About the Loon

My photo
A happy chap who likes a walk every now and then

Monday, 2 June 2014

Lochnagar leg stretch

A wee break from writing up the TGO daily blog.

 Since I finished the TGO my feet, knees and hips have at various times been sair, stiff or just plain bloody uncomfortable, I put it down to hammering a double day on what turned into my last day, plus no sort of warm down or stretch off, I had just walked 180/190 miles with a decent weight on my back, got to a pub and just stopped (normally this would be the stuff of dreams). That cant be overly good for the old joints and muscles.

That was 9 or 10 days ago, So with the weather forecast looking decent enough we decided to have a wander up my favourite hill, indeed one I'd wandered past just a week odd previously. Hopefully a good leg stretch would square away some of the aches and pains.

Two bottles of pinotage and im a great photographer..............

Because the weather in Aberdeenshire was the usual scorchio on friday, we ended up having a bit of a rotwein, blue cheese and olive sesh in the garden,  thus our planned early start the next day was delayed a bit. Never the less we ended up in Ballater co-opy for fresh butteries about 10ish and got to Glen Muick car park about 11ish, it was mobbed and we ended up parking halfway back down the glen.

The view across the glen to dark dark Lochnagar

No montane 55ltr bergan today, just a wee osprey 26ltr thing (stratos I think). For a laugh I weighed it before we left, 3.8kg (my usual hill day gear, down sweater, Goretex bits, FA kit, hat, gloves, compass, head torch, water and scoff), rather than the TGO 13-15kg weight.  It just didn't feel right or comfortable, for some crazy reason I yearned for the big bag again.

 Mrs Virgin Soldier has not long recovered from a horrible chest infection and struggled with the first climb, normally I struggle to keep up with her, she's 6.2 with legs, im 5.11 with a belly, lifes not fair but today, life was fairer (in my little world anyway) I was fairly powering up the hill, without even a hint of smugness............

 Lunch was taken and bottles were filled at the memorial,  there isnt an awful lot of water up here but there's two tiny wee burns hidden beside this spot that dispense the finest, clearest water known to man.

You can pick out the hoards going up through the steens, reminiscent of everest summit day footage, although everest is slightly bigger it lacks the fresh Eberdeen buttery (or rowie for those ITK) and mock chop supper factor, hence its deservedly slightly inferior tag

 My favourite view of the hill, I could sit here in the sun for hours.

 Can you see it? Its actually very close to me but the camera phone isnt ideal, rather annoyingly my proper camera went tits up with two days to go on the challenge, but there is a ptarmigan doing a stone impression about 10m from me

Thats the shorts day for 2014 done then,  back to goretex and crampons next week. Different phone, good picture, stunning subject.

 Some pics with the phone aren't to bad though

 The falls as you descend Glas allt Shiel, there's been a lot of work done on the path very recently,  its still a bit cheeky in places but that adds to the charm, glad to see the wee hidden memorial to the young lad was still there and untouched 

Atmospheric photo at the bottom

Just short of 12 miles, a decent warm down, just need to keep at it.

We didnt go to the top, been up plenty of times and the sheer amount of folk heading up the hill was pretty insane, we left them in peace to tick off another number while we cut away down the glas altt to complete the circuit and head home, Saturday,  great weather not a good time to visit if solitude is your thing. 


George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron
Away ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses
In you let the minions of luxury rove

Restore me the rocks where the snowflake reposes

If still they are sacred to freedom and love.
Yet Caledonia, dear are thy mountains
Round their white summits tho' elements war
Tho' cataracts foam 'stead of smooth flowing fountains
I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar.

Ah, there my young footsteps in infancy wandered
My cap was the bonnet, my coat was the plaid

On chieftains departed my memory pondered

As daily I strayed thro' the pine covered glade.
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star
For fancy was cheered by traditional story
Disclosed by the natives of dark Lochnagar.

Years have rolled on, Lochnagar, since I left you
Years must elapse ere I see you again

Tho' nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you

Yet still thou art dearer than Albion's plain.
England thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved on the mountains afar
Oh! For the crags that are wild and magestic
The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, great, now, get on with the real stuff...Challenge report!