Saturday, 4 May 2013

Day 3 - Beinn a' Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich

Unlike yesterday, it's been easy to keep to schedule today. I've done my hills fast enough that I'm currently sitting in the Kingshouse Hotel with both planned hills completed.

As I mentioned in the last post (day 2), I've had a small change of plan. I decided to remove the 100% self-propelled rule. This had an enormous benefit today, because as we left Loch Awe, the rain began absolutely belting down. Glad I wasn't setting up a tent in that!

Dad and I stayed at the Taynuilt Hotel last night. A brilliant place that was there when we needed it. The food was really good too, and I think that "full Scottish" set me up for a good day today.

Dad drove me to the foot of Beinn Eunaich and Chochuill this morning and sent me off to do the hills. If I'd stayed with that plan, I'd have to camp tonight in the middle of nowhere. I'm so glad I didn't because the conditions are still chilling and damp. The summits aren't snowy but they are icing up. I tend not to run warm and it's a constant challenge to keep my heat in, especially when temperatures dip to freezing on the summits.

Beinn a' Chochuill was first, and I walked up feeling confident and content with Marillion's latest album in my ears. Skies were blanket light cloud - ir was a relief to be walking without being rained on, although I knew this would change. The blasting winds and hail arrived short of the first Munro and continued along to Beinn Eunaich. Completely in mist, the navigation was actually really easy (there's paths everywhere) and I met a lot of people on the hill.

The walk had taken 4 hours 40 minutes. All in all, very efficient and I'm glad to be navigating over these hills with confidence. I arrived back at the car ten minutes before the first real blasts of heavy rain arrived. Dad and I drove up to the Kingshouse in some crazy weather which is where I am now.

With my self-propelled rule broken (didn't take long!), dad's going to take me down Glen Etive when we leave Kingshouse. I'm going to attempt the Starav 5 tomorrow from the comfort of a camp by the road. After that it's a couple of days up by Sgulaird, Fhionnlaidh and Ulaidh - and then I'm in Glen Coe (which I'm looking forward to).
Kevin setting up camp in a soaked Glen Etive

The brooding hills of Glen Etive after Kevin was left there by his Dad
A note to anyone wondering about any change in schedule: I'm doing all the same peaks on the same days, so there's no change to schedule, I'm just cutting out all the travelling between mountains and getting straight on them!

And lastly, if anyone's coming up,care to bring me some boiling sun? I've spent 3 days blowing the feeling back into my fingers! :-)

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