The Wild, Wild West

Oh cool, another Kansas themed title pun.

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This weekend was spent wild camping (hence the title. lol I’m so funny.) between Creag Meagaidh and Aonach Mor in the West of Scotland.

It was a pretty fun weekend, but very cold and snowy.  I got to go on some good walks and see some fantastic views.  The weather this weekend was okay on Saturday, but very windy.  The evenings were pretty chilly and since it was wild camping, the tents weren’t on great ground.  But it was a great experience – if a bit cold.

Friday night we drove out from Edinburgh, luckily the club was able to rent a car so Gregor (EUMC friend) drove.  I called shotgun.  The club stopped in Pitlochry for food as usual and then we carried on north and west.  Once we reached a small shoulder on the road and turned off.  Unloading the bags from the cars and minivan, we set off to find a campsite around ten o’clock..  It was a little boggy Friday night.  We pitched tents quickly using what decent ground we could find and then everyone went to sleep.

Saturday morning, I got up around seven because I was a keen bean who wanted to get moving.  But it was also really cold and I was very unmotivated to get out of my tent.  The day plan for Saturday was to do two summits near Aonach Mor… we quickly had to change that plan.

The first approach was quite good, the view was fantastic.  But the wind picked up as we started the ascent – probably over 40 mph going up.  Everyone linked arms to make our trek a bit more stable.  I was just glad that the visibility was still good, the snow was blowing around by our feet, but we could still see everything in front.  We reached the summit and everyone burrowed down behind a drift to eat a quick lunch and then plan for the rest of the day.  It was decided that it was too windy to carry on and it would be safer to descend and do a different walk for the rest of the day.  The descent was a little bit windier with winds around 60-70 mph.

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Two of the committee members said to think of winds like pints, with 1 pint = 10 mph.  1-3 pints is fine, maybe stop after 4-5, 6-7 is probably too much, and by 8 you’re crawling.  I thought this was a pretty good representation of the day.

For the rest of the day we drove to Glen Nevis and walked to the steel bridge, a steel rope bridge that runs across the river.  A group went off to do a scramble and then I went with the group that was doing a nice calm walk – my knees were not doing too well with the cold.  It was a really gorgeous glen with a fantastic waterfall.  I was so tired from the busy week at Uni that I actually took a nap.

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Everyone met back up and we all went to Fort William to watch the Wales v. Scotland rugby match.  That evening we returned late and I made a quick dinner and went to sleep.

Sunday morning was cold.  A group left early to go climbing, but there was still a number of us at the campsite figuring out a route for the day.  But, no one wanted to leave their tents because it was, really, really, cold.

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Finally it was decided that we would drive to an area by Loch Rannoch and do a nice, calm route there.  It was a very gorgeous day despite being cold in the morning.  I could see for miles.  It actually warmed up a bit and the visibility lasted until we were nearly back to the cars.  My walking group got back early and so we packed up and waited for the climbing group to return.

Everyone packed up quickly and then we were on our way back to Edinburgh.  All in all it was a pretty fun weekend with some great vistas.

This week starts Innovative Learning Week, and I will be staying around in Edinburgh.  I am taking a Forensic Anthropology class on Wednesday where I will learn how to clean and 3D model bones.  Should be pretty humerous.  Some mountaineering friends and I want to plan a day to go to Stirling Castle and Walk the Moon (aka my favourite band in the world)  is here on Friday, but don’t know if I’ll be able to go because they’re American and not too many people here know them. 😦

But, as for now, I am just finishing my laundry from the weekend and airing out my tent in the pantry.  It’s quite a sight.

Until next time!

2 thoughts on “The Wild, Wild West

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