21:45, Spean Bridge, head swimming with thoughts of tomorrow. 22:25
Bike stashed in woods by Nevis Range, midge hell, lift hitched with
Spanish Gas Gas motorcross team to Fort Bill. 00:30 Walk up Glen
Nevis complete via chip shop in Fort Bill, stomach full, happy.
03:30 Open eyes, broad daylight, panic, must have slept in, look
at watch, close eyes. 04:00 Alarm sounds, out of sleeping bag, things
04:15 Hit the path, altimeter set, head still fast asleep. Start
01:15, Ben Nevis, vis only a few meters, head off summit. 01:27,
two near tumbles off north face, on Carn Mor Dearg arrete. Running
slow, tackle ridge direct, scrambling awesome. Run off CMD slow.
Hit coll, climb, hit Aonach Beag, hit Aonach Mor, going fast. Head
due North, don't deviate, hit ski runs.
03:28, mountain bike red run decent, ridiculously quick running.
Cycling gear on, grinning ear to ear, wolf down food, hit road.
Cycling tough, not enough training, straining to make pedals turn,
maintain pace, forehead creased with effort, don't give in. No wind,
mountain tops clearing, chinks of blue emerge over Cairngorms.
08:01, stash bike in walkers car park, bumbag packed. Hit road then
path from lower ski carpark. 08:58, tap Cairngorm summit, trace
route to Ben Macdui. Feel strong across plateau, keep eating, keep
drinking. Reach Ben Macdui, start descending, bus size snow slabs,
go canny. Reach Dee, cool legs, contemplate climb, weather hot.
Hands and knees. Cling to heather to maintain momentum, Cairn Toul
summit close. Head swimming, thought patterns confused, body battles
on. Summit reached, lob off. Pass bemused walker. Climbing strong,
Angel's Peak tapped, race off. Rounding Braeriach's Corries, going
steady, more bemused walkers. Braeriach summit, hallelujah shouted.
Sub 14 hour thoughts, keep moving, two taxing short climbs, need
to loose height. Stick to path, running getting better, cross Allt
Druidh, stiff climb to Chalamain gap. Scramble over boulders, loose
concentration, bloodied shins and hands. Do not stop.
After 13 hours and 41 mins I'd finally made it back to the bike.
All that was left was the descent down the ski center road and sprint
to Glenmore Lodge. After downing a quadroupal strength shot of energy
drink I hit the road. It had just been resurfaced and the loose
chips made 110psi tyres track like a drunken sailor staggering along
a pier. The 10mph speed limit must have been tripled at least with
stone chips flying left right and straight into my face - highly
unsafe and awesome fun. Glancing up the Glenmore turn off came into
view. Out of the saddle and pedaling like a madman the next few
minutes passed in a blur witnessed only by a young couple who must
have thought me completely demented. Finished !! Wolfed down a massive
meal at Glenmore and then cycled to Aviemore train station, well
fed and content with the days efforts.
Scottish 4000ers, Glen Nevis Youth Hostel to Glenmore Lodge, completed
in 13:52:10, solo, unsupported, on bike and foot and entirely by
public transport (and the kindness of Spanish strangers).
All splits are based on memory, and hence could be +/- a few mins
with the exception of 3 hours 28 mins from Glen Nevis to Nevis Range,
4 hours 33 mins for the 70ish mile cycle and 5 hours 51 mins for
the run over the Cairngorm hills and the dash to Glenmore.