Monday, 10 May 1976
After a good start, progress has been erratic:
Here's the same story as a chart:
- a good start (79-85)
- then family came along (85-98)
- them I really got going again!
- and only 42 to go (2009)
I'm just going to pick out a few notable stories in my next few blogs. If you want to see the whole list, have a look at www.dbethune.com/mountains
Sunday, 9 May 1976
How did it all begin?
We didn't really go hill-walking as a family, apart from a few of the local hills. I can remember scrambling on rocks as a wee boy, though, while the rest of the family was on the beach, so the desire to climb must have been there from an early age.
My first real climb, I guess, was Goat Fell. It was July 1971, and I was at a SU camp at Kings Cross on Arran. It was hot and sunny, and we were a large group of teenage boys. I'm not sure what I had on my feet, but i do remember an enormous blister on my heel.
The following year, I climbed Cader Idris in Wales with my older brother, Andrew, then in 1975, on a family holiday in Harris, we climber Clisham (799m) on a very windy day. I remember having to go on all fours on the summit so that we weren't blown over! Typical Scottish summer day!
And so to the first Munro ...
May 1976, on a weekend outing with members of the Edinburgh University Physical Society (Physical as in Physics - my University degree subject) to Firbush on Loch Tay. We spent one day sailing (but were becalmed, and needed a tow back to the shore!), and one day climbing Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin.
So, here it is: Ben Vorlich, 8th May 1976 - my first Munro! Photo taken with a wee Kodak Instamatic 50 camera - image a bit faded now.
What can I remember from the outing?
1. plodding steadily up the path on the north ridge of Ben Vorlich;
2. looking across to Stuc a'Chroin, and wondering how on earth we would manage to get up its steep craggy nose (but finding it great fun when we got there!);
3. the long trek back down Glen Ample.
But I was hooked!