Sunday, 8 February 2009
Luss Hills in the Snow
Up at 8am on Saturday meeting Steph, Geraldine, Ian and Jimmy to travel the 15 minutes to the bottom of Luss Glen before running up the glen road to Edentaggart Farm. Just before the farmhouse we left the road to start the steep climb to Beinn Eich. On a very cold day, windy in exposed places, sometimes causing a list to the side of about 45 degrees, I started to struggle immediately, hard to breath although the legs felt ok. And by the way; this is not a post about running to borrow a phrase from the Subversive Runner. More a tale of hard walking, good views and a few original methods of progressing and stopping as the icy, snow covered tops and slopes required. Along the west side of the ridge, after a warning from Steph that the ridge top would be a bit(?) treacherous, to Beinn Lochain and Doune Hill, captivating views of the Firth of Clyde as far as Ailsa Craig and Arran, and north to the Arrochar hills and beyond. Many descents only possible by sliding on our bums with shoes braking or inching across ice covered snow ready to fall at any time, Geraldine's screams and giggles punctuating the odd curse from the males in the party. One nasty moment when I slid down and my left leg went through the ice, my knee taking the brunt of the sudden braking. After rather gingerly picking myself up, there appeared to be no damage done although I was a bit more careful from that point on and when, when descending Doune Hill into Glen Mollochan and climbing to Midhill, the others started to run I was a bit reluctant to join the dash for the top. Until Midhill we had the place to ourselves other than the solitary sighting of a lone walker about 5 miles behind on Beinn Eich. However after that point we met a few groups of two walkers before it turned into Sauchiehall St on Beinn Dubh. A pause at the cairn to wait our turn to get past a group of about 30 walkers then Steph sprinted off, followed by Jimmy and Ian. I walked. I don't do downhill. Neither does Geraldine. Good day though. Better repeated in friendlier conditions although it's a long time since I had such fun sliding (when it wasn't painful!). Thinking back it was like being a kid again, re-enacting the D-Day landings on the beach before climbing the Blue Billy bing (of sainted memory) a wonderful playground razed to build the Magnum at Irvine. Then we fought the German occupiers all along the bing before the reward of escaping down the slidy bit at the east side, ripping more than one pair of shorts over the years! Oh Happy Days!