Monday, 10 September 2012

Lesley's first Munro

It all started off with Scott , Lesley and I saying the usual "what's on next weekend and to Scott what run do you fancy ? Callander to Killin was the reply ! Well I thought that's Scott by himself then as Lesley and even more myself did not stand a chance of running that far. I came out with the fateful remark well we could do a walk and meet up and somewhere later and somehow  Ben Vorlich was mentioned. "I have never done a Munro said Lesley" !! Oops I thought what have I done now as it's been a year since I managed one. We will see what the weathers like and make a choice later .
As it turned out the weather was not going to be very good in the west so the Friday night was spent working out where to go and what to do.Scott was quite happy to do his long run anywhere and just said stick to the east highlands. I must admit I did have a urge to go somewhere I had not done before and so the final call was made a walk up the northern end of Glen Isla and if able head up a Munro .
We had arranged to meet Lesley at our place then head off north so at 9am we all piled into Lesley's car and headed to Perth. The plan was to "throw" Scott out at Perth and let him run to Dunkeld and we would continue via Blairgowrie then north on the A93 before heading over the B951 to Glen Isla.All went well until we went to turn off on the B951 to Cray the road was closed ! so it was about turn and drive back for a few miles before taking the detour we had missed on the way. Eventually we were back on the planned road before taking a single track way up Glen Isla to Auchavan farm where the road ended.A few hundred yards of land rover track and we parked up by the river. Lesley changed into her boots and we sorted ourselves out for our "little" adventure. I must mention at this time we had perfect blue sky and it was a gorgeous day for a walk.
A happy Lesley ready for the start

To be fair on Lesley she was just holding the walking poles for me as I needed them not her for when we went up the hills.The first 3k we were walking on a good land rover track to Tulchan Lodge along the river Isla
John on his way up the track

Look at that sky
We were having a good walk up the river but the old man would not stand still for a Photo so Lesley had to do her little run stops to get ahead to take one so here it is included . One point about the walk Scott checked on line and the Estate were quite happy for walkers to make their way over the land if they stuck to the known routes.To make the point about being responsible walkers we heard the shooting going on and saw that the beaters were out on the hills on the other side of the river we did take a few photo's but they were difficult to see at that distance.
yes there are people shooting on this hill
We were in no hurry and were just enjoying the nice walk up the glen mind you I was waiting to see what the first climb I had let myself in for was looking like.There was no way we ( I ) could not try going on the tops on a day like today just knew that I would be knackered by the time we got there.We had a break by the last line of trees before starting up the hill to get on the ridge.
the first look at Monega hill before rest at trees
We followed the faint track up the side of the hill after cutting a corner off and crossing the burn which in retrospect we would have been better going past the signpost and picking the track up later, but never mind even Lesley's little legs managed to get over with the little help of a walking pole.
This is the time when when the "baby steps" came into play to prevent getting into oxygen debt and end up gasping for air. Well that's what I have to do anyway and Lesley managed to control her enthusiasm and do the same.I must add at this time that may have been a mistake as she was talking all the way up while I could only manage a grunt back so I had to say she could talk as much as she like but not to expect an answer.We had a short break on the first shoulder of the hill and just sat enjoying the views and both admitted what a good day we had for walking.I just hoped I would feel the same if or when I got to the top.
rest break part way up Monega hill
We climbed the hill to the top at 908 meters and had fantastic views of the corries at the head of the river Isla. To be honest we had missed a very faint track that cut out some of the climb up the hill and was a shorter route to Glas Maol but we were glad we had come that way.We took our time and had a good look round as now we had "cracked" it and were standing on the plateau with sheer drops down into the corries
giving fantastic views far and wide.
corrie view
Lesley above corries
top of corrie
long way down 
We spent some time enjoying all we could see but then had another 2 miles to walk to get to the objective of Glas Maol . The cloud was starting to increase from the west so we headed off over the plateau in case the weather caught us out.Walking down and up again over little Glas Maol at 973 meters I must admit I did not have much left in the legs but Lesley was enjoying it and only 1.5k to go. We had to drop down a little before the final climb up to the summit and she asked if I was ok and that little devil in me came out and I said " that's far enough we can go back now". I can't tell you the look of disbelief on her face but she always gets her own back someway.Hence out with camera for the red face old man.
red face revenge photo on final climb
The wind had increased by now and we had lost some of the blue sky but we knew we had made it so walking over the last rise we could see the cairn. We walked to the top together and the pleasure we both had was brilliant, Lesley had climbed her first ever Munro and I had managed another one much to my surprise.
Lesley top of Glas Maol 1068 meters
We sat in the shelter of the cairn and had a wee nip from Lesley's flask and something to eat as we were not in a hurry not in a race just enjoying the moment. A few more walkers came and went but I think we just wanted to make it last.
needed to lean on something
Lesley took photo on her phone but we had no signal to send to Scott and Olga so having a last look round we reluctantly started the long walk off the hill and back to the car.
When we had finished we had covered just over 15 miles and over 1100 meters and both a happy couple . I was so pleased to be the companion to escort Lesley up her first Munro and see the pleasure on her face at the end of the day.The pints of guinness in the pub that night went down very well.

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