Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 17 October 2010

John becomes a Compleater at last! 17th October 2010.

Well it's been pretty quiet on the walking front over the past few weeks. Our last trip of note was ticking off John's 284th and last munro, Ben More on the Isle of  Mull on Sunday 17th September.  The crossing from Oban the day before was sublime with stunning views of the islands and clear blue skies all the way to Craignure. 

Most passengers took advantage of the autumn sun, and were up on deck enjoying the views!
  The final raiding party consisted of myself, Mark, Stevie, Shaun (Stevie's son), Stewart, John his wife Ann Leis, and their daughter, Joanne, and son Matt. Once onshore we made the short but slow journey to Tobermory where we would stay for two nights at the excellent value, Park Lodge Hotel. 

However, sunday brought a change in the weather as we headed to the start points. John, Stewart, Joanne and Matt, were setting off from Dhiseig to ascend by the "normal" route, whilst myself, Mark, Stevie and Shaun started from the bridge over the Abainn na h-Uamha at NM507367
. Our plan was to head up between Beinn Fhada and A'Chioch. Then bear south, up A'Choichand along the NE ridge with occasional easy scrambling up Ben More's east side. Reach the summit and and meet John's party and celebrate the achievement!  However as you can see from the one photo I took, it was pretty grim, wet and cold!

Sadly we missed the other group as we emerged onto the bleak and windy plateau. We reckoned they wouldn't have hung around too long and must already be on their way down as our route was slightly longer. So we found what shelter we could for a quick cuppa and headed NW to gain the normal route back down. Surprisingly, after about 10/15 minutes we saw figures through the mist below us and not surprisingly it was John and his team. We could only have missed each other by minutes, but the wind was quite strong on the summit so any sound of voices was being totally drowned out.
We all teamed up and walked off together with Matt showing particular resolve as the soles on one of his boots had completely fallen off! Luckily there was no one around but us to hear his choice of language and his new opinions on hillwalking!

So, as we couldn't celebrate John's achievement as a "Compleater" on the summit, we did it in the car park of the hotel!  A fitting end to a wet but strangely enjoyable day, which continued later with a few shandies and an excellent curry at the
Sagar Indian Restaurant in Tobermory! 

John enjoying his celebratory champagne (that I carried all the way to the summit and back!).