Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich – Mountain Marathon!

This was a tough day out, I can tell ye!
The plan was to run five Munros around Glen Lochay area but having hit the hills early and the forecast not ‘quite’ being up to scratch – still playing catch up… Scottish weather for you! πŸ™‚ We hit the trails and headed for our first Munro (Beinn Heasgarnich), low cloud cover was still around, that and early morning mist had us enjoy the wet, marshy lowlands, along with some snow, before the climbing begun. It wasn’t long into the climb where Donnie and I realized that we were going to be entering complete ‘whiteout’… we decided that, as I had placed the route on my Suunto, we would venture on and have ourselves a mini adventure following the gps directions of the watch and hitting the cairn. As you’ll see from the photos, things got wild very quickly, with high freezing winds, driving snow and extreme low visibility! O_O FANTASTIC! πŸ™‚ Our only concern here was to keep moving, as this would keep us warm and continually alert within our surroundings. Things were getting pretty rough up there – running blind, but it wasn’t long until my Suunto marked 0.3 of a mile to go…
…and then the 0.02 – “Approaching Beinn Heasgarnich”, “Happy Days!” πŸ™‚ Only time for a quick couple of photos and then we decided that it was best to retrace our tracks and hit the lowlands for a new route, as 5 Munros in these conditions was crazy!
Rather than use the Suunto to retrace our steps, we decided to go “old school” and have Donnie lead us off the hill, running by compass — so a bearing of ‘West’ was taken and off we went – west – west – west…. I was in my element! πŸ™‚

It wasn’t long until we hit lower ground and our hair on our heads and legs could defrost, under the warmer climate. Visibility got better and soon we saw the 4×4 track that took us into the hills and we headed for there to decide on mapping a new route.

After getting off Beinn Heasgarnich, we could annoyingly already see that the day was changing and sun and blue skies were breaking through the low cloud cover. We decided to head over to Loch Lyon for lunch and then head on along the side of the loch, running round the back of Beinn Heasgarnich and into the valley of more Munros!!!! πŸ™‚

The weather cleared up after we stopped for lunch and the rest of the day went really well. It was a hard graft, as you’d expect from Donnie but some good times enjoyed out on the hills. 28.1 miles covered – time to eat…!

The only other thing to add would be that Donnie rather kindly treated me to a Chinese dinner in Callander, where we ate like Kings!!!! (to the surprise of the restaurant staff!) Clearly mixed starters and a ‘Peking Duck – for six persons’ was no challenge to us hungry lads from the hills! πŸ˜‰

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