Bills Ramsey Round take 3

3rd July
11.5 miles and 8,200 feet
plus up Sgurr an Luhair and back down (3,200 feet and 6 miles appx)

It has been a while now since Bill attempted the Ramsay round for his third time. I have taken ages to type this up mostly due to the disappointment of writing a report on another unlucky failure.

The weather on the day started off o.k., not too hot but cloudy, and at midday I set off up a packed (as usual) Ben Nevis with Bill. Bill was rushing when overtaking the tourists, so I reminded him to keep the pace even. We did and by the top of the Ben we were bang on schedule. It was raining and very cold on Ben Nevis, this meant slippery rocks on the roughest part of the round. The traverse to Carn Mor Dearg along its arĂȘte was hard going burt we made good progress. By the time we reached the next summit of Aonoch Mor we were just a couple of minutes down. The ascent of Aonoch Beag was good and a steep drop down to Will and Carwyn (who were sheltering in an orange bivvie bag) went without a hitch.

I left Bill here and Carwyn and Will continued the rest of the leg to Loch Treig Dam. I ran into the valley in improving sunny weather, to follow Glen Nevis back to Wills car and drove back to the campsite. Bill made good progress all the way to Loch Treig, but on the next section over the 3 Munroe’s around the loch he lost ½ an hour and by the time he was at the foot of Sgurr elide Mor he was still a ½ hour down.

At first light, on a wild wet Sunday morning Will and I made our way up out of Glen Nevis and onto Sgurr an Lubhair to meet Bill. We tried to time this right as we knew it would be very cold on the top. We were right when we arrived on the top at 08:00 squally gales were blowing through. Will and I huddled into a large orange plastic bag with feet sticking out of the bottom AKA an emergency bivvie bag. 1 hour of trying to keep warm whilst soaking wet, sitting on a rock in rain, driven by a gale, up a 3,200 foot mountain was not easy. My feet and hands were numb despite constantly banging them together. By 09:15 Will and I decided that Bill did not have enough time to finish it form here and made our way down. He needed about 3 ½ hours in those conditions. On the descent to Glen Nevis we pondered how much use we would have been to Bill anyway. The fight had been knocked out of both of us.

I think in reasonable conditions Bill would have succeeded as he only retired on Am Bodach (1/2 an hour away from Will and I) at 09:00 hours. So given the severity of the wind, he was still moving fairly strongly, until he realised that the weather was slowing him down too much, then the mind probably gave in to the fatigue, and it was game over on Am Bodach with only 3 Munroe’s to go. You will do it next time Bill.

Roll on the 21st of August Wynn and I have booked some good weather.

No comments: