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Topic - I'm so excited - I've been benighted: Blog post

It finally happened, after over thirty years on the hills, an enforced bivi! I think Iím pushing back the frontiers of incompetence now. My second attempt to walk in to Bearneas bothy and I failed again. This time I was held up leaving Inverness and didnít set off until mid-afternoon. I thought Iíd just walk the last few miles in the dark. How hard can it be?

Wrong move! It turned out to be very hard with a foot of soft powder obliterating the track and no moon. To cut things short, close to the bothy, I spent about an hour walking about in the snow and dark, peering at the end of my head torch beam before I finally decided I wasnít going to find the bothy. I then had a decision, either walk back out or stay where I was. It was a very cold night with temperatures well below freezing and by the time I gave up the search it was about 7.30 pm. I decided Iíd stay put and just endure a long cold night, all prospects of sitting toasting myself beside the bothy fire having vanished.

I looked around for some kind of shelter, a wall, a tree, a hole in the ground even and could find nothing. In the end I managed to find a place in the heather relatively clear of snow and put down my sleeping mat. I discovered a number of things that night. One, it is possible to put your long johns on without removing your salopettes. Itís a trick, a bit like how women can remove their bras without taking their tops off. That shouldnít be possible, Iíve certainly never managed it, despite years of trying. Another thing I learned is that ice crystals can form it your drinking mug in a matter of minutes and they can be very sharp, as my bleeding finger could testify.

Long Johns on I crawled into my sleeping bag, stuffed my feet into my rucksack and covered my head with my cag and waited to shiver. It was very cold, well below zero, and very still and the night sky was a spectacular show with stars and the odd meteor. Then something odd happenedÖ

Read more here http://johndburns.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/im-so-excited-ive-been-benighted/
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