/ the most serious walk in Britain? -Blog

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John Burns - on 30 Mar 2013
I realise I must have lapsed into unconsciousness as the icy downwash from the rescue helicopter, hovering above brings, me round. Peering through the swirling snow I can see a metallic shape emerging. From above a loudspeaker crackles into life, "This rescue helicopter is brought to you by YourNumber'sUp.com, the best in online gambling," an American voice drawls, "Before you are winched on board please have your credit card, insurance details and climbing permit ready for inspection. Have a nice day." Underneath the chopper is painted a huge face, grinning inanely, I realise that it's Keith Chegwin leering at me and giving me the thumbs up. It's the horror of being rescued by Cheggers that finally brings me sweating out of my nightmare and into the cosy reality of my bedroom.

I don't usually write about my days on the hill before I do them but this time I've been forced give more thought to preparation than usual and in planning my route I began to wonder if my intended outing was possibly the most serious walk in the UK. It's certainly serious enough to get my attention. There will be no carelessly hurling a few tins and a sleeping bag into my sack this time I'm going to have to plan it and success is far from given.

The plan is simple. I'll walk in from the Cairngorm ski road to Corrour bothy through the Lairig Ghru. Even at my advanced stage of decrepitude I'm pretty confident I can manage that. I'll stay the night there. I recall my last visit there was when there was still an earth floor and those of you who know the place will realise that that was a very long time ago so I think this most popular of bothies is overdue a return.

It's what I plan the following day that worries me.

Read more here http://johndburns.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/the-most-serious-walk-in-britain/
almost sane on 30 Mar 2013 - cpc5-linl1-0-0-cust138.18-2.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to John Burns:
Forgive me if you already know this, but.
Under all the fresh snow we have been having, progress will be slow. Even slower if you stray off the routes others have made in the snow before you. Plus you need to watch out for avalanches.
Current avalanche forecast is for High risk on east facing slopes, but changing winds are likely to change that. Recent events show that even the Lairig Ghru may not be safe from avalanches.

Ca' canny.

John Burns - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: That's sound advice. I'll check all that out before heading off.
mikekeswick - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: If you want to go for a walk thats fine but why the need to tell everybody? I suggest leaving the ego behind and just enjoying it. However if you don't think you are competant enough then don't go, setting off thinking about being rescued is a bit silly.
Jim Braid - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to John Burns: Apologies if I'm understimating your experience/ability but watch yourself as you come up from Corrour on to the dip between Devil's Point and Cairntoul. Under snow the slope has a convex bulge which I've seen some folk find quite hard to deal with - that's apart from the obvious avalanche risk.
Mark Torrance on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to mikekeswick:

> If you want to go for a walk thats fine but why the need to tell everybody?

Because anticipation is a big part of big days out - sometimes more so than the actual event - and so its good to read about.

Thanks for the blog, John. Nicely written. Tell us how you got on.

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