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]

Tuesday 21 October 2008

Side Trip - Ben Lui (nearly)

I was trying to write a proper account of today's rather interesting outing, but I can't do chatting and coherent writing at the same time (and chatting is prevailing tonight), so here's the outline of our day:

With a day at our disposal we thought that we'd pop up Ben Lui, so off we set in fine weather (bar the odd passing hail storm).

The tops were clear, and rather snow capped. Had that appeared overnight or was it just that we couldn't see any tops yesterday afternoon?

We made it to 500 feet below the summit, having good fun in the snow, and all was going well. Then, in the blink of an eye the sky went from fine to remarkably grey and within minutes we were in a blizzard.

We pressed on for a few minutes, hoping that it would blow through. It didn't. Visibility was awful and snow was settling fast.

We reassured ourselves that discretion is the better part of valour, and that the hills will still be there another day, and all those platitudes that one uses to make oneself feel better when not achieving one's goal for the day.

We turned back and when the snow was still falling violently twenty minutes later we could have no doubt that we had made the right decision.

Ariving back at the hostel it was filling up with walkers and after a trip into the village we got back to see someone waving to us from reception.

Duncan had arrived in our absence.

And so this evening has seen much chatting.

Anyone who has been following Duncan's progress (over at may have noticed that it's gone a bit quiet today. He's having a few technical issues with his phone (battery dead and refusing to recharge from his charging gadget).

We won't be walking with Duncan tomorrow. He's opting to stay in Tyndrum an extra day. Then he's going to journey on up to Fort William, but not on foot. Who can blame him? The weather really is dreadful and he's got nothing to prove. He's done this walk 1.5 times and this is not a good time to make it 2.

Others in the hostel tonight are following his lead.

As for us, we'll continue tomorrow, but with jump-off points over the next couple of days noted.


  1. Good luck to you two and Duncan!!!

    Three of us did WHW exactly a year ago this week - you folks are definitely having the worst of the weather.

    Thanks for the daily updates; it is making compelling reading!


    PS Bridge of Orchy Hotel and Bunkhouse a v good spot ahead of you!!!

  2. Well done! Ben Lui is a fine hill - congratulations on giving it a bash - and I'm sure you were right to turn around when you did. The point is, you tried - shame you didn't (I assume) get a view - unlike Chris Townsend on Ben Lomond - look at his blog when you have time.
    And quite right not to wimp out at this stage - the rest of your walk shouldn't be too difficult...does the WHW have any difficult bits?
    Have fun.

  3. Very entralling blog. And Duncan's not been having a good time of it.

    You've got some good stuff still to do - Rannock Moor is moody in this weather.

    I did the WHW last September and only only had one bad day - crossing Rannock of course!

  4. Heckle, heckle, wimps, Yukon, heckle.

    Does that make you feel better?

    Duncan ... oh, booger, wasn't this supposed to be anonymous?