Sunday 1 February 2009

Dug Training & Sleeping Bag Test

Ever since Jorja got back from the training, I'd had a notion to head up to the Cairngorms and spend a night at Bob Scott's, just to see how she got on. I had figured that (a) it'd give me something of a comparison, as she's been there a few times already and (b) it's not so much of a walk in that I couldn't just keep her on the lead if she was misbehaving.

Gordy was about for a swift raid on Glen Derry as well, so we decided to head up on Friday afternoon, camp over near the bothy and then try and scamper up Derry Cairngorm on the Saturday morning after a very early rise.

It nearly worked. Having the dedication to carry in plenty of alcohol as well as a few logs meant that we were still sitting gabbing at 3am, so the early rise was never really on the cards after that. Good fun though. Plus we almost certainly set the world to rights. Oh, and the wee Creative MP3 speakery thing is the very dab for bothy background music. Admittedly - and astonishingly for Bob Scott's - there was nobody else around to complain about the song selection, because we had the place completely to ourselves. That might have been a pity in one respect because I'm fairly sure Gordy would have been only too happy to have shared his interesting-tasting "whiskey" with any other thirsty souls.


We surfaced about 9-ish though and were probably walking by 10. The weather was a lot better than I'd hoped. Cold, mind you. On that note, the new sleeping bag worked a treat. Didn't need to sleep with all my hillwalking gear on, didn't need two pairs of socks to keep my feet warm and didn't wake up in the middle of the night wishing I'd brought the liner. Money well spent, all things considered.

So the sleeping bag passed the test without a hitch. And the dug? Well I thought she was great. On the walk in, she hardly moved out of the torch light - I think the Cairngorms at night was a wee bit overwhelming for her. But she was good all weekend, she seems to have got it into her head that "come" means "come straight away", rather than after she's finished doing whatever she's doing in the first place, and on the walk out, she was heeling as if it was going out of fashion. Quite pleased, so I was.

Incidentally, a few photies of the walk itself will follow once I get them organised, and indeed once I remember the name of the hill we actually got up - I can tell you it affords a smashing view of Derry Cairngorm. ;0)

Just two other points from the journey, both of which happened at the same spot. On the way up, just as we were getting to the ski centre at Glenshee, it was as if somebody had thrown a blanket over the car. I don't think I've ever had the sensation of suddenly being right in the middle of a good old fashioned pea-souper of a fog so unexpectedly. It was virtually impossible to see the centre line of the road, or the sides of the road, or well, anything. No' nice at all and I'm glad it only lasted for a couple of minutes, until we started losing height on the other side of the hill. And the other notable point about the ski centre? Well on the way home on Saturday - there were actually folk ski-ing there! The place was open and working!

Can't remember the last time I saw that.

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