|The Fersit Five|
Stob Choire Sgriodain 80 (75)
Chno Dearg 40 (36)
Beinn Na Lap 75 (80)
Railway Bridge (30)
River Bridge (30)
Stob Choire Easain 60 (-)
Stob Choire Mheadhior 23 (18)
Loch Treig 50 (52)
1 hour 20 climbing. I should have realised before I set off that this was going to be hard - not down from one summit and up to the next. Actually 1 hour 20 of climbing. Mist, rain, summit? Wind, rain, summit? Mist, rain, wind, summit? Faffing about, double checking, going wrong, tired legs, summit? Yes, and amazingly I'm 5 minutes ahead of schedule time.
Chno Dearg doesn't seem to be appearing and time is ticking down. Then I'm there and brace myself for the worst - 4 minutes up this time, surprised is something of an understatement!
Now my trace has me down a nearly nearly vertical semi-scree run and the map has me following the ridge. The map is marked up for anti-clockwise and I'm going clockwise so scree it is.
Frogs under feet, deer running next to me - brilliant! So brilliant that I forget to check where I'm actually going and go wrong again, never mind. Rather today than on the day itself. River crossed now up and right. Summit? Up and right. Summit? Up and right. Summit? Wind, rain, mist, up and right. Summit? At the actual summit there is a cairn with a walled wind break. I sit down out of the wind and do a systems check. I haven't eaten for over an hour and im cold, which is probably why I want to cry and have lost 5 minutes. How many times will I need to learn this lesson?
Down to the bridge and lunch and an extra top, much better and now I'm off the clock this next section is amazing. This is what mountains and valleys look like when you dream of them (everybody dreams of mountains right?).
Now to Stob Coire Easain, Adnan calls this the assassin and now I can see why, relentless and killing my spirit dead.
Stob Choire Mheadhior is great, down and up, lovely, tick. I have a quick chat (3 minutes, yes I did time it lol) with a man and his dog, the only person I have seen today, and that perks me up no end. I bound down the descent. I stop bounding for the technical bits. And the boggy bits. And the rocky bits. And the long grassy sections with hidden rocks. I emerge over a rise expecting to be near the bottom, now I've heard of false summits but false bottoms?
I arrive back at the van - 23 miles, 7,700 feet of climb, 7 1/2 hours.
Lessons learned: leg 2 is hard.
Lessons learned again: eat regularly, if you're cold put another top on.
Only 4 summits left to recce now - The Grey Corrie's. I'm going to try and work out how to do them so I can fit them in tomorrow and still get back home in good time.