I'd left Slioch for my last Munro of my normal Munro round, and this was finally the day. (I should point out this wasn't the last Munro of my continuous Round, on which there are now 9 left. I've climbed those 9 in the past, thus Slioch became the last one I'd never done.)
The previous day, I made a big push on the Ullapool hills to get those Munros done. Seana Bhraigh was the remote outlier of that group, and there was a hint of relief to have those Munros done so efficiently. I had company coming up for Slioch: Dougie and Craig from the mountaineering club were up, and Pete Swales also joined.
Despite having all my plans in place, the weather didn't play ball and conditions could have been better. As I drove down to Garve from Ullapool, the rain was heavy and horizontal, blasting by with frightening ferocity. I began to feel I'd be glad to just get to the summit of this mountain!
Anyway, I was a bit late to Kinlochewe, so I got my stuff prepared and assumed the guys had gone on ahead of me. So I began walking down the path to Slioch in the wind and (occasional) rain, assuming that the others had gone on ahead. I had strangely never imagined I'd be setting out for my last Munro alone.
After an hour walking in, I caught them up and we all continued together. I met another guy who was up with his dog, climbing Slioch: thanks very much for the donation to my charity! (I've got a JustGiving for anyone so inclined: http://www.justgiving.com/KevinsMunroRound2013)
Slioch was a windy hill, but not as bad as it might have appeared from the road. It was definitely a surreal experience, climbing my last Munro. It was something I've wanted to do for years and years. But with the final mountains of the continuous Round looming, I was caught between feeling a sense of completion and a sense that work still needed to be done.
A steady plod up the track brought us to the summit area, we passed the trig point and continued to the cairn. My final Munro. The guys congratulated me and pulled out the bubbly. I made a hash of opening it. Amazing. Hard to believe it was my last Munro.
A sense of satisfaction accompanied me down the mountain, a sense that some challenges I'd set were coming to a close. No doubt I'll go and do them all again, in time. We got back to the car park and went for a quick drink. Craig and Dougie went home, Pete stayed in Kinlochewe. Guys, thanks for coming up to share my last Munro.
My original plan had been to walk into Monar the same night, but we were to have one more day of low pressure bringing high winds. Monar would be possible but difficult in those conditions, so I swapped things around a bit. I'd drive to Lochinver, stay with my parents, do Ben More Assynt the next day (and easier day), then do Monar the day aftr when things had calmed down a bit with the weather.
I got to Lochinver and met mum and dad at the Caberfeidh. They bought me a drink, I was pissed and giggly in no time. I was pretty damn over the moon. Just a few more days and I'd have done the Munros non-stop, too.