Tuesday, 19 July 2011


I returned to Scotland and set to training in what I considered was steady progressive increase in mileage - important for the story as it transpires. After a winter spent mountaineering in Scotland long days on dry hills are not as much of a trial as might be expected. I trawled the BGR web pages for training hints and took some interesting ideas form Dave MacLeod's Blog. 

Creag Mhor summit

After a couple of double traverses of Ben Rinnes and some keen times on my local Moray coast running circuits, the Cairngorms beckoned. My first long stint was over Ben Mheadoin starting and finishing at the Hayfield in Glenmore. I took in the Corbett Creag Mhor and finished over Cairngorm. 32Km 1850m of ascent 6.5 hours - good confidence building stuff and the bonus of excellent weather and bone hard ground.

The next test was an attempt on the Cairngorm four (or five) tops: Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Cairn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine and Braeriach. Another blue sky day with a keen easterly wind and once more excellent conditions for fast movement over the mountains. 
Cairngorm Panorama
Cairn Toul from Braeriach
All went well until Ben Macdui after which I took a flawed route choice off the summit. Deviating from my original descent by the Tailleur Burn I heading straight down on increasingly steep rocky ground. After negotiating this successfully a momentary lapse in concentration caused me to trip on moss and land badly on my shoulder. Although the ground looked innocuous the large clump of moss must have hidden a lump of granite - after two minutes prostrate on the ground I shook myself down. I couldn't raise my right arm above my shoulder and it hurt like hell. However there was a job to be done and I continued albeit at a reduced pace - final tally 35Km 2500 m of ascent 8.5 hours.

The shoulder gave me a sleepless night and a quick search on the web diagnosed a rotator cuff injury. RICE treatment and then some gentle stretching .... five days later I tried some local hill reps; fine, so off for the longer test run. Half way round an abductor went in my left groin; I limped back chastened and depressed. I rang Alasdair with the news and the soul searching began.

1 comment:

  1. Planning a BG? I'd be honoured to help if required. You may remember me as a Jeplet you assessed for my BCU SI on the Menai Straights in about 1988! Or not of course.. Based in Cockermouth, find me on Twitter @CumbriaGraham