The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Doire Ban (NN090643; 566m)

Distance (Bike): 11 miles, 160m ascent
Distance (Foot): 2.3 miles, 420m ascent
Weather: Sunny intervals
Start Point: Bunree Caravan Club Site at Onich

If I had looked out of the window when I awoke at 6 this morning, I likely would have been out the door by 7. As it went, it was after 8 when I came to realise that the sky was blue and the wind wasn't blowing. Checking three weather forecasts, I decided to go with the Met Office's predictions, not just because they were the most favourable, but because they best matched what I could see outside. Suddenly my rest day seemed a foolish notion and Mick was set to the tasks of preparing some elevenses for me and getting my bike out, whilst I quickly got myself and a bag ready. Within half an hour I was cycling up Gleann Righ.

That's where I'm going

My original intention (original as in: from the comfort of my armchair before the trip) had been to tackle both Doire Ban and Beinn na Gucaig from the end of the forest track at the far end of Gleann Righ, and most days I would have struggled to talk myself out of the second hill. Today, however, any hill was a bonus and I didn't want to push my luck with the weather, so I was quite happy just to haul myself up the edge of the forest (a bit rough and really quite wet underfoot), haul myself a not-entirely-sensible route from the top of the forest to the summit, then tootle back down to my bike.


The summit views made the climb entirely worthwhile

Giving the second potential summit just a passing glance...

...my leg was flung back over my bike and back along the glen I went, knowing that at some point I'll likely cycle back up there for that other hill (unless I decide to follow the route taken by most other people who log their routes on hill-bagging.co.uk).

In retrospect, not doing the second hill was the right decision, not because the weather immediately closed in, but because it was so fine (and now blowy) when I got back to the campsite, that I got some laundry washed and pegged out to dry, which is as good a use of the fine weather as another summit would have been.

2 comments:

  1. These hills are taking you to less visited places than Munro bagging which I suspect is becoming ever more popular. The bike is certainly earning its keep. I am envious.

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    1. I can say with some certainty that most of the hills I visit see significantly less footfall than the Munros. The Pap of Glencoe was a bit of an oddity in that respect - not even a Corbett, but so popular that it has a path as eroded as I expect to find on Munros.

      I agree about the bike. I was only thinking today about how worthwhile an investment it was.

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