Monday 29 May - Sunday 4 June
Everything begins according to plan as Charles scales Ben More before returning to the car park. Cycling then to Salen, before taking the A849 to Ferry Point, he then prepares for the swim crossing. A tough but rewarding achievement, Charles swims across to Roadend/Pier where he mounts his bike to meet up with his next three Munros. However with the time at 6pm and having started at 4.15am, means he has been out for over 14 hours!
Common sense means Charles will climb Sgurrnan Coireachan, Sgurr Thuilm and Gulvair at another time during the challenge. Charles will now have to cycle to his starting point for day two in the morning, at Loch Treig Dam. He resides at Lochy Caravan Park, near Fersit.
A very mixed day with clear sunny periods, followed by a gradual strengthening wind bringing across heavy showers, hail, sleet and snow. This resulted in very slippery conditions for Charles, especially on the Aonachs and Ben Nevis.
Starting his cycle at 6am, he cycles the 10-12 miles to Loch Treig Dam despite a cold, strong wind Charles dismounts and prepares to climb the next set of Munros. Starting with Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin, Stob Coire Easain, Stob Ban, Stob Choire 'Claurigh, Stob Coire an Larigh, Sgurr Chainnich Mor..turning up to face north west, and Aonach Beag, Aonach Mor before returning to Col.
He then scales Carn Mor Dearg, following the ridge up to Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain.
It is another incredibly long day, finishing at 9pm approximately. Charles will take residence via Glen Nevis Youth Hostel at grid reference 128 717, where this will be an overnight stop.
He resumes from here in the morning.
A day of sunny spells and showers made sure the ascent of the Mamores would be a pleasant one, with the rain cooling down. It was mostly clear once upon the summits of the Mamores although towards the end of the day, the weather surely closed in, with very cool temperatures and more persistent rain, especially during the cycle along the A82 towards Glencoe Village.
A slightly later start for Charles today, probably due to the previous two days hard work, so he started at 9am. Starting from the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel he cycled up the Nevis Road to Achriabhach climbing Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban, Sgurr a Mhain (Sgurr an Iabhair), Am Bodach, Stob Coire a Chairn, An Gearanach, Na Gruagaichean, Banein Mor, Binnein Beag, and Sgurr Eilde Mor.
He then descended via the road at Kinlochleven. By now of course the weather is closing in as it always does in Glencoe. But there is still a 10 mile cycle from Kinlochleven to Glencoe Village then via the car park. Charles completed his climbs at 8.40pm and finished his cycle soon after that around 9.30pm..
Charles will spend the night at Ballachullish. (084585).
Finally, Charles would like to thank Donald Smith for his support
One of the bigger climbs in the challenge. Over 14,000 feet of climbing in total, including a 17 mile cycle at then end finishing by Loch Achtriochtan.
Heavy rain continued, bringing the cloud base down dramatically, enough to again hamper any chance of a clean sweep of the day's climbs. Only three Munros were negotiated with the help of fellow Westerlands runner and friend, Mark Rigby.
Worse was to come when Charles started complaining of severe pain around the outside of his left ankle. If anything, a problem at this stage will not only slow him down, but there is also the risk of long term injury after seeing the local consultant.
His day's achievement included Sgorr Dhearg, Sgorr Dhonuill, and Ben Sgulaird. The remaining munros including Ben Fionnlaidh Sgor nah-Ulaidh, Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach would not be attempted due to the driving rain and ground conditions.
Runner and friend of Charles, Mark Rigby described the conditions:
I arrived at Glencoe on Wednesday long before he came off the hill in
Kinlochleven another long day for him, but no matter, that's his schedule and he's happy in a 12 -hours out routine. Very heavy rain late evening and overnight and all day yesterday. I've never experienced such in June (except last year for the West Highland Way race!!
Progress was steady for the first 2 hills, but we got wet on the bikes and needed a long drying out before contemplating the last 5 hills. these were very slow in the driving rain, and after being lucky to cross a river just above a no-go raging torrent section we decided not to embark on Ben Fionnlaidh (very steep crags up into the mist with waterfalls cascading all along them).
Charlie will have restarted from there this morning (much better weather!) and do his outstanding 4 hills plus perhaps the Aonach Eagach He's in good spirits and his mum and sister are more worried about his ankle than he is! What a guy !
It has therefore been decided that Charles should use today as a rest day, allowing any swelling in his left ankle to reduce significantly enough for him to continue tomorrow.
Various X-Rays indicate that he is suffering from Tendon trouble on his right ankle. Today was spent resting and eating plenty of Carbohydrates for the next morning.
Remaining munros from Thursday were completed and included Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Sgor nah-Ulaidh, Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach finishing by Loch Achtriochtan.
Friday's suspended schedule will be attempted including the notorious Aonach Eagach Ridge. See Munro Count for update. Full report on Monday. Big thanks to Steve Mcloone and Gillian Irvine for their help and support at the weekend.
Charles has still lost 2-3 days due to injury and weather. Lets hope he can improve in the second week pending injury and the typical Scottish Weather!!
Sgorr nam Fiannaidh, Meall Dearg, Stob Coire Raineach, Stob Dubh, Stob na Broige and Stob Dearg all being completed for today.
Go To Week 2