben Nevis? Or Streap? Or Sgorr a’ Choise? Do you even have to when you like hills and they’re all hills? What I can say about yesterday’s round is that it’s a delightful run over hills of the right size and shape (not too big/wee/tame/exciting) for the right day, and one I’ve no doubt I’ll be repeating on another ‘right’ day. And, while Sgurr a’ Choise is clearly the more shapely peak, the craggy ‘wall’ (also visible, as I realised today, through the Ballachulish classroom windows) supporting Meall Mor’s broader ridge surely saves it from ‘pudding’ status, with the view from this latter summit (’twas an anticlockwise round) up Glen Coe well worth the effort regardless! :-)

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