The Future is Orange

I’ve had a notion for a walk for a wee while and it’s something a little different for me, Fort William to Morar.
It looks like it could be a couple of nights of camping after getting the train up and starting walking from there. There’s a good bit of Great Glen Way towpath to get me to tail of Loch Arkaig, then quite a bit of singletrack road or rough hillside to get me to where I really want to go at the head of the loch; Glen Pean.
I’ve long wanted to walk through the glen, feel the history and savour the emptiness. It’s wild and remote and looking at the map just makes me grin. Leaving the glen isn’t the end, it means a walk along the whole length of Loch Morar to either Morar or Arisaig and hopefully a train home.
I think it’s partly that these days I’m wanting to see the bits in the middle that I’ve been driving past or looking down on from a Munro all these years.

But, as I was writing this, I got an email though, and it’s my commissions through from Trail for my routes for the next year. I don’t really talk about my Trail stuff much, but I’m always in there, there’s my Routes, Used & Abused reviews and I’ve always got other bits and pieces scattered about. I’ve got a great piece lined up for the lightweight issue later in the year that’ll see me in the Cairngorms, and then there’s these new routes.
I am grinning from ear to ear right now as I read through my schedule and see that I’m revisiting old friends and tramping familiar trails, and visiting places in Scotland I’ve never even seen with my own eyes.
I’ll be sleeping in caves, peering down on fjord-like loch, putting my feet up by the fire after climbing my last unvisited peak in one of my favourite areas, repeating the first ever Munro ascent, standing on the first hill where I saw a cloud inversion (with waist length hair!), looking for an airframe in the heather, biking into a remote peak or two, bagging some tops before they lock the gate, losing myself in the Assynt wilderness and more besides.
I am overjoyed. Sometimes I need a nudge to get me moving and this has me falling out of my chair.

My Glen Pean walk will be in there, so will some other stuff I’m sure if I’ve got time.
I’ve said this many times, but Scotland really is awfy big for such a wee country.

25 thoughts on “The Future is Orange

  1. Ach, Morar is excellent – I backpacked from Mallaig through into Knoydart and out to the Cluanie Inn many years ago, marvellous stuff.

    Funny, on the latest ski trip one chap was saying how he always wants the opportunity to ascend peaks. Now I certainly don’t mind climbing up stuff, but I was thinking that more and more for me it’s about the journey, the travelling through, reaching the pass and seeing what’s on the other side, or beyond the lake, or just around the corner…

    “but Scotland really is awfy big for such a wee country” – true enough, and Norway is like Scotland magnified another 50% :)

  2. A lady I shared the dorm with at Glencoe was walking the high passes as the summits were getting a bit much for her – she was of the retired age (not that I’m sayin you’re old Matt :)

    Which is kind of the same here. I missed out as a kid, when I was young and fit, this kind of stuff so one part of me wants to hit the summits and the other is saying ‘think of the knees getting down again dear!’. But summits is where its at this year, its in The Plan.

  3. Last year I has some cracking trips up North, and the moments that come back to me most are the walk-ins and outs, the trek into Lurg Mhor and the walk out of Glen Affric.
    I stil love the tops, especially with a sunset and a cuppa, but as time goes by I just like being there and watching the scenery pass me by.
    I’m really lookong forward to climbing onto some new summits in the coming months, and conversly the moment where Phil and I looked at each other on Creag Meagaidh’s plateau a few weeks back and said “I can’t be arsed going to the summit”, “Nah, neither can I” was kinda funny and oddly reassuring at the same time :o)

  4. Aye the journey and banter is the most important !
    Inversions, sunsets/rises and views from the tops are a bonus that pushes the banter to another level.
    Here is to further adventures in 2010 !
    No biking ones soon as I broke it today !

  5. Seriously?
    Well, you do have all the tools to fix it now.

    I have two possible hike-a-bikes lined up, one’s more of a hike-a-bike-a-camp probably.

    We’ll do lunch and I shall explain!

  6. Free friday Pm I think !
    Next week a weee bit better at the moment
    Yes lost a securing pin for the back pivot on the rear suspension !
    It has been on the trailer for the past 3 days so prob that !

