Thursday 10 June 2021

Twenty-five years ago on my Munros & Tops walk


On this day in 1996 I climbed the four Munros and one Top in the Arrochar Alps in the Southern Highlands. It was the 24th day of my summer long walk over all the 517 summits listed in Munro's Tables at the time (revisions have since reduced the number to 508). By this day I was well into the walk, having climbed 77 summits and walked 469 miles. The weather had been testing with strong winds and rain almost every day and sleet and hail early on. Only two days had been dry, sunny and calm, one of them the day I'd traversed the Aonach Eagach. I was thankful for that as I hadn't fancied that narrow exposed narrow rocky ridge with its scrambling sections in a big storm. 

The day on the Arrochar Alps was one of the better weather days so far. There was only a little rain and some of the summits were out of the mist. The light however was very flat and dull, making for similar photographs, not that I took many, as I hadn't on previous days. I was saving my precious film for better conditions. With digital I'd have taken photos anyway but that was still many years away. 

That night I camped on a tiny, almost flat patch of dry ground in a very boggy glen. The wind dropped and I could hear a cuckoo calling and a fox yelping. During the night the rain and wind returned, waking me early. As I headed for Ben Lomond I wondered when the weather would change and how long I could tolerate this stormy weather. I still had a long way to go and many hills to climb. 

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