Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Beinn Bhan Walk.Applecross.Torridon.
Alex was bagging a couple of Corbetts nearby I'd already done.I,d also bagged Beinn Bhan years ago.Once via a long, excellent and scarily vertical V Diff rock climb called Cioch Nose. 450 feet (135 meters) of torridonian sandstone put up by Tom Patey and Chris Bonington in pre- knighthood days,and once by the sedate and stately ramble from the top of the Bealach Na Ba (pass of the cattle).
I remembered this fondly as a lovely easy bimble at a gentle gradient ,the car taking most of the altitude involved til you arrived on the edge of the fearsome chain of buttresses surrounding Beinn Bhan to the North and East.This is one of the greatest and longest rock amphitheatres in Scotland,making a mockery of the fact it doesn't reach Munro status and therefore invisible to a large section of the outdoor fraternity.
I cant gloat however as the Applecross OS map is one of the few I don't have in my collection.If I remember rightly a lot of it was sea and I grudged the money when it disappeared the first time around.
Never fond of it before I've learned to hate that ******* book with a passion!!!
If he'd done a tenth of this to a fat old man sitting on a sofa in a care home he,d be jailed immediately following a national outcry.It was pensioner abuse of the highest order.
'When will it end?' I wailed repeatedly only to be told I should move faster to avoid being benighted up on the ridge.
'No time for a lunch stop.' I was told. 'We need to do the arete in daylight.'
'What arete?' I was bewildered as I couldn't recall any arete the last time I was up here.
'The Corbett book recommends going over the summit ridge then following the edge of the cliffs down the shoulder before dropping off the steep end back to the car.'
I was too slow and weak to throw it into the abyss so it went back into his rucksack again.My Nemesis had a lucky escape.
'Better keep going It,ll be dark soon.'
When will it end?' I wailed again.
'You're not the man I remember 'John informed me.'You're bottle's crashed for hard stuff old timer'.
I took a swing at him but he was on the move again,only stopping to pat the trig point.He was obviously getting me back for calling him a 'baldy napper' on last weeks blog.
'When will it ******** end?????' I wailed.as the sun was dropping behind the mountains by this stage.
'Good news! We're beating the guide book time.'John declared. 'Don't ease up now gramps!'
Eventually we stumbled off the hill, just reaching the car as it became fully dark.He still alert for driving....me a broken husk of a man,drooling and staggering along the ditch,unable to even find the tarmac.
Marlon Brando,s mumbled words from Apocalypse Now sprang to mind when I was asked in the car if I'd enjoyed a proper mountain day after all those pipe and slipper hills in the central belt.
'The horror. Oh ,the horror.'
Still at least the photos turned out well.I cant look at them though without graphic images of the suffering and pain involved in their capture springing to mind.I still have flashbacks several days later and wake up benighted ,bewildered and discombobulated on the top of an icy spire of rock,my ice axe ,boots, gloves and hat slipping away into the black void below.
A typical day out nowadays with a much younger mountaineering club.Sooner or later I'll tumble from my illustrious perch and they'll split the best of my gear between them then kick some snow over my frozen corpse. If they are not in a hurry to bag another peak I might even get a small cairn. Such is life.
Danny Mac Askill bike rider .Amazing video of a journey from Edinburgh to Skye along the sunshine coast I know so well.Like this guy's taste in music,he always puts interesting stuff on his videos as a background to match the action.For those who haven't seen this its an eyeopener.
If you liked this tale of mountaineering adventure my tongue in cheek boisterous comedy novel about an unusual Glasgow outdoor club, based on my life in the mountains around Scotland and Europe is now available in Kindle bookstore at a bargain price of £0:98 pence digital... or £9:39 paperback. Each chapter is a separate tale in its own right. Autohighography. Bob Law. 500+ pages and the first couple of chapters are free to read to give you a feel of it, in this link. Each chapter is illustrated with original colour photographs, many taken in lesser known mountain regions.