After a night at hotel Onich (those who took part in the Three Peak Challenge will remember) I drove to Aberdeen to visit some friends and am currently chilling out with my feet up and a beer in my hand.
Still massively gutted about yesterday...
15th Jun 2010, 23:22
This is the third time I'm trying to post this, hope it finally works:
Immediately after I started descending Am Bodach, I felt something snap at the back of my right knee. I knew instantly that this was game over. On closer inspection, it looks like I pulled a tendon. If I remember correctly, it's the same one I pulled about seven years ago and that time it took six months to sort itself out. Damn!
Of course, the more immediate problem was that I was stuck on top of a mountain and needed to get back down. The way I came up was out of the question, it was way too steep to descend safely, especially with a bad leg. A look at the map revealed that I could possibly go down the side of the mountain, so I set off minutes later, bracing myself for a long and brutal slog.
Long story short, it took me six hours to get back to the car, minus all the skin on the soles of my feet. The slope was so slippery that I spent half the time riding on my butt and the other half stripping skin from my feet.
15th Jun 2010, 23:07
Damn, was that steep or what?
14th Jun 2010, 13:10
With my pack on my back I ascended the fairly steep N ridge and am now looking SW at my next target, Am Bodach.
14th Jun 2010, 11:13
It rained for most of the night and the strong wind made falling asleep pretty impossible but I did manage to get a few winks. I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, but the temperature was very low - with windchill it was definitely below freezing. I packed up and headed to a bealach between Stob Coire a' Chairn and An Gearanach. I will have to climb both, but for the latter I could ditch my backpack and tackle the Devil's Ridge with a lighter load. The ridge is not as bad as it sounds, in places quite narrow but very manageable. Off to get my gear now.
The first photo is the Devil's Ridge, the second a view of the cairn on the summit of An Gearanach with Ben Nevis in the background.
14th Jun 2010, 09:34
The weather has turned properly nasty now, it rained all day and now the wind has picked up as well and the rain is coming down hard. I decided to set up camp to get out of the elements. Trouble is, there isn't exactly an abundance of suitable places to camp on a high ridge. I finally found some even ground on an airy bit of ridge at 855m. The tarp is being buffeted by the wind and lashed by rain as I type this.
13th Jun 2010, 21:35
Last of the eastern Mamores is separated from Binnein Mor by a pretty stunning ridge with a huge drop on its N side. Awesome!
13th Jun 2010, 21:34
When I put my backpack back on, my next target, the tallest mountain of Mamores range, was completely hidden in clouds. The plan was to ascend the NE ridge. I knew from literature that it was VERY steep, so I skirted around a bit to the North, hoping to catch a glimpse of its profile. I could only see about 300m up and it looked pretty steep, but doable.
Boy, did I get a surprise when I got on the ridge and started ascending. The bit that I could see before was, indeed, properly steep but, as expected, didn't pose many problems. Then I got to a spot where, seemingly, the path ended under a massive cliff. As I got closer, I could see a barely visible path up between some rocks and as I did not fancy descending the bit I just climbed, I strapped my poles to my pack and started going up.
I have to say that it was a little tricky with some pretty tight spots, but the rock was solid an there was always a good handle when I needed it. It would have been far less scary in good weather without a 20kg pack on my back.
In the end, I reached the summit safe and sound.
13th Jun 2010, 20:54