11 Munros in 1 weekend
As one of my friends commented after I told him about my recent epic Munro bagging weekend: “That is so typical of you, Fi. You don’t just take on the challenge you take it to the absolute limits of your ability.”
Ah, but while the weekend was physically exhausting it also proved to be massively spirit-lifting.
The Friday saw me ticking off a round of six Munros (yes, six!) in the Glen Shee area. After the first serious climb to the summit of Carn an Tuirc
(1019m), the route led over a huge plateau of undulating moorland via Cairn of Claise (1064m), Tolmount (958m), Tom Buidhe (957m), Glas Maol (1068m) and finally Creag Leacach (987m). To qualify as a Munro, the summits must have an ascent/descent of at least 500ft (150m) so while this outing might seem like madness it was actually manageable in 7 hours.
Then again, it wasn’t easy! Seven hours of walking, albeit mostly on paths, and another hour’s walk along the road back to the car took its toll. By 6pm, and after a bottle of beer, I was close to falling asleep at a hotel table.
Then came Saturday. Only two Munros to complete I thought! But I’d forgotten about my tired legs. And the five-mile hike from the car just to reach the base of the first Munro. And the uncharacteristically warm weather that left me feeling boil-in-the-bag over-dressed.
That first ascent of the day, An Socach (944m), proved to be the toughest of the whole weekend. There was no path to follow, instead only deep heather and boulder fields to slog through. The uphill onslaught took at least 90 minutes … before turning back around to retrace my steps and make a bee line for the top of the second Munro.
Carn Bhac (946m) was no big beast but it still involved a long walk uphill followed by another five-mile hike back to the car.
Again, by 6pm and after just one bottle of beer, I felt like I could sleep under a pub table.
And then, on the Sunday, I got up to face another three Munros. This time the outing took only three hours and the three Munros, Carn Aosda (917m), Carn a’Gheoidh (975m) and The Cairnwell (933), were some of the easiest I’ve encountered but with tired legs and rising winds I can still recall easier walking days!
Driving back towards Glasgow I could only marvel at how much my body can take. Having only recently become a fan of Munro bagging I’m amazed how well my legs and feet keep going. The mental side is no problem as I am totally love being out on the hills.
But still the challenge wasn’t over. I had a friend’s wedding reception to attend on the Sunday evening. Somehow I made it past the first beer this time – and on to several glasses of wine .. before I made thankfully made it to bed to sleep for more than 12 hours! Bliss!