Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Getting ready for the Big Boys and Winter Walking

Its hard to believe that it is two weeks since I last posted ? I thought retired people had lots of time to spend doing all the things they want to do ? Now Im wondering how on earth I managed to fit a 40 hour working week into my busy schedule. :-D

I’m now realising that time is like money, we tailor our cloth to suit our means. I find time flies and I still don’t have enough to do all I want to do.

So what do I do all day I hear some say ? I have done everything but paid work. I have been replacing wheel bearings on the boat trailer. I have been making a better tent for the boat as I intend to do a lot more camping out it next year. I have started doing long outstanding household chores and DIY around the house. But most my time has been getting fit for the longer winter walks in the hills.

I was second eldest of four boys in the family and every one of us used to do a lot of mountaineering in our younger days. My father and mother did too although they mostly stuck to hill walking. Sadly I am the only one left who is fit enough to get to the summits now, and I fully intend to make the most of my good health.

However I know that it is foolhardy to suddenly start winter walking on the longer routes without building up my stamina levels. It gets bitterly cold at the tops and as such, I know I can’t stop long for a rest so I have started with shorter walks and am slowly building myself up to the big boys again.

The weather has not been kind lately as Im sure you are all aware but it has not stopped me. I started walking the Kilsyth Hills including Meikel Bin and Court Ma Law .. places I had never thought of walking before but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also visited the Whangie for the first time in my life yet I had been aware of its existance for forty years.

This week alone I have been to the top of Kings Seat on the Ochils and Ben Ledi in the Trossachs, both under bitterly cold, full winter conditions. Im almost ready for the longer walks like Ben Vorlich and onto Stuc a Chroin etc.

The weather has not been kind for photography but here are a few from Kings Seat walk.

Ben Ledi was even worse, I was around 500ft from the summit when the cloud came in and it turned into white out conditions. I managed to find the Cross and also the trig point at the top but decided to return the way I had come rather than attempt the descent into the Stank Glen. I have been that way before and know there are some difficulties in a whiteout.

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