This was never going to be an ordinary walk. I had a horrendous time last May when we tackled Glas Bheinn Mhor…I almost gave up hillwalking after that little jaunt. With the legs always a bit underpowered because of the back niggle, a lingering virus reduced me to a crawl as I inched up the fairly easy Munro. I’ve never been to Glen Etive since. The past year has seen me cope with my back-generated limitations and a lot of the old confidence has returned, if tempered a bit by a more realistic approach vis a vis my durability.
The forecast is a bit windy for my liking but I reckon the west approach from Glen Etive will give us a decent spell of walking away from the worst of the easterly. The 40-50mph gusts may cause a little problem on the top so we may decide against the second summit. We’ll wait and see on that one.
While the Fatdog, with her low centre of gravity, copes admirably with strong winds Cap’n Jack, a lightweight by comparison, tends to be lifted off his feet at the slightest puff of breeze. His glasses also present a problem. Once the glasses are removed so that they can’t be ripped off his face by a particularly malicious gust of wind, the Cap’n then has a terribly inconvenient navigation issue. He can’t see where he’s going. Given that our reason for going up there in the first place is to see the views this is a bit of a bummer from his point of view. It also means we have to hook him up to the Fatdog so that he doesn’t a) wander off or b) blow away.
Why Glen Etive? Well, with an easterly wind the north-south running glen should give us lots of shelter as we approach the main ridge from the west thus limiting our uphill exposure. Hopefully this will leave lots in my legs for the obligatory summit(s) assault, limit Cap’n Jack’s flying time and thus minimise the time spent by the Fatdog towing her human kite. At least that’s the theory…
Just to complicate matters…after this evening’s 10 pin bowling (my last game was in the previous century), the recently dormant lower back has seen fit to complain. I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to pulling on the pack tomorrow.