|This had originally been planned as a weeknight endeavour; it was then shifted to be a Saturday (the only one we decided on the day to have as a rest, knowing we could still do it as a weeknight); Jamie then thought we would save it for second-to-last, which would mean that we would both be Munro Compleaters on the same summit. But, with one of the biggest storms this country has seen in years occurring the day before, we were at the mercy of the ferry schedule for Mull (the only other Munro we have left is Ben More) and fallen trees blocking roads to dictate our plans for the remaining two!
We drove up to Loch Fyne in the morning, recognising that we had a bit of a tight schedule to keep if we wanted to make the ferry to Mull later this evening. The cycle up to the foot of Beinn Bhuidhe would generally be easier, but Jamie led us slightly astray and we took the mucky track rather than the tarmac to approach. Oops! We got there anyway and left our bikes where requested, locking them to the post provided by the deer fence. Our walking was speedy today and we were generally very glad to have Kahtoolas with us as it was slick ice in parts of the trail. Jamie was quite nervous about descending this later but needn’t have been; there were ample options for walking on the grassy slopes beside the slick ice that were easy enough. Her problem came later . . .
But in the meantime, there is a section of steep walking not long before the traverse round and a section of flat walking to gain the summit. There was a cold wind reminding us that it was winter, but at least it was nothing like the winds in the storm that blew through yesterday. We stayed on the top long enough for Andy to pose for his “I’m a Munroist” picture and back we went the way we’d come.
As great as the Kahtoolas were on the ice, once the ice was behind/above us they turned out to be a bit of a liability. In her ever-so-graceful manner Jamie slipped on a rock (probably nothing to do with the Kahtoolas, really!) and managed to break her pinky finger. Given its minimal use in walking this wasn’t too big a deal, and with snow all around us the world was her ice pack! That being said, typing the “a”s in this blog report is proving a greater challenge!
We had a brief cycle on the track that links to the tarmac, with Jamie thankful we didn’t have to stay on this terrain for long as the bumpiness on her sore finger was making her a bit nauseous! We hit the tarmac and sailed back to the car; enough time to make the Mull ferry from Oban if the road north of Inveraray was open. Lucky for us it was!
A tiny bit of time to spare at the ferry terminal to get our gear sorted for an overnight of camping on Mull and preparation for whatever the elements might throw at us. We arrived into Craignure at 7 p.m. and cycled the 20 miles in the rain and dark to the start of the track to approach Ben More the following day. It had been a bit of an effort to find a place to camp in the dark with only our headtorches to guide us, but Andy managed to find a super spot beside a stream that was right at the start of the next day’s walking. Couldn’t ask for better!