So, 2015 had been very slow to start properly. It was June, and to date, I had only managed one Munro, due to a combination of work, poor weather, and injuries. For this reason, I was quite nervous about getting back into it, especially if it meant going out by myself.
I sent out my usual request to friends, offering them the chance of spending a day in the mountains, on a lovely day, but as usual, they decline! I often get people asking to come along with me, but when it comes down to actually committing, everybody looks the other way.
Again, having not been out in so long, I wanted to keep to fairly familiar surroundings, and for me, it doesn’t get much more familiar than just off the A82. With so many options off the road to the Isles, I am spoilt for choice. The surroundings of the Glencoe hills, brings back childhood memories of the drive to Glenelg from Glasgow.
I was drawn to Stob a’Choire Odhair, a mountain familiar to so many, but not because of the hill itself, but for the stunning setting of Rannoch Moor it overlooks. The route seemed fairly straight forward, as many often do, and estimated times fitted my schedule.
I had just completed a course the weekend previous, qualifying me as a Kinetic Chain Release therapist, and through treatments received on the course, I was like a new man, full of energy, and injury free! Unfortunately, fitness would eventually restrict me to the single Munro, but one is better than none!
Stob a’Choire Odhair requires a long walk in, one which I will do with a bike when I return, and walking through land I was unsure I was allowed to, but I eventually found the route up the hill. It was very straight forward, and pathed all the way. The climb got a little relentless at points, and my fitness levels were being challenged. The ever changing view, and height gained however, made for cracking viewing on my small breaks.
The hill was very quiet, meeting only one woman with 2 dogs. I love dogs, and was very keen to speak to them, but I was quickly warned that one of them, had recently been taken in from a home, and was VERY aggressive around strangers. I soon saw that for myself! The poor woman was embarrassed, but I have to respect the way she handled the situation, and is gradually training the dog and giving it a new life.
The summit was reached, and I had no energy left! Stob Ghabhar looked absolutely stunning, and within normal reach, but today, it might as well have been on the moon! I could have sat for hours looking over Rannoch Moor, from a perspective I hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years of driving up the A82. I sat, and let me thoughts drift away. Everything in life seems so far away on top of such a beautiful mountain, and it was a horrible thought to leave, especially with my physical condition.
I got my second wind, and after faffing about with the camera for what seemed hours, I managed to record myself piping on the summit, with some stunning views.
The descent was a slog, especially, and surprisingly, the last mile or so on the flat track. It felt, at times, like walking on a treadmill, putting in the steps, but not getting any closer to the destination. Finally the car was reached, and I had the thought of driving back to Glasgow to over come.
Maybe one day I can find a job that will allow me to be in amongst the hills…we can dream.