Always planning, looking forward to in anticipation my weekly night routine for the next trip.
It is great to have the diversity that wilderness and hillwalking can provide my thoughts on this weekend were off the beaten track a little to approach Ben Vane away from the usual tourist route of and head for Lag Uaine .
The morning was calm and still although overcast however I was relishing the sound of birdsong coming from the dense forestry of Coiregrogain all in all it had the feeling of an early spring morning which had the effect of putting a spring in the step. This has on occasion given me rise to break into song of Hi Ho Hi Ho , its off to….you know the rest it can be rather embarrassing if you have not heard the other walker coming up from behind you.
The plan was to camp up at Lag Uaine early on get settled and take some shots of the glen and surrounding summits and of course to see how the New Lux Hex Peak performed
The forecast did not sound to promising for late evening and early morning expecting strong winds and snow but forever the optimist as they say.
Coming off the forestry track I had finally reached the point where I could start my ascent up the glen. I was only ten minutes in following the outline of the forest when I came upon a stray sheep entangled in a combination of small branches and fencing the poor mite couldn’t move.
Isnt it strange how coincidence can play a part in certain circumstances that morning I had came across an old knife which I thought I had lost and decided to put in my pocket this was the tool that came to my new friends rescue I managed to cut its fur, I mean wool, no fleece! and with the other attachment freed the loose fencing without this I would have struggled to free her.
Having exchanged a few pleasantries and phone numbers she was on her way BAAck to her mates with half of forest Coiregrogain on her back.
Decidedly feeling pleased with myself I pushed on for my intended destination and as if to repay me for my good dead the sun began to show itself and reveal the stunning summits before me.
About an hour later I was at Lag Uaine now I have a gps which is kept in my pack its almost laughable when you see the trail I have left looking for a decent pitch which wasn’t waterlogged or boggy after an hour or so I eventually found a place to pitch which was slightly sheltered bearing in mind I was trying the New Hex Peak out for the first time
The views around me were stunning sunlight literally bouncing off the summits changing hues from blue to pink amid little diamonds studded in the snow. It was my first time in this part of the glen and boy was it worth it I hadn’t seen a soul all day and the only thing I could here was the soothing sound of a waterfall nearby and the occasional bird letting me know I wasn’t entirely alone. You plan a trip outdoors but sometimes never really know what to expect or come across that’s what makes them the more memorable the breathtaking beauty of our hills and glens never ceases to amaze me.
When camp was set and lunch partaken I went for a wander in the glen through some of its snarly crags and hillocks then had a restful hour soaking my tootsies in the nearby stream.
Around four pm the weather started to turn it clouded over and got remarkably colder there was definitely a hint of something to come.
At this point I decided to make dinner when it was still relatively calm and double check all my pegging points and guys reasonably happy with all thisit was now time to take advantage of my sleeping bagand some of the reading material that was downloaded onto the nexus 7.
Gradually as the night wore on the conditions outside became more intensethe wind had picked up changed direction and now was blowing in the last place I wanted it straight at the door.
There also seemed to be a peg or guy line loose so the decision had to be made boots on jacket on and go out and fix.
By this time it was around eleven forty five and the wind had also brought in horizontal snow I remedied the peg and guy line situation and also reinforced the pole with a line attached to the top and pegged not that I think this done much good because the wind changed again and was now hitting the Hex side on which in turn resulted in it slightly bending my walking pole. The winds must have been in excess of fifty mph because it had me off my feet in more than one occasion.
Everything sorted and back inside my confidence in this little stayer was growing buy the minute it was a case of nylon in the face at times but knowing the Hex was fighting and winning its battle I settled down for good nights sleep well a couple of hours to be honest, when its blowing and snowing like that you don’t get much I think I will need to invest on decent earplugs for these occasions.
The following morning wasn’t much better, the weather was relentless, and it looked like a white out up top , so notions of making the summit this morning were slim, I finally made the decision to break camp and head for home.
For me reaching some of the summits in winter isn’t the end of the world its not failure in my book, the success is the total experience and enjoyment you achieve from the trip as a whole.