Monday, 23 November 2009

An extended wet Autumn - 21/22 Nov '09

There are still no great winter climbing conditions to speak of and my axes hang forlornly in my gear cupboard, almost ready to be used fully leashless if need be.
On the plus side, it's giving me ample oppurtunity to do some hillwalks in the cold wind, and to get my running back up to speed, in preperation for getting fit after feeling ill.  Unfortunately being back to climbing, running and the hills has meant my neck/shoulder/arm problem has insidiously crept back again!
Friday saw the 2nd round of the Avertical World winter bouldering series in which I did slightly better than last week and in which RB came first as usual, again beating all the Junior Boys and most definitely beating all the women in the Easy category too.
The 1st 10 problems seemed pretty easy this time round and the 2nd 10 much harder, with several of them being just far too reachy rather than being overly technical.  Very frustrating, more so for Bekah who has far more chance of actually managing something technical!  Also, there were no fun or daft problems this time round which was a bit disappointing.

D came round on Friday night (having a nosey at the wall before we left for mine) and on Saturday the forecast had been for very heavy rain and strong winds and indeed Angus had weather warnings, but upon opening the curtains we were pleasantly surprised to find a bright blue sky and frost on the roof tops.  Not to waste such a glorious morning we went for a stroll up to the Bothy at Glen Dye.  I had never realised this was a bothy, even though I'd ran past the building several times whilst out running, over the course of not summer past but the summer before.  Glen Dye is a wonderful place to run, many tracks snaking this way and that, as hard or as easy as you want to take it, over to Mount Battock, or up to Clach na Beinn, or just a gentle, undulating run up to the Water of Dye and back.  But beware of Adders on the path on a hot and dusty summer's day!

The forecast rain came later in the afternoon, and it came with a vengeance!  We were enjoying a laze after our stroll but I knew I should go out for our (earlier planned) run, regardless of the weather.  I've never seen Edzell so flooded before!  One route that I take, along the path at the side of the Esk, up to the Ganochy Bridge and back down to the village, was utterly flooded.  It was like running through a stream, and what with it being almost dark when we set off, and well into darkness by the time we reached the end of the woodland track, it was of utmost importance to lift the foot high when running lest a tree root, hidden in the depths of the long, murky path come puddle, trip us up and send us tumbling down into the river below!  Out onto the road, and that was no better, the road flooded in places from one end to the other.  It was joyous though!  How I love to run in the rain, my feet splashing through the water and the rain pouring down my already soaked body, jacket off, hat off, wet seeping through and keeping me cool.  D was being a gent and keeping my pace but straining at the bit towards the end so he pushed on ahead, me admiring his athletic form as the dark lights and rain of the village swollowed him up, wonderful!

Sunday's forecast was better, but we woke this day to rain which fortunately stopped around 9ish as we set off for the Corbett Ben Gulabin in Glenshee.  Neither of us had been up this hill so it seemed a good choice for a short day to beat the gales and rain that were forecast for later in the day.   It's a very easy hill, starting at around 350m and following a track all the way to the summit at 806m.  We didn't hang around for long as the wind was picking up, the mist had rolled in and there were no great views to speak of.  Again I think these hills would make great running ground, with their big wide tracks and easy ground and one can follow paths and tracks to the munros to the North, avoiding all the ski palaver if one so desires.  As it was, we were up and down in around an hour and half and back in the van just as the rain started to fall. 

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