The Rocky Road to No. 150 (& No. 151)

[Words by Anne]

Looking towards the summit of Sgor Gaoith from the Moine Mhor

Given the disappointingly changeable weather either side of Tuesday 17 May, it was amazing that our tentative arrangement to join Cameron and Elaine in climbing a couple of Munros actually materialised. We had chanced upon them in the Linn of Dee car park a week or so earlier, when the weather was more settled, and had been waiting for them to move round to Aviemore, planning to meet up in Glen Feshie. The day before our rendez-vous we had been flogging around in wind and rain, our spirits dampened as much as our clothes, so we were certainly in need of a morale boosting day in good company and that was exactly what we got.



Dave and Cameron merrily blethering as they cross the Moine Mhor

Slightly apprehensive about the mist hovering around the tops, we set off up the steadily ascending, easy track over a subsidiary hill and onwards to the first Munro, which offered an interesting craggy profile, appreciated even more from a short distance below, when fleetingly the mist cleared, the sun shone and the sky became blue. In what seemed like no time at all we reached the second peak, where we admired the resilience of the gentleman in shorts who arrived with his wife a few minutes later and speculated about the school party who followed in their wake. Facilitated by the gentleness of the broad, well-defined track, conversing was no problem and our continuous chatting had seemingly shortened the distance covered.  By this time, after nearly four hours of walking, we were all ready for lunch and found a sheltered perch overlooking a huge drop down to the valley below. This was Elaine’s moment to produce pieces of the wondrous chocolate confection, known as Rocky Road, which Dave has been whining for ever since! We agreed that Nigella’s original recipe had definitely been improved by the inspired addition of Maltesers. [Anne has now promised to make this soon as a very special treat.]

The summit cairn of Mullach Clach a' Bhlair with Angel's Peak and Cairn Toul in the background

Once back down in the Feshie Glen, the final section of the route was very pretty, taking us beside the river, through trees and across a couple of manageable burns. We chatted to another couple about birds spotted in the area. As we reached the cars we felt the first few spots of rain and saw grey mist forming yet again on the tops. This was one of those days when a good walk had been enhanced by stimulating company and the sharing of experiences, as well as some inspiring views of a truly beautiful landscape. We had also gained some insight into life on the road (and the hill) with a camper van and, indeed, had become part of history, being privileged to join Cameron and Elaine on their 150th Munro.

About Anne C

Anne was introduced to walking and rock climbing on her honeymoon. Before having children she often accompanied Dave on school trips and expeditions in the UK as well as Europe, to France, Spain and Norway. Assisting with expedition training for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme while at The Glasgow Academy introduced her to more serious walking in Scotland, where she now spends May and June trying to increase her tally of Munros. A spell living in China enabled her and Dave to walk in the New Territories of Hong Kong, but for the last decade their summers have usually been spent in the Pyrenees. With retirement has come the opportunity for pleasant winter walking in Catalunya and the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, as well as renewed enthusiasm for back-packing; the last two summers have been rounded off with two-week treks on Corsica (GR20) and in the Ecrins area of south-east France (GR54). The Tour de Vanoise is planned for 2011.
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1 Response to The Rocky Road to No. 150 (& No. 151)

  1. Laura Fairbairn says:

    Noooo – why did you introduce my Dad to Rocky Road!!!! Mum will never hear the end of it. Glad that you managed to meet up with them and enjoyed a good day on the hill. I spoke to them the other day – they retreated back to Glasgow earlier than planned due to the weather. Hope the ‘van has coped in those strong winds (hopefully you made it back to Fort William before the carnage started).

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