Monday, 6 February 2017

A day out with Kilian Jornet...

Well the title clearly isn't true because I was out with Martin, but in this crazy post truth world maybe it was, and maybe, just maybe its the alternative truth....

Martin sporting his 38 year old ME Fitzroy jacket 
Whatever the truth is, it certainly felt a little like this for the first 40 mins as I kept my head down and followed Martin up a snowy hill from near Loch a' Bhraoin over towards Ullapool. But we were on a clock as Martin had to pick his wife up from the airport that evening and had said 'pack light'.

A dipper near the start

Zoom shot of An Teallach (spot the rescue helicopter hovering above one near top)
It was a grey, flat light day, but we were heading up two munro's in the West Fannaichs. It was still great to be out in the 'white room', with clear views until around 900m (guess!), before we were in intermittent cloud.

Pose shot

Time to move!
Sgurr Breac passed quickly before retracing our route back to the central Toman Coinich. The pace had slowed and we had a leisurely snack stop at the col before heading up A' Chailleach.

Towards Sgurr Breac

On its top
Now this top was slightly off my map (on the next OS sheet). I'd realised this the night before and figured Martin (being sensible) would have the other sheet, and even if not we could go West to this top and if clear weather head North down a different return ridge, or easily retrace our steps the few hundred meters back to our outward route and the map. Who wants to carry a second OS map for 400m of terrain.......Sensible.....!? Besides the massive Loch in the valley a few miles away would be a massive emergency stop barrier/handrail if things got really bad!!

this way (well North for us)!
Well the top of A' Chailleach was clagged in, Martin didn't have a map (fair enough), thinking we would indeed like the alternative finish Martin did download bing maps onto his phone at the summit in the storm (exaggerating slightly here for effect). Alas google maps didn't seem to give much detail (funny that!). But with our extraordinary mountain leader skill set (!!) we headed due North from the summit knowing (vaguely) that this would deposit us on the ridge we wanted when we dropped through the cloud...

Nice wind scoured big ridge!

Wait for me...!
And indeed it did. The walk down this broad ridge was nice, well worth finding, including the snowy descent off it, and the bushwhack back to the Loch. And Martin had hours spare before going to the airport - win win!!

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