We had made an attempt at this camping spot by going over Stob Coire Sgriodan but it took so long to just get the start point at Fersit with much fannying around on the way that by the time we got to that first summit on the route, Beinn na Lap was just too far away to reach with any joy to spare before it got dark with a big descent and reascent and we just couldn’t be arsed with it so we spent the night there. Which was no second prize at all by the way.
I went back a wee while later and looked at it another way, sometimes the long way around is the quickest, or at least possibly the most fun.
It was a long walk but it sticks in my mind vividly. The weather wasn’t great, it was raining some of the time and the clouds sat low and dark, scraping the summits ahead of me, Beinn Eibhinn and Aonach Beag.
Looking back I wasn’t scared as such, but I felt I had to be focused because I was a little bit out of my comfort zone, making new steps towards the many summit camps and solo adventures that would follow.
It was exhilarating.
It had calmed considerably by the time I got to the summit and it was dry now too. I got 360° views and even though I don’t necessarily remember it, I just know I was grinning from ear to ear. I am certainly grinning now thinking back anyway.
I do remember what I had for dinner though, Travellunch Chicken Noodle Hotpot. I had a lot of those back in the day. Would I eat that now? Ha.
I don’t remember the night itself, maybe I slept, I think a night of misery would have left its mark. I do remember a very fine breakfast, I was out of water on the top and had to descend after making a cuppa with the last drops. I sat in the sun on warm rock by the Allt Féith Thuill boiling water scooped from the fast flowing burn.
It was a glorious feeling, feelings indeed.
Apart from all the flowery adjectives I could apply to my state of mind then, it was also very rewarding, I felt I’d earned that moment of bliss, I felt free, light of heart and soul. I suppose that sounds like a hippy thing, it’s a natural high man. But it’s more grounded than that, it was an exchange of joy for effort.
I think that’s partly why exploring the hills especially with overnight stays is a very complete activity, you put effort in and you get something back.
I mean, it’s not always instant gratification of course, sometimes I’ve payed in advance by sitting in a tent or worse in the truck in a layby in the pissing rain waiting for it to stop so I can get out and enjoy even a wee bit of the day.
Then I’ve lucked into more Broken Spectres than I can count because of that, so aye I’ll sit in the rain sometimes.
It’s all about taking the chance I suppose, being willing to take a couple of days and risk it coming to nothing. But it never really does come to nothing, wet and cold misery is a stirring tale to tell, it also leaves a deficit which you burn to make up for next time, that next trip which you plan on the way home as your pile of wet kit steams the windscreen on the long way back down the road.
Taking a chance? Aye, I can do that.