Sunday, 24 February 2013

Long Forgotten Memories of the Buachaille

As I started my climb to the top of the Buachaille, I recalled memories of the first time that I climbed it ... well over thirty years ago.

I was in the company of my father who sadly passed away a couple of years back. My elder brother Douglas who has great difficulty walking with damaged knees. My youger brother Alick who suffers from lymes disease and finds walking very difficult. My youngest brother Alistair who emigrated to Australia and also has health problems. I thanked my own god that I am still lucky enough to to climb mountains.

The Buachaille on my first trip to the top. My brother Alick is on the path at the start of the walk.

My father leads the way up the Coire, followed closely by Douglas

Douglas having lunch at the top of the Buachaille was too cold to stop for a second lunch

Looking over the Rannoch Moor from the top. The view has not changed one bit in all those years.

I thought of you all as I made my way up the Coire towards the headwall. I also thought back to the day when a total stranger died slowly and painfully in my arms at the foot of Crowberry Gully. We are all better off than that poor guy, regardless of our own problems.

The accident happened very near this spot. However this photo was on another trip when I was with Douglas and his friend Alistair. It was my first attempt to climb curved ridge. We decided to turn back because of the amount of verglass ice on the ridge.

Its interesting to note the size of the rucksacks we carried in those days. We filled them with heavy objects and sometimes even rocks. We believed that carrying them made us fitter. Modern hill walkers now want the lightest of gear as they believe walking makes them fit. Perhaps its just my imagination..but most modern walkers look fatter rather than fitter ?

On Friday, I wore the same crampons and carried the same ice axe as I did on my first trip. However Im a lot older and fatter than those days, so there were no rocks in my rucksack this time. I felt that carrying 14 stones of my own blubber was going to keep me fit enough :-D


Douglas Wilcox said...

Hi Donald, good to see the old photos. I particularly remember the verglas day. It wasn't good verglas to climb on, it wasn't stuck to the rock properly and if you hit it with an axe or crampons it just shattered off in big dinner plates.I am glad we turned back that day. I am also glad I was working the weekend you went to Crowberry Gully.

I might be wrong but I think the top trip was about 40 years ago not 30.


Donny Wilcox said...

Hi Douglas..yup..I remember the verglas that day and it might be nearer 40 years than 30.. we didn't often turn back ..but when we was for good reason.

I forgot I had these photos..they are old slides..but I managed to scan them..just