  7. Aye ten grand in my budget that I made and they wont let me put an order to montane !
    Should be the prats that that made the wrong decissions taking the pay cuts not the pawns !
    Rant over !
    I need the hills !

  8. Tell me about it !
    Got to go and stay in a top end hotel overlooking the birthplace og golf this weekend !
    Thank god the weather is pish !
    I really want to pitch that tent again in front of a witness so that I am not wrong !

  9. Oh my..this is how I get into trouble. I’d be at the junction of Glens Dessarry and Pean thinking Left or Right? Probably would go right just for Loch Nevis, I love that place – proverbial slice of heaven. Mind you, Morar! Aw, it’s tough.

  10. Yip – The biggest buzz for me is standing at the top of a hill and gazing at some inaccessible high lochan well off the Munro routes and thinking ‘I fancy getting a tent in there’; then spending a few evenings poring over the maps looking for an elegant route that will ‘go’; waiting for the right weekend; and then doing it with a mate or two.

    There is a right feeling of serenity when you are sitting outside the tent, with a brew, looking back at the hill that you first saw the campsite from.

    That’s what it is all about for me.

    In contrast, I’ve only got a handful of Munros left, but I’ve only had a handful of Munros left for a few years now. That (bagging) buzz seems to have left the building for now.

  11. And thinking about Glen Dessary and high lochan, there is a cracking campsite at the lochan below Sgurr nan Coireachan – flat and grassy with fantastic views accross to the south and south east.

    Bit of a rough climb to get up there, but well worth it (not that you currently need any more options)

  12. Gable, that is a dilemma right there. It’s a wonderful corner of the world that.
    That’s the danger of looking at maps though, one idea multiplies into many trips.

    I can understand that completely David. Camping, with it’s slower pace, added scope for possibilities and all the little extras it brings like dusk and dawn, has taken over as #1 for me these days. Sometimes I do find it hard to motivate myself for a daywalk where I have to do a lot of driving, especially if the weather isn’t very nice. I love my local stuff, and I’m including Arrochar in that, but I’ve climbed just about everything within reasonable driving distance, so something new has to be an overnighter, and that has turned out to be a good thing!

  13. There is just so much that I get out of my outdoor time, whether it be high or low level, just walking or taking the tent. Reading of others adventures gets the wee brain wheels going round of how I could get my own take on it.

    Then there’s my random selection methods of flicking through the Munro & Corbett books and reading about a route, looking at my map and deciding what way I’d do it – always fun

    Looking forward to seeing what adventures you have planned :-)

  14. See, it’s a hobby that can’t be defined, there’s as much or as little to it as you want to put into or take out.
    I think that’s part of the longevity of it, like playing music, it’s always there and always new.
    Magic.

  15. It’s true, it really is an indescribable hobby (I’ve tried and failed to describe it often enough!) Hard to explain someone why you’d be checking your kit and looking at train times on a Thursday night when the Friday forecast is for rain!

  16. LAMM 2008 Glenfinnan – took in Glen Pean with mid-camp at the head of Loch Archaig. Magical weekend I’ll never forget.
    http://www.lamm.co.uk/galleries/lamm/gallery.php?cat_id=39

    You really need to think about doing a LAMM. Its an incredible way to see the hills AND glens, as its all about the quickest route point to point, which often means staying lower than you would normally. Although the best route usually takes in a couple of Munros.

  17. Sid, as a man who has had a rucksack in a state of semi-packedness (?!) all week I understand!

    Del good link! (click on it folks)
    Funny, I’ve been asked to do the LAMM this year, but I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get any consistent training in, and I don’t want to be a weak link.
    Thinking about it though.

  18. ptc, thats one of those opportunities in life which you will forever regret not taking if you don’t go for it. If you do one of the lower classes, training is really just about getting out regularly in the hills. Being able to navigate is much more important. And you would surely be the best kitted out punter there.

  19. Six toes Adi? That’s for more grip on loose terrain or something.. ?!

    Ach I know Del, but the offer I got might be a bit high profile, so I’ll need to see. The next two or three weeks are going to very busy for me hill-wise, so I’ll see how I get on with that and take it from there.
    I really have been like a burst couch recently.

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