Al on Allermuir
Day 2 of Alt Carnethy 5 and it was raining first thing but a weather window opened in the afternoon, so I decided it was time to combine the up and doonhill elements of the series. If you’re gonna go up Allermuir, you might as well enjoy the ridge run across to Caerketton. And I needed to recce the ridge for something else anyway.
A swift recce from the car park at Swanston confirmed which pathway I should run down through the stables area and then I returned to the car park to begin. It had been a while since I had been this far east on the lower paths, so the route let me view some of the changes until I hit the Howden Burn. Touched the sun-warmed sandstone blocks of the hut and then turned to be confronted by THAT route on Green Craig, which I’ve only ever come down. I ascended much of it crouched over on all fours like a beast. Getting to the break of slope, the familiar environs of Green Craig, with the scattered piles of metal, gave me enough visual clues to line myself up for the ascent to the trig point. After climbing the slope on hands and feet, I was now able to switch between bipedal walking and running at this point, after the fashion of those ‘Ascent of Humanity’ motifs, freeing my hand to touch the trig point and stop my watch.
After reaching the top of Allermuir, I thought I ought to check if my rather battered fell shoes, which had needed some attention with glue, were OK. They were not. The sole of the left shoe was making a break for freedom from the upper along much of the length of my inner foot arch and heel. Discretion and common sense would have suggested a retreat back to the car but, well, it is a long way back up Caerketton. Besides, running up and down hills seems to defy what most people view as common sense.
My pack yielded my compass and shears, which allowed me to get the lanyard off the compass to tie round the sole and upper of the left shoe. Thanks to Jenna for recording the demise of the shoes post-run in photos. With this complete, I trotted over the Capital View trail along the ridge to test the repair. Which held. So I got to the Caerketton cairn and prepared to launch. The route description, with mention of ‘careering doonhill’ and being ‘out of control’, was added to with, Highland Cattle contently lying on the slopes by the bigger cairn chewing the cud, bum-slides and almost running over the top of a walker sitting peaceably eating their tea on the rocks below the bench. The shoe held together OK, as did the rest of me, and I made it down OK. Cooled down with a brisk walk back over to Swanston.