Slioch: Third time lucky

Slioch  – 981m
2nd July 2011
Distance: 13 miles
Ascent: 980m
Time taken: 8 ½ hours          
Weather: Hot, dry, bright sunshine
Two Feet Four Paws: Anne, Bill, Andy, Stewart, Robin, Hendo, Doogz, Dave, Sheila, Anne, Phil, Nelson, Will, Simon, Molly, Ali and Fara

On 3rd July 2010 I climbed my final Corbett on Am Bathach in a joint completion with Dave McRonald. After the Corbett completion we continued on to Ciste Dhubh where I completed my 2nd round of Munros.

As we were making our way off the hill Simon innocently suggested ‘same time next year then Anne?’ This innocent comment planted an idea in my mind and I thought………………a Munro round in 364 days, in the words of Jeremy Clarkson, ‘how hard can it be’?

The answer to that question is bloody hard, especially when winter effectively started in mid November and May was a gale blown washout. June saw visits to Knoydart, a traverse of the Grey Corries, the Blackmount traverse, the Ring of Steall, a traverse of the Bridge of Orchy 4 and the small matter 28 mile day trip to Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and its two neighbours at the end of Glen Affric. The penultimate hill, Cruach Ardrain was climbed, with two days to spare.

Round One and Round Two were completed in less than perfect weather conditions and with the MWIS predicting a warm, dry day with 70% cloud free Munro’s my hopes were high for ‘Third Time Lucky’.

After a convivial evening in The Kinlochewe Hotel the night before we assembled in the car park at Incheril where it was already very warm, although Will who had just returned from Army service Afghanistan where it was 55oc, was feeling a bit chilly.

We regrouped at the bridge at the foot of Gleann Bianasdail for photo’s and a bit of a rest.

Anne and Phil.

It was onwards and upwards as the heat began to take its toll and the group drifted apart.

Molly and Ali look out for stragglers.
Hendo finds time for a quick geology lecture.
Stewart points the way ahead.

We climbed steeply out of the back of the corrie to emerge at the lochans which provided a welcome spot for lunch and some doggie dunking.

The Anne’s.

Luckily the route had been way marked to avoid any navigational difficulties.

We re-grouped at the trig point and wandered over the summit where the traditional  summit Guard of Honour awaited.

The triumphant summiteers.

The summit not only marked my 3rd round completion but Robin’s 100th Munro and Fara’s 1st Munro, so it was celebrations all round.

Anne, Bill and Molly.
Robin celebrates by wearing a silly hat.
Andy and Sheila.
Stewart and Will discreetly assessing the size of Sheila’s bottom!

The excitement of the occasion became too much for Simon and Andy.

Ali jumps on Bill’s Gentleman’s Vegetables.

Robin decided to walk out to the outlying knoll.

We all decided to continue around the rim of the corrie to take in the Munro top of Sgurr an Tuill Bhain.

From the top of the corrie we could see the long, long walk out.

Robin wonders if flashing a ‘bit of leg’ would get us a lift back to the pub. Sadly this didn’t work and the walk back to Incheril seemed to take forever especially as the midges decided to accompany us.

That evening we had a fantastic meal in The Kinlochewe Hotel. The hotel’s owners mark Munro completions with a completion certificate, bottle of bubbly and a photo for the Munro completer’s board in the bar. After the meal we adjourned to the sitting room to bask in the glow from the many sunburnt noses and heads on display.

As we were leaving the hotel on Sunday Simon muttered…………’same time next year then Anne’?

Luckily Bill held me back before I had time to thump him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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