Tag Archives: munro

Crosstraining for my “O”

The Osmotherly 26.2 trail marathon seems to have grown!  The race is 28-29 miles with at least 4000ft of climb but not more than 5500ft not sure if I should ask for entry fee back as it clearly isn’t as billed of course I am getting an extra two miles for my cash so what’s to moan about!

With the above in mind I travelled north first to Glenfinnan then onward to Ullapool to get some hills in.

I biked into Gulvain a munro between Fort William and Glenfinnan and hiked up and down and biked back out.  It was a terrible day and rained from leaving the car until I got back.  The ground underfoot was also treacherous as it had obviously been acting like a sponge for the last rainfalls.

Totals Bike 9.1 miles 930 feet climb.

Hike 5.2 miles 3,527 feet climb.

After a quick dry and change I set off to Ullapool to meet up with members of the Glenrothes hillwalking club to tackle more munros.

On Saturday 23rd Sept 4 of us set off from Ullapool to climb three of the Fannich group of hills: Meall A Chrasgaidh, Sgurr Nan Clach Geala and Sgurr Nan Each.  Three peaks on a bright clear day with views to die for.  A bit windy on the top but well worth it.

Totals: Hike 12.1 miles with 3,556 ft of climb.


Sunday the 24th dawned dull and grey threatening rain we headed back out to the same start point to do another two Fannichs on the opposite side of the glen:A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac.  Grey day with low cloud and virtuall no views all day as we descended after bagging the peaks he cloud disappeared and the view opened out.

Totals:10.7 miles with 3,884 climb.




Northern munros road trip. 

The four most northerly munros can, with a wee bit planning and some resolve be done in one 3 or four day road trip.  So planning done and resolve packed I headed up the A9 on Sunday 30th April on our way to the first Munro on the list, Ben Klibreck.  I was travelling with a friend, Graham, our plan was to leave Kirkcaldy 0600 eat on way up and climb Ben Klibreck then head for the Altnahara Hotel and meet the other two in our party at the bar! 

We left Kirkcaldy at 0610 made good time North and stopped at Aviemore for a bacon roll and a cuppa in Cobbs.  The drive to Ben Klibreck is just over 200miles and as you get closer to the hill the roads get narrower, traffic gets less and it becomes a drivers nightmare and a passengers dream.  Miles of nothing but loads of views.

We arrived at the designated parking spot and set off across a footbridge and onto a well defined path.  The path did not last very long and soon we were trying to follow faint trails through bog and peat hags.  The weather was great with blue skies and sunshine to cheer us up.  As we climbed SE up the grassy slopes of Ben Klibreck we began to follow an excellent path which seemed to contour around the hillside.  This led us to the ridge and the final climb to the summit. 


Time taken was approx 6 hours with 2600 ft of climb.  Our home for the first two nights of the trip was the Altnahara hotel and as we picked our way down the slope I had a text to let us know that our other two friends were in the bar waiting to order food and could we get a move on!!

The next day our choice of Munro was Ben Hope at a little over 4 miles with 3000ft of climb this turned out to be a stiff proposition and there was more than one expletive aired on the way up the steep bouldery slope.  There was no mistaking where the start point was with a large sign proclaiming Ben Hope car Park!  It was at the end of a lovely strath and there was already 4 vehicles there when we arrived.   We headed up the well trodden path which morphed into a myriad of intertwining pathways all heading up.  The views from the top of the hill were amazing and I am sure if the haze had not been there we would have seen the Orkney Isles.

Coming down from the summit Ian managed to bend his walking pole on the stony ground.

We headed back to Altnahra 4 happy but weary walkers.  However there was mutiny afoot and by the end of the evening I was the only one headed to Conival and the Ben More Assynt the following day to finish off the quartet of northern munros.

Graham gave me a lift to the start point at Inchnadamph and he set off on a low level walk to while away some time whilst I bagged the final two munros.

Leaving the Inchnadamph hotel car park you cross the bridge and follow the path towards the traligill caves.  You then take the left fork and head for the beallach between Beinn an Fhurain and Conival.  This is marked by a small stone cairn.  Up to this point the going has been fairly easy but from now until you are back to this point on the return leg the going is harder with large stones and boulders underfoot.

