Onto climbing mountains then, I spent last weekend on the Western Scottish coast with a friend doing a bit of trekking and mountaineering. I thought this would be a great way to finish my training block before my “week off” and great preparation for tackling Everest.
After arriving in Fort William Friday afternoon and putting my feet up while overlooking Lochaber, Saturday morning we headed over to nearby Glencoe to tackle one of the numerous snowy peaks. The air was fresh and crisp, with the sun shining down while we kitted ourselves up with boots, packs, ice axes, and crampons. After a few hours of trekking on a constant incline we reached the beginning of the snow, a quick bite to eat then headed up into a gully to start climbing one of the many buttresses which hanged off the peak. After harnessing up, and attaching our ropes, off we set climbing with ice axes and crampons to help navigate up and around the snow, ice, and rock obstacles. Just shy of the peak (with the cloudy afternoon weather coming over) it was time to traverse off the side and into the gully, which was a rough 50 degree slope of knee deep soft snow. We all headed on back down the mountain taking in the breath taking views of the valley from which we originated from. After 9 1/2 hours of trekking and climbing (and a couple done in darkness with head torches) we arrived back at our car and headed to a famous mountaineers pub for a well deserved Scottish Ale.
Sunday decided to throw 50 km/h gusts of winds, some rain, and weather which is not conducive to being a top a mountain. I instead opted for a trek up into the hills surrounding Fort William, after 90 minutes I reached a lookout on Cox’s Hill which revealed the most amazing views.
In typical LTTA fashion, I thought it would be a good idea (and training for my Everest Ultra race) to run back down to Fort William, fully loaded up with trekking backpack, shoes, and trousers. After 4 kms of constant downhill running I made it back to the village, a nice and easy 2 hour trek to start the day for this adventurer. Arriving back at the hotel, a quick bite to eat then with my mate Nic, we headed out for a 2 1/2 walk along the Loch. With my day done, and a hot shower (with a few 10 second cold contrasts for recovery), it was time to put my feet up for the rest of the afternoon. I felt 25 kms of trekking, running, and walking was definitely enough after 9 1/2 hours of climbing the previous day, Scotland done!
Its an extremely exciting time for LTTA right now, with several other projects in the pipeline, and other adventures to plan. I will continue to keep you all updated with my training and the specifics of my Nepal trip over the coming weeks, until then, Get Out There and go have an adventure!
The Adventure, The Travel, The Challenge!