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The Sole Man

Beinn Achaladair & Beinn a'Creachain,
Bridge of Orchy
Sunday 12 October 2003

Alarm goes off - it's 6.00am, looked out of the window, dark and damp looking. Considered jumping back into my warm cosy bed, but decided couldn't handle the ribbing I would get if I phoned Steve to say I was wimping out.  Steve picked me up around 7.15am (15 minutes late) and Alison and Kenny were already in the car, Alison bitterly complaining she didn't have time for breakfast and was eating an out of date breakfast bar, generously provided by Steve. (Obviously she's not a morning person). The rain had started as we set off for Bridge of Orchy but we were all fairly optimistic that, according to the forecast it would brighten up soon.  By the time we reached Loch Lomond the weather had deteriorated and I was wishing I was back in bed. Contemplated doing the low level walk with Irene and gave her a ring to find out what time she was starting out from Crianlarich.  Unfortunately Irene and Ann were setting off at 10.00am and I didn't fancy hanging around by myself for two hours, so decided to soldier on.

Arrived at Achallader Farm just after nine and met up with the others (Kathryn, Alan, Michael, Alan, Robin, Keith, George, Shirley, and Fraser), Starting at the excellent and generously provided car-park at Achallader farm we set off in good spirits and although it was dry at the car park the cloud level on our targeted hills was pretty low and uninviting.

While walking through the remnants of the Caledonian Forest the rain started and after a clamber over a deer fence we were soon in the low level cloud, where we remained for the rest of the day.  The leaders (and helpers) got us to the top of the hills with superb navigation (I think we were on Beinn Achaladair & Beinn a'Chreachain but to be honest we could have been on Cannon Hill in Ardrossan in the mist and I wouldn't have known the difference as we were unable to see further than 5 - 10 metres) Alan's humour was the only thing keeping me going at this point.

The setting of the compass was required to get us off the top of the hill but we soon found the path to civilization.  The hillside was really waterlogged and boggy and we had some spectacular slides and falls on the way down.  Michael wins the award for the most dramatic skid, slide, flailing around like Bambi impersonation and Robin the endurance award for managing to get himself down the hillside with the sole of his boot tied on to the rest of his boot with a bright yellow shoelace provided by Bambi.
Back to the car park just as it was getting dark and we headed off to the bridge of Orchy Hotel where we met up with Irene and Ann who had a great day on a low level walk in good weather!  After a few beers and dinner the day didn't seem so bad after all but we were all pretty tired and I was really glad I didn't have to drive home (Alison and I slept most of the way back).

Thanks to Steve and George for organising the walk, great company and craik- just make it better weather the next time - please!!

Jacqui.
Photo Steve Morley
Read Steve's Report                         Read Ann's Report
Photo Robin Menzies
Photos:  Irene Cahill

Affiliated to:
Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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