So, Monday night was my leaving night from the pub in Bearsden! No more working till 1am, pouring pints, and beig spoken to like dirt by rich middle aged men! Time to move on, and get on with my career in health and fitness. That is of course, after I have one or two shandies with my former work mates!!!
So I woke on Tuesday, feeling surprisingly fresh. My intention was to drive north for a couple days to see my parents, and although the forecast wasn’t great, I hoped to climb a hill or two.
It got to 12.30, and we were still having breakfast, there didn’t seem much hope. I eventually said to my girlfriend, I need to go, you can stay, and lock up whenever you want to leave, I am off to the hills!!
Typical A82 traffic though, camper vans, lorries, idiot drivers with a death wish, it wasn’t a good journey, and I was very aware of the time.
15.40, I got the the white corries car park!! About 3 cars left, and I met them coming out the cafe. Yup, if was going to be a lonely evening in the hills, and I was resigned to only managing one.
As any of you, who have climbed these hills, I am sure you will agree, that walking underneath the chair lift is a bit soul destroying. As you plod away, these chairs just sail on past. But you wouldn’t get the same satisfaction right? Well I had my doubts!!
As I climbed, I kept turning to take in the views of Rannoch Moor, they really made the slog a big more appealing.
The ski centre was reached in fairly good time, and it was strange being there with no snow, or a snowboard (not long now!!!) I sussed out my route, and was convinced I was walking the wrong way, until it opened up in front of me.
The ascent was very rocky, and just seemed to keep going. The views north of Creise and of course B.Etvie Mor were stunning. I just wished I could fly between them all, it really is the most magical place. So full of history, and you can just feel it everywhere you look.
The summit was reached, and I was greeted by the stunning views back towards Bridge of Orchy and beyond! It always amazes me how small everything seems from the hill tops. What didn’t seem small was the walk to Creise! I did not expect the descent on the ridge to be as steep, and not only that, I would have to retrace my steps. It was time to have a think, would I bother? It was after 5 now, and light was going to prove an issue.
Ach, why not!!
The ridge is basically a boulder field, and I discovered that it is time for a new pair of boots. I swear, every stone I stone on felt like a blunt nail going into my foot! Just as well I was on the hill alone, as it would have been a bit worrying for people to hear. On ascending to the Creise ridge, I kept looking back, and seeing the huge climb “down” I was to undertake. I even gave some thought to tranversing along the scree, to save the climb. I came to the sensible conclusion, however, that this was a bit silly!
Once upon the ridge, I RAN to the top! It was approaching 7pm, and I really was racing the sun at this point. I really regret the rush, as the views were just spectacular! Hard to believe that a couple of hours previous, I was under a chair lift. This was the hill, that most people who use the chair lift probably don’t see. Glen Etive is one of my favorite places in the world, and it was fantastic looking down it.
Out came the pipes, quick tune, and off back I went. Now the race was really on to get back before dark!
The descent was tougher than I imagined, due to the rocks, and as I said, i felt every step through my boots. To my surprise, just above the ski center, was about 30 stags and deer. I was very careful no to disturb them, as they staring at me from above!
The final steps below the chair lift were very tiring, especially as I was very wary of the lack of light, however, I was able to make it to the car with no dramas, and drive the remaining 2.5 hours of my journey to Glenelg
A very worthwhile stop off, and looking forward to more in Glencoe.