This weeks expeditions feature comes from @aliweir.17 who talks us through his ventures in Scotland over the past few weeks. Here’s what he had to say..
Over the past few weeks i’ve managed to get out a to some amazing places along the western side of Scotland. The first one being Beinn Narnain. Going into the walk it was predicted to be around -12C at the summit so me and my friend Matthew were preparing for the worst. Luckily this wasn’t the case. At the beginning of the walk it was extremely cold but as the sun rose over the hills it became perfect walking weather. The sun was splitting the sky. After a few layers were taken off we continued our assent with the views getting more and more dramatic as we climbed. Once we reached the Trig point we were rewarded with a beautiful view of loch long. Couldn’t stay very long as we had to catch a bus so quick descent down to make the 2.50pm bus back to Glasgow for a quick pint then up the road.
Week 2 of the Arrochar Alps consisted of Ben Ime and it was a solo one for me. My first solo munro!. Conditions were yet again sublime. Sun beaming down yet again, very strange for Scotland to have that two weeks in a row!. Ended up getting the bus again so had to rush, so a light jog for the first 40 minutes to warm the legs up. This was soon put to a halt as the path became a sheet of ice the whole ascent up. Despite that was still in great spirits, couldn’t complain as the conditions are never this ideal. made it to the top and the views were insane, the landscape was so unique everywhere you looked. Another rushed job back down to the bottom as last bus was 2.50pm yet again. One of my favourite walks to date as it’s gave my a whole new appreciation of how lucky I am to have these beautiful locations such a short drive away from me. Hoping to complete all the murnos on the Arrochar Alps in the near future and couldn’t recommend the location enough.
My most recent walk to date has been a bucket list walk for about 2 and half years and that is the infamous Buachaille Etive Mòr one of Scotlands most notorious mountains and a personal favourite of mine. Unfortunately the weather was not on me and Matthews side this week, the drive up consisted of rain, wind, sleet and more rain. We were going up the stob dearg route as the ridge would have taken an extremely long time due to the conditions. Once we arrived a the foot of the trail we were met with or first challenge… helping push the muller corner van out of a patch of ice it was stuck in, unfortunately we failed at the first hurdle as we couldn’t get his van out so we continued our walk along the path to be met with even more ice making the path un walkable. This is getting to the point where crampons would have came in extremely handy.
As we began the climb up the vally the path slowly disappeared under 8 inches of snow and became a free for all. We eventually rediscovered the path only to be met with the steepest wall of snow me and Matthew have ever encountered on our walks but we persevered. The weather at this point has gone from bad to worse. The clouds were getting lower and the rain was getting heavier. This meant the snow was melting and causing mini avalanches around us, nothing insane, just unnerving but we still persevered for another 15- 20 minutes until we felt out of our depths as we had no mountaineering equipment with us and it was definitely needed if we would have wanted to continue, so at around 850 meters we swallowed our pride and called it a day. Very frustrating as it was the first time we’ve had to leave early on one of our walks but we knew our limits and decided to be smart about the situation. When the better weather comes best believe this will be getting completed.
If I was to describe walking in Scotland in one word it would be unpredictable you never know what you’re going to get and I wouldn’t have it any other way.