Too much snow... no really?!

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As every kid, big or little knows, you can't have too much snow. No such thing. Well, ummm, hate to tell you but I did. You see I wanted to go and camp out at Ba cottage or Ba Bridge out on Rannoch Moor. It wouldn't be far from Glencoe ski centre where I could leave the truck overnight, and if all else fails I could walk out in the dark if I didn't like it. Ideal! That was the plan... didn't really go that quite like that because I found the snow was beautifully deep, soft, purest white, and incredibly hard work!

Buachaille Etive Mor

Everything was covered in a fine white blanket which had been dropped at the end of Jan, a good week had passed since then. The weather was beautiful, sun shining, blue sky, and just a slight breeze.

The 'electricity' people were using this little helicopter to buzz the power lines in the more remote and inaccessible areas.

I set off south along the West Highland Way

The going was amazingly tough so I slowed down to stop myself overheating too much in the hot sun. I tried to walk in some ski tracks but at every footstep as I went 'over-centre' my weight would break through the light crust and I would drop 3 or 4 inches with a bump. The middle of the actual path had the deepest snow. I walked on the edge, over the heather, narrowly avoided the ditches, and generally took it really easy; like 4 hours to do 2.2km kind of easy! I seemed to be having a really great day.

The views from the high point, 445metres, were stunning!

Bridge of Orchy hills

Schiehallion in the distance...

Fleming memorial and I think Clach Leathad

Some guys came up the Way from the south as I stood for a breather. They had started at Bridge of Orchy that morning and had bashed through deep snow since leaving the hotel, they were a little moist!

As I continued my journey down into the bowl towards Ba cottage my knee started to get a bit painful. Nothing to get worried about I thought it'll soon lift it's probably just a bit stiff from hanging about a while to have my piece and take photos. And then it really hurt. I yelped out in pain and swore a lot. This didn't feel good. I rubbed my knee some and took a few gingerly steps. About 10 steps later it did it again which made my eyes water. I found I could put weight on it standing still. I could walk uphill okay with a little pain. But downhill, no way. This left me a bit of a dilemma: I feared it might get so stiff and painful overnight that I'd be unable to walk out in the morning. That would be very embarrassing! Or do I scratch the plan and head back for Glencoe Youth Hostel at whatever speed I could muster. The later seemed to be more sensible. I was hugely dissapointed.

The only good thing was I got to see the helicopter take off for another power line survey

Tags: outdoor, scotland, walkabout 2010 Written 04/03/10 

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