First training hike

May 4, 2009

2556a

Sunday 3rd May and an early start, leaving the house at 9am sharp and bundling wife, dog and three children (Glen – 17, Scott – 15 and Rosie -10) into the car for the two house drive up to Bridge of Orchy.  Our mission?  To boldly (or even lamely) conquer Beinn Dorain, one the Bridge of Orchy hills just off the West Highland Way and across the road from the Bridge of Orchy Inn.   

Okay, at  1076 metres (3530 feet) it isn’t in quite the same ballpark as Machu Picchu (2430 metres; 8,000 feet in old money).  But it is a Munro and a very pretty one at that, as well as being one of the most recognisable Scottish mountains.

It is the subject of Duncan Ban MacIntyre’s best known Gaelic poem, “Moladh Beinn Dòbhrainn” ( English: “In Praise of Ben Doran”) which goes like this:

An t-urram thar gach beinn
Aig Beinn Dòbhrain;
De na chunnaic mi fon ghrèin,
‘S i bu bhòidhche leam…

English translation:

Honour beyond each ben
for Ben Doran;
Of all I have seen beneath the sun,
she is the most glorious for me

I didn’t take the picture above as it was one of those “all four seasons in a single day” days and we just couldn’t get a clear shot of it.  In fact, just before the summit we were hit by a serious hail blizzard that reminded us where the expression, “face like a skelped erse” came from. 

Despite this and the fact it was the first serious walk of the year, we all made it safely up and down.  Rosie’s very first Munro too!

summit-cropped1

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