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Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Cautionary tale.

Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir(with tooth) and Bruach na Frithe
First I must appologise for being unable to contribute to the important discussion on 18th century Knitting patterns and their relevance to the rap scene of today despite originating near the Cotswolds, one of the great sheep areas, nor can I help with sloe gin recipