Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Munros Completed

Just back in the office after a couple of weeks up in the north west, and a final push to complete my first Munro round. Some very long days in Fisherfield, Glen Affric and Strathcarron, followed by 3 hills in Ben Alder Forest on 25 June to complete on Aonach Beag.

I was blessed by good weather and the hire of a camper van meant I was at the start of every walk early in the day, with somewhere for a brew, food and a sleep when I got off the hill.

Every day in this final push was memorable. Great weather, and cool breezes which kept the midges away, made for some great days on the hill.

There were plenty of reminders about the influence of MCofS and how it has worked hard over the years to represent mountaineers' interests.

Walking into Fisherfield by Loch a'Bhroain reminded me how MCofS had acted to help end the proposed Shieldaig Hydro Scheme. Then there was a stay at Bendronaig Bothy where the Attadale Estate still have the 'Taking a Slice out of Cheesecake' MCofS news release from 2002 pinned to the wall. I left a note in the Bothy Book suggesting that times have moved on and we now live in expectation that the Scottish Government will act to end the vandalism of some estates by insisting on the introduction of appropriate planning measures for hill tracks.

In saying that, Bendronaig is a great bothy, with sardines and bog rolls provided by the estate, and easy access to Bidean a Choire Sheasgaich & Lurg Mhor. Respect to them for providing the bothy. (I did say thank you in the Bothy Book).

I also reflected on why some approaches to Munros have escaped the notice of our friends at the SMC over the years. Maybe those guide books were written in the days when we had no access legislation and shooting estates were able to influence guide books! Now all have to have to respect legal rights of responsible access. Of course, MCofS played a major part in influencing that as well.

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