Kinlochleven, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

You’re better not planning. I never plan. Plans mean you have your eggs in a time basket, fine if you have a good luck gingham blanket to throw over it, but invariably if you say “I’m going to camp on Octember the 37th” then the weather comes along, cocks a leg at your basket and pisses on your eggs.
There is no joy in that.
But stagger the personnel with various activities over a few days and the weather doesn’t know whether to cough , sneeze or put the cat out. The point is, some joy will slip through the cracks unnoticed.

This weekend just passed was just such an occasion. The Friday night wild camping team of Beth, Gordy and Sandy took an early gold medal as witnessed here. Kate walked the West Highland Way from Glen Coe over to Kinlochleven at the same time, you see what happened? The weather was rushing from place to the other trying to screw it up for the folks but just snagged it’s cardigan on the door handle, got all upset as that cardigan had been a Chrismas present and missed it’s chance.

However, with eveyone marshalling at the Ice Factor for Kate’s innaugural Munro ascent, it had time to lace it’s boots and stomp on us hard.
The wild campers returned to the Ice Factor on Saturday in the pissing wet, descending out of the hill fog into a swarm of midges so vicious they would swing off an eyelash just so they could spit in your eye on their way to sink their teeth into you.
I arrived last, Scott drove up earlier, Matt and Elaine went for a morning bimble and returned, Cath, Elaina and Steve had been on the climbing wall and were now already well into the sitting down/cuppas and cake by the time I was ordering more cuppas and macaroni cheese and chips at the counter.

That was us for the day. There was much joy there though, catching up with friends old and new, we played with gear, the Big Agnes Clearview sleep mat had it’s toughest test yet and passed as you can see below.

Watching a father and daughter team on the ariel assault course out the back of the Ice Factor caused no end of excitement, there were accusations of abandonment, cries of joy and spontaneous applause for the youngster when she came back in rosy cheeked and white knuckled. I feel for dad when they go home as we’ve supplied the soundtrack to the camcorder footage which mum shot right standing right next to us. “He’s trying to save himself some expense this Christmas here…”

Some went home, some stayed, and on the Sunday Kate got her first Munro’s stood upon, Na Gruagaichean and Stob Coire a’ Chairn. The weather had apparently tried to sit on the fence and had fallen between two stools, letting them get out and up there before it stood backup again. Well done I say.

Plans? Plans are for D-Day and building a dinghy. I’ll go back to normal and switch off my targetting computer, that catches out the weather every time.

12 thoughts on “Kinlochleven, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat”

  1. What, pozyfrondonerrie!! I have been waiting to read a bit about that! Excellent, I wait with baited breath. Write the secret stuff there, go on!

  2. I published an intent to be out at the weekend and then we get the heaviest rain I’ve seen for years. Makes you think.

    Secrecy and snap-decisions are the key.

  3. T’was a great walk up on the Fri afternoon, the company was great and the scenery was stunning. Very clear and golden sunlight on the hills in the evening, makes for some wonderful memories. My photies are up on OM.

    It was def a bit of “Indoors Magic” at the Ice factor ;o) I must remember to buy Scott a pint on the next meet, that was the best tasting cuppa and kitkat I’ve had for a long while! Its great to finally be able to put faces to everyone.

    Oh Yeah, Petesy guess which OM sack I’ve just ordered? Up for a wee bimble on the Kilpatricks when it arrives?


  4. Who2, it’ll be secrets overload by the end of the week, I’m away to a trade do in Kendal tomorrow :o) (At which I shall be taking notes and photies btw)

    Kev, it’s true. You have to sneak on the weather. It hates having get off its chair midweek and spoil your fun as well as at the weekend. We should move the weekend to Wed/Thu and not tell it.

    Bigbananana, heading to your photies right now. Give me a shout when the sack shows and I’ll give Elaina a heads-up as well. We can watch the sun set over the Cowal Peninsula and then fall on our faces in the mud on the way back down in the dark :o)

  5. Aye Knodart was teasingly dry on the Friday night when we got there, only to wake up with the rain bouncing of my Big Agnes triple wire bivvy (why triple wire when it only has two poles ????).
    After floundering about on the South side of Loch Quoich and testing e-vent to its limit we decided to head for the sanctuary of the ice factor bar and campsite.
    The midges were a tad annoying to say the least ! as was having to pay a fiver for my wee bivvy bag !
    At least it brightened up a wee bit on Sunday afternoon !
    Say no to planning !

  6. Bobinson, I think I saw your bivy on the campsite :o)

    I was gonna come over and ask what it was on the Sun Morning but breakfast was being served in the Ice Factor.

    Mine was the Red Laser Comp with luminous yellow guys, Gordy was in the Akto next to me.

  7. Yeah the funniest thing was we all paid together and left one of the young chaps to put the tickets on the tents, mine said that I had 3 people in it !
    Now theres a challenge three people in a Big Agnes Triple Wire Bivvy !

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