I was on my own today the others deciding against this longer day and whilst the going was good decided to speed up.    The cloud was blowing in and out over Ben More and the view of the ridge from Conival when the cloud lifted was spectacular.   The hill was busy as had been indicated by the other vehicles in the car park but walkers were fairly well spread out along the route.  I reached the summit of Ben More and did not tarry as the summit was covered in cloud and a strong wind was blowing.  

I followed the same route back and once again when I reached the easier going started to increase the pace.  I had been dropped off and arranged a pick up at the hotel.  With time to spare I visited the caves a 10 minute detour well worth the extra K or so.

A great trip which took my Munro count up to 232.

Hills, hills and more hills

Friday morning with the bike and rucksack loaded into Brian Robertsons car I was heading for Braemar and my final two munroes in that area.  This was our second attempt at those two as last year during a Glenrothes Hillwalking club weekend we had been defeated by high water at one of the stream crossings.  Not the case this time however and the bike from Linn of Dee to Geldie lodge was done without any problems.  

We left the bikes by the bank of the river and headed for the ruin that was Geldie lodge and picked up the stalkers path at the rear of the ruin.  This is an excellent path and took us to the base of Carn an Fhidhleir our first Munro of the day.

We descended eastwards towards An Sgarsoch and dropped about 300m into a boggy stretch of land before starting the long pull up our second Munro. Views from the summits of both the hills were excellent and the forecasted showers had not put in an appearance.  

We headed north from the summit and picked up the stalkers path again and were soon back on the bikes heading to the car.  About 2 miles out the heavens opened and we were absolutely soaked.
Saturday saw me line up for the Largo Law hill race.  A local run of 10k with almost 800ft of climb.  A good race and once a favourite of mine but this was the first time I had done the new course.  The race started in good weather, in fact almost too hot there was a cooling shower but not long enough to help reduce core temps which were rising as the race progressed.  I felt surprisingly good as I had not been in the hills recently my unofficial time was 1:05:55 and as yet I have not got the official time.

Bike and Hike Munro No 194

Thursday 4th September.

An early rise this morning, loaded the car with 29er, maps, food and rucksack and set off for Braemar.  I was headed for a munro called Ben Avon in the Cairngorms and accessed from the walkers car park at Keilloch (£2.50 per day all funds to improvement of the car park).  The plan was to mountain bike as far as I could and then walk the rest.

I had tried this mountain previously and been snowed off so I was sure of most of the way and made good time on the 29er, it rolled over boulders and drainage ditches.  I biked along the trails which were in good condition and easy to follow. I left the bike after about 7.5 miles and 1000ft of climbing.  I left the bike near the Sneck and a good 2 miles further on than the last time, and started up the path towards the summit. 6.8 miles 2h 30mins and 1700 ft.  I had not met anyone all day probably due to a lateish start but when I got to the summit there were 5 other walkers having a break.  I sat and had some food then scrambled up to the summit top and started down towards my bike again.  The weather had been dull but dry but it didnt last and the rain came on just as I was leaving the summit it lasted till I reached the valley floor.

Needless to say the ride back was a loDSCF2027 DSCF2026 DSCF2025 DSCF2023 DSCF2021 DSCF2020t quicker that the ride in almost 40 mins in fact!.



Hardest hill climbs in Fife?


Monday 28th April, I have been on holiday for four weeks now during that time I have done a fair bit of traveling, albeit all in the UK and managed to keep my training ticking over.  I have done one race and climbed 3 munros, but every holiday has to end!

This week will see a marked increase in both running and biking training.  It is only 47 days to the Caen marathon and although I do not intend going for any sort of time I had best get some long runs in and some speed sessions just to give the legs a shake up.  Also looming on the horizon, 138 days, is the Mont Ventoux challenge hence my ride today up two of Fifes “best” climbs.


30.7 miles 2:25:56 2,450 ft of climbing up Purrin den and Craigmead from Falkland.  AHR 125 MAX 158 Av spd 12.5 mph Av Cad 61.

A great ride with the objective being to get as much hill time in as I could.


Highland weekend

Friday 18th:  An early start today.  Drove up to Tulloch near Spean Bridge and met 3 friends from the Glenrothes Hillwalkers club.  We managed to deposit our bags in the hostel and drove down the road to a small hamlet called Fersit.

