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Training Log Archive: Thraws

In the 7 days ending Aug 4:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Hillwalking5 35:30:00 62.45(34:07) 100.5(21:12) 4800
  Cycling2 5:00:00 37.28(8:03) 60.0(5:00) 820
  Total7 40:30:00 99.73(24:22) 160.5(15:08) 5620

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Sunday Aug 4 #

10 AM

Hillwalking (Torridon Corbett) 6:30:00 [3] 16.0 km (24:23 / km) +980m 18:40 / km

Beinn Dearg. Finally. The mountain that fascinated me on one of my first visits to the Highlands when I climbed Beinn Alligin in winter 1993. I couldn't see how anyone was supposed to get up or down, although the summit ridge looked exciting. As it was I prevaricated, only deciding at the last moment to turn right along the Coire Mhic Nobuil rather than head up to the Bealach a'Chomhla and the usual route of ascent. I thought this way I'd have it easier for the 'bad step' along the top. But I had to find a route up the cliffs. The book suggested following 'a stream' but the only one I could see looked way too steep. I found a gully and it seemed to go. Just! The cloud stayed off too, which meant I had good views, even if all the Torridon giants weren't clear. Having charged the camera battery, I took loads of pics, especially as I approached the band of steep rocks that couldn't be by-passed and would have to be climbed. Up was easier than down and the difficulties were fairly minor. A few inches short of Munro-status, surely the climb from sea level makes this a 'munro day'? As feared, the usual route 'up' made a bad route down and I just resigned myself to very very slow progress. The walk out besides the river and beneath the Horns of Alligin wasn't much quicker, until the made path finally appeared.

Saturday Aug 3 #

9 AM

Hillwalking (Applecross Corbetts) 7:30:00 [3] 17.0 km (26:28 / km) +1200m 19:34 / km

Devised my own route for combining two wanted Corbetts, and probably had the best day of the holiday for it. Parked where the Bealach na Ba road crossed the Russel Burn then headed along the west side of Loch Coire nan Arr, with a good view of almost the entire day's route. As advised, went up into the Coire a' Chaorachain then bore left up steep slopes to the col between the phone mast and the summit. Out and back for Corbett number 1. Sadly camera battery expired here as the views of mountains in every direction were spectacular. Past the mast (and the car tourists using Britain's highest mountain road), the landscape became a Rhinnoggy mix of heather and rock and the going very slow. After the Bealach nan Arr the bands of rock seemed to be going more my way, and I sweated up Beinn Bhan. I hadn't had the best sight of the mountains many strange ridges and corries, but I got a fantastic view of them from the top. The book recommends coming up one of these, but that looked barely possible to me, so I took the easier and direct route off down the long south ridge.

Thursday Aug 1 #

10 AM

Cycling (Jura and Orwell) 2:30:00 [3] 30.0 km (5:00 / km) +410m 4:41 / km

Used new phone to hire a couple of bikes the night before, with a view to getting as close to George Orwell's place at Barnhill as possible. Jura is already remote. How 'off the grid' is Barnhill?! Knew from map there would be hills, and there were, but going was mostly excellent on a lovely day in a lovely place. From Craighouse through Lagg, Tarbert and Lussa to Lealt, where we hid the bikes in the bracken, anticipating a 3.5 mile stroll to the old farm.
12 PM

Hillwalking (Barnhill and back) 4:00:00 [2] 16.5 km (14:33 / km) +265m 13:28 / km

It turned out to be 5 miles each way. Worth it though. The farm is in a perfect setting and the long march to get there underlined its isolation. I'd always imagined it as a bleak and unwelcoming, perhaps delapidated, spot. It turns out to be a pretty and fairly convivial seeming sort of place.
5 PM

Cycling (Jura and Orwell) 2:30:00 [3] 30.0 km (5:00 / km) +410m 4:41 / km

Reverse of the morning's ride. But this time tired. Sore by the finish.

Wednesday Jul 31 #

10 AM

Hillwalking (Jura Corbett) 8:00:00 [3] 24.5 km (19:36 / km) +880m 16:37 / km

Actually set out to do remaining two Paps, if time allowed. Long walks in/out, rain on glasses affecting visibility, and navigational mishap put paid to that plan, though I probably did have time. Reversed yesterday evening's route to Cnuic Charrach then cut the corner and headed directly for the col between Beinn an Oir and Pap 3. Both of which were in cloud which was refusing obstinately to budge. Found the bottom of the raked route to the summit ridge and got up that OK, then left it near the top for a straight-up route over the stones. Could see the trig point free of cloud briefly, but it was back for me by the time I arrived. Struggled with glasses on the steep descent and missed the rake. Checked compass and was heading north instead of south, so cut across the slope and blundered about a bit till I found another (grassy) rake which must have been parallel to the route up. Came out on the flat col, which looked all wrong, so used phone gps to confirm I was where I thought I was. Route up Beinn Shiantaidh looked OK but I wasn't sure of descent so decided to leave it. Varied walk out by using the (recommended) path besides the river issuing from the loch. This was great to begin but became the usual boggy mess soon after the stepping stones. Then the 5k road tramp.

Tuesday Jul 30 #

10 AM

Hillwalking (Paps of Jura) 9:30:00 [3] 26.5 km (21:31 / km) +1475m 16:50 / km

First half of the Paps Fell Race, including one of the Paps. After battling the bogs near Craighouse, route went over Dubh Chreag to Dubh Bheinn. Picked up the path (trod) here and followed it over Glas Bheinn and Aonach-bheinn, with fine views of the Paps. The guidebook only shows the Corbett in isolation, but to appreciate these spectacular hills you really have to behold the trio. They are superb from almost any direction. Crossed the river in Gleann Astaile then found the right line up Beinn a'Chaolais. Talk about steep! Never known anything like it. The gradient actually hit 50% (1 in 1!) in places. The path avoids the scree though, rather cleverly. Looked for the ridge route over Beinn an Oir, then headed down. This was possibly even worse than the ascent because it did not avoid the scree and every step seemed to take half the hill with it. I was taking ages, and had miles back to the hotel. The walkout to the lochan was slow, and the hoped-for track turned out to be faint tyre marks in the tussocky wet grass. It went over a hill too. Very relieved to teach The Road for the last two miles watched by resting seals.

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