Tuesday, June 20, 2017

181, 182. Beinn a'Chleibh (281), Beinn Laoigh (28) 31/05/2017.

After being in danger of spending a week in Scotland without climbing a hill, I was pleased to be able to find a day of cracking weather and a willing companion to take Elodie up her first Munro (and her second too).

Hilde and Hamish were off to the Scottish Sealife Centre and practicalities would be simpler if we were down off the hill in 5 hours so they could pick us up again on the return journey, so we didn't dawdle (or kept it to a minimum at least - a small amount of dawdling is inevitable with a baby).

Hamish had been very happy in the backpack at a similar age for up to 4 hours at a time, but there was no telling whether his sister would be similar. It turned out if anything she enjoyed it more, keeping very quiet for most of the walk (a mixture of absorbing the scenery and taking naps after all her hard work) and there was barely a whinge until the last 20 minutes or so.

This walk starts with a fairly interesting river crossing - I mean it's relatively easy without a baby on your back, but boots off wading followed by limboing under a 4 foot high bridge under the railway kept me on my toes (although not literally). After that there was a slightly damp walk through the forest, although it was by no means bad and then a good path up the corrie to the bealach between the two peaks. We could have gone to either peak first, but chose Ben a'Chleibh to break up the ascent slightly. Only just a Munro, but with great views of its neighbour and beyond, Chris and I couldn't quite understand when we later found it had been ranked one of the least popular in Scotland.

The walk along the ridge and up the additional 200m to Ben Laoigh was pleasant in the afternoon sunshine and conditions were very good underfoot. We were back in time to meet our lift back down south. Apart from a few stops for milk and pureed fruit (all for Elodie), the backpack didn't slow us much, but with 1100m of ascent I think this was the most I'd done carrying a child, so I felt it in my legs the next day!

 Chris congratulating Elodie on her first Munro

 Ben Laoigh, somewhat higher than Beinn a'Chleibh

Elodie admires the steep drops between naps 

Rambling back to the bealach


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