Monday 15 March 2010

Bag It!

So, yesterday was a bit of an exciting day for me. We had it planned that on Sunday 14th March 2010, we would be ascending a Munro - Ben Chonzie. For me, this would be my first. For Grant and Rona, it would be there second (ever and in a 48 hour period).

As per last Sunday, it was a crack of dawn effort. But this time instead of the short scenic trip to Loch Lomond, it was a 2 hour trek to Invergeldie in Perth and Kinross. By the time we got there, parked up, kitted up and traversed back to the car after going the wrong way at first, the time check was 10:10.

With the time checked, and gear on, it was time to commence the long hard slog ahead. Admittedly, Ben Chonzie is considered one of the easiest Munros. At my early level of hillwalking, all hills are an obstacle and getting to the top is an achievement. So this route was not bad. It was a gradual slope for the whole journey. The low lying areas had thawed and dried out. As we got into the journey we could see the steeper snowy ascents ahead of us. We trudged on, using our combined navigational skills and existing footfall in the snow.

Throughout the whole journey I was adamant we were aiming for a fence, but it was never forthcoming. I was beginning to doubt my planning skills when later on, I heard Rona shout, "Jonny, we found your fence". I knew I wasn't making it up. Once we hit that, the summit was near. So that is what we done, followed the fence. It wasn't plain sailing from here though. It was about this exact point where there was nothing to shelter the wind, and we were getting the full force of a gale force wind battering off our coupons.

Come 13:15, I was like the cat that got the cream. That is about the time I would consider to be one of my best achievements in life. We hit the summit - 931m.

I was so chuffed. The feeling at the top was like nothing else. Being at the top of a Munro is something I could never have imagined myself doing.

With the wind howling against us, and a few pictures taken, we decided to head back down the ridge to find the trail. The snow made for a relatively easy but time consuming descent. We finally got back to the car about 15:25 and started to make the long drive home for tea.

So, that is it folks. My first Munro in the bag as they say. I personally would like to thank Grant and Rona for a cracking day out yesterday. However, especially Grant for persuading us that we should take the crazy walking idea we had and actually get out and do it.

Thanks for being there and for sharing a brilliant experience. Hopefully, the first of many.

2010-03-14 - Ben Chonzie
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