Showing posts with label Buachaille Etive Beag - Stob Coire Rainach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buachaille Etive Beag - Stob Coire Rainach. Show all posts

10 February 2013

Buachaille Etive Beag - Stob Coire Rainach

This was the day I'd walk up my first Munro.  Being Scottish it seemed odd that I had a 50+ Hewitts under my belt but as yet no munros.  I nearly had a munro when I bagged Ben Ledi last year but sadly that is only a few ft under 3000 and does not hold munro status even though I jumped when on the summit.

So today, my first munro was to be attained.  Unfortunately the weather was not with us and as we drove into Glencoe, where we'd spend the next week the rain, wind and general gloominess met us with abundance - yikes!

Sandwiches packed, water loaded and boots on we started up the path that would take us to the plateau area between the 2 peaks that was our target for today.  Almost immediately as I got out of the car I felt the effect of the wind and it scared me.  Big bolshy gusts that literally knocked me sideways I was fearful of how much stronger it would be the higher we got.....if I knew then what I know now....would I?  Hmmm I wonder.

The path was almost immediately steep.  Straight up and there was nothing for it but to put your head down and keep walking up the steep stepped path.  I completely lost my composure several times as the gusts buffeted me against the rock but Chris's calming words kept me moving forward.  I wasn't enjoying this at all, oh dear!

We hit the snow line quite quickly and soon were walking through quite deep snow.  This in itself is tough going but with the added effect of the wind and rainy hail stuff I was struggling to find anything positive in this walk at all.  It was my first munro and I should be enjoying every minute but instead I was wondering what the heck I was doing there and feeling just a little bit sorry for myself.  C'mon Lynne, this isn't like you!!!

We reached the plateau area and found some shelter against some rocks where we'd attack our sandwiches.  It was cold, windy, the rain had eased for the time being and the steep and icy hill stood in front of us and I really wasnt sure how I was going to get to the top of this one.
As soon as we set off up the side of the mountain the wind again was torturing me and my confidence was leaving me as quickly as rats leave a sinking ship but words of encouragement from Chris kept me going.  That was until about half way up when a big gust of wind got me and I froze.  I couldnt move.  I sat down, head in hands and just kept wondering what I was doing there.  The wind was blowing feircly and I just didnt want to be there at all. Icy particles hitting my face and at one point one of the straps on my rucksac hit me in the eye just adding to the torment of my day.  It seems funny now but then I've never felt so uncomfortable and out of my comfortzone in my life.  Way out of my comfort zone but the realitiy of it was that I was on the side of a mountain and regardless of the weather conditions or how I felt I had 2 options.  1 - head back down in the same conditions or 2 - keep going till the top and try to salvage some of the day.

Luckily I had Chris and option 2 became the only reality.  He stepped in and calmly brought me back to my senses and eleviated some of my fears and helped me move forward up the mountain.  It was slow going but he was with me every step of the way and soon enough we were on the summit.  I have no idea how I got there but I was glad I did.  My first munro wasn't accomplished without a great deal of effort and it was indeed a superb achievement.  I fought demons I never knew existed and experienced conditions that rocked me to the core but I got there and I was alive and safe and it felt good.

The descent wasn't as traumatic but I was sapped of all energy so the original plan of the second summit was abandoned for another day and we made our way back to the plateau and then down the rocky steep path back to the car park.

It was an scary but exciting day and it took a while before I could actually appreciate what an achievment it actually was but I was proud that I'd done it and looked forward to the rest of the week whilst praying the weather conditions would improve.  I don't think I could cope with another day like today!

Scottish weather............bah!