Fersit is the normal jump off point for two munros known as the Easains both mountains are 3600+ feet.  The forecast for the whole weekend was amazing and we set off under blue skies and no wind.  Having made a group decision to leave our crampons and ice axes in the car off we went.  Th lower slopes were steep but dry and good walking.  However we soon hit the snowline and thats when our difficulties began.  We were able to walk in the snow by kicking in and taking our time.  It was well worth it though as the views in all directions were absolutely amazing!


Avoiding the cornice you can see in the picture we made it to the summit and had some lunch whilst enjoying the jawdropping views.  We headed back down the hills towards the car and back to Tulloch hostel for a well deserved evening meal.

Sat 19th: The plan today was to tick off Carn Mor Dearg this is a munro which is behind Ben Nevis.  We walked in on the Tourist path, three of us today all eager to get off the path and head around the lochan and into Allt a’Mhuilinn and the CiC hut.  Today armed with crampons and ice axes we were better prepared and made much better time up the snow covered slope.  A tough slog with an occassional rest to watch other  walkers, boarders, skiers and climbers all out on another glorious day.  Once more we lunched at the cairn on top of the 4000ft mountain with a search and rescue chopper providing some speculation on its purpose.  Having lunched we decided rather than go around the Arete we would just head down the slopes and back to the car via a refreshing pint!


Sunday 20th: A swift breakfast, bags in the car and head to Glen Nevis for a wee run.  Unfortunately it was wee’er than planned as I felt my right knee begin to go on the rocky terrain.  I did manage to reach Steall falls which were in full flow.  So not a total waste of time.

All in all a great weekend  never managed to get ant MTB’ing done due to evening meal times but the main objective of the weekend was met the bagging of 3 munros!

Viewing, running and biking in Fife

Monday 14th:  Short easy run today which included a visit to the local council run pool and sports facility.  Having retired I can no longer use my (ex) employers gym!  I have looked at 3 local gyms and as usual its not a clear cut decision.  However I think I will opt for a privately run gym called The Priory.  I will think about it for a few more weeks and enrol for a trial period in May.  Lets get back to the run! 4.75 miles in 42:59 it was a great day to be out and the views across the Forth were amazing. Not warm enough for shorts and a tee but nearly. Yoga started back tonight and to say I was stiff is an understatement even with increased stretching before and after almost every session!

Tuesday 15th: Another bright sunny day today.  An earlyish start for me this morning as I am meeting Maureen from Glenrothes tri club for a cycle.  I have a viewing at 14:30 so slightly constrained but that shouldnt be a problem, as it turned out it was as I wasnt back till 13:50!  We headed east along the coast road and then inland as the traffic built up.  Maureen wanted to try out some new routes so I took her inland on quiet almost single track roads.  Fife is a land rich in agriculture and the fields were spread out below as we paralled the Silvery Tay.

We completed 43 miles in 3:41:14 an av of 11.7 on a hily route and into some winds!  No climbing data available.

It was then onto my viewing part of the Plan B from my last post.  A flat I had seen before but wanted to look at again.  Roll on tomorrow when I will find out about my bid on Christie Place.


Weds 16th:  Today Muff and I are going to be tourists and Tram spotters!  If you live in Scotland you must know about the debacle that is the Edinburgh Trams.  Now complete they are doing “live” tests on the trax, of the trams-or so we heard. So we donned our boots and pith helmets and went exploring.  Before we even entered the city evidence could be seen of the fabled transport system!  Indeed trams were travelling along Princess St generally unhindered and in pairs!!

We bought tickets for the open top bus tour and for the Camera Obscura on the Royal Mile.  The tour was a bit dry and the commentary was recorded and not given by a person however the Camera Obscura was a great place to visit.  If you stay in or near a city I would recommend having a tourist day so you can see yourselves “as ithers see ye”  Inbetween the bus tour and CO we managed to grab some food and visit the shops which left a considerably larger hole in my wallet than planned!!No training today but we did put in some miles walking around Edinburgh, which is built on 7 hills!

Thursday 17th: Plan B it is.  Heard today that I had not won the flat I bid for.  Could be a cloud with a silver lining as it did need a lot of work.  Plan B-Make an offer on a flat I have now seen 3 times!

I had planned on getting out on the bike today but have to stay in to take delivery of two courier parcels and one mail parcel. I also have to go to the mail depot and collect one which they tried to deliver yesterday.  The time wont be wasted as I need to get packed for a weekend of munro bashing, hopefully knock off 3 or 4, mountain biking and trail running.