Monday, 13 September 2010

Glen etive / Glencoe weekend

Scott and I thought a weekend in the GlenEtive area would be good he could run a few Munro's and I would do some walking.Scott contacted Lucy and Richie to see if they were up to it and lucy was keen but Richie could not manage it.
The weather was not looking too good but we thought what the hell just go for it so with car packed with the camping gear I was to drive to Bridge of Allan and pick Scott up from the railway station as he would get the train from Edinburgh. I was keen to get up the west while we still had light to find somewhere to pitch the tents and set up a base. Lucy contacted and said she would be arriving later that evening.
We had a good drive up and managed to find somewhere to set up camp within walking distance of the one and only pub.Managed to meet up with Lucy and she pitched her tent "next door" to myself and Scott.Had a social evening killing beer / wine / and a "little whisky" fending off the dreaded midge and rain. Later all crawling off into our own tents out of the weather.

A very wet place in the morning Scott and I on the left, Lucy on the right.
We managed to get some coffee on ( thaks to Lucy as Scot and I did not get round to buying any on the way)
Had some porridge in the damp and talked about the days options , Lucy not sure about running due to injury recovery and Scott thinking the visibility for Munro bagging was to poor.I had a couple of Geocache locations one being very near to where we were camping so I introduced Lucy to the geocaching "game".
We made a call that we drive down to Loch Etive and do a walk back round the glen on a trail through the next Glen. Kipper ( Lucy's dog ) had been shivering and Lucy put her North face jacket on him which turned out to be the funniest photo shoot of the weekend. I have not the best one but hopefully Lucy will print the one she took.
We set off down the road twards the loch before parking up and heading off on our walk.We had a stange incident when we were part way up the side of the hill a car had stopped and someone was shouting up to us but we could not hear for the torrents of water. We just waved and climbed on up the faint track ( We think in retrospect he was trying to tell us the burn was to high to cross )
I 'm not sure when it happened but Scott and I were following Lucy when I thought were the hell are we and I'm not on a track anymore. So had a few hands out of pockets moments along side the raging burn and a bit of a drop if you went in.
After managing to find the path again and getting near the top we found that we wanted to be on the other side of the burn. After a bit of a look round and a will we wont we moment we went for it knowing it would be a wet one. Managed to get over without being washed away then Lucy and scott followed with "kipper" being hung on to at one point by Scott as his legs were just about washed away.I took my boots off and tipped a few gallons of water out and with soaking socks squelched off up the hill.
After this little adventure we looked around and realized that the visibilty had improved and we could see right down the Glen. I think at this time Scott made the call that he was going to run up the nearest Munro. Lucy very kindly took his rucksack so he did not have to come back down that way for it and we would meet over the pass.I walked on for a bit Knowing Lucy would catch up with me in no time even if she was carrying two backpacks !!. We had a nice walk over the pass meeting other walkers heading the same way "kipper" was having the time of his life sniffing / digging / and running all over the place.
Scott caught us up after having a good run over the ridge and we headed off together back towards the main road.
the view back
I think I will skip the next part as it just consisted of walking part of the main road and the most uninteresting part of the WHW, before back down in the direction for Loch etive and the tents / car/ dry socks and shoes
I got changed while Scott took Lucy back for her car (nice how they look after the old man ) Then it was off to the pub for food beer and a social evening. We all had a good night chatting with away with the other whw walkers etc and a few pleasant hours were passed.

A Night in the pub ( I think it was worth the wet / midges/ and poor sleeping.
The next morning (I had a rough night so little sleep ) we all packed up and headed for the green welly shop for coffee and breakfast I was nodding in the car while Scott drove down. After meeting up with Lucy Callander was the next call as the two ultra runners had an idea of doing a couple + of hours having a run the sun was out and sky blue only problem I was dead. Callander was reached and we parked up and Lucy and scott got ready for their run and me and Kipper stayed in the car. I did try to take Kipper a walk be he just wanted to stay in the car which we both did and we were both asleep at one point.Scott and Lucy came back after what they said was a very nice run and Luck kindly took us to a very nice coffee shop. Enjoyed a very nice bowl of soup and chink of bread plus tea and cakes. Have earmarked that place for a visit with Scott's mum sometime.We said our goodbyes to Lucy and we all set off home after what was a very pleasant if not uncomfortable (at times) weekend.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Alpine holday with Scott

Scott and I flew out from Edinburgh on friday evening 20th August heading for Munich and then down towards the Austrian border. Arriving late we had booked into a hotel near the station in Munich hoping to get down to the famous beer hall in the old town but were a bit to late so had to seetle for a walk round and then back to the hotel. We caught the morning train to Mittenwald where we had an apartment booked for the next three nights , so a Subway brekky at the station before getting the train.When we arrived at Mittenwald we were hoping to leave the cases at the station before heading off to Leutasch district in Austria where Scott had entered the Half marathon trail run??. Finding the left lugage lockers broken we gambled on going to our accommodation early and leave the cases there. The lady owner was cleaning the place when we got there and could not of been more helpful so leaving the cases we caught the bus over to Leutasch district over the border.
 Scott had plenty of time to get set up for his "holiday" fun run while I found the Austrain beer going down rather too well. Scott had a good run considering we were both tired from travel etc and came in a very criditable 5th place , I think I would be on my 5th beer by then as there was a beer garden next to the finish. The day ended with two tired but happy people crawling into the beds for the night.

Have inserted a couple of Photo's to show the weather we were having and the great walking area we were staying in needless to say Scott was not walking these hills he was having "Fun" running them.
We had three great days in Mittenwald in glorious weather and I even managed a couple of great walks the second one with Scott up to the highest ridge in town it took me all day but was very chuffed I made it thanks to lots of weight loss in the past few weeks and Scott's mentoring.

On the left is a sunset photograph of
 the ridge we walked to the top of from town and on the right is the man who helped me get up there.

After that good few days we headed off on the Austrain railjet train accross to Switzeland and a very little villiage called Burgen. Again we had fantastic weather and I was off walking again and Scott was doing some amazing running routes over the alps.

Above is a photograph of avery nice easy ridge walk I did with views on each side. I did say easy but did mean under foot I was still puffing like an old steam engine ! The problem i had is when I got over the last top I had a struggle to find may way down and the "nice" path had vanished into the next Photograph where i was following the red and white markers.
I struggled over the above but the character who did it the next day and took this photo for me RAN over it so i was going to make some comment about horses for courses etc. The day Scott ran this way (the day after my walk as he was away on another epic alp run ) I did a low level walk and we met up at a wee village with the one "pub"for a very welcome cold beer.
I had to head home the next day and went on the "palm express" bus to Lugano before getting on a train for Milan for a night stop over and that day was the first one with heavy rain for the first few hours. I did not see much on the way down from the alps to the lakes but did spare a thought for scott who I left at St Moritz to go alp running. I later found out he had to abort for lightening etc as on the hills is not the place to be at that time.
As a holiday it must be classed as one of my better ones and would like to get back out that way again but may have to sell the house to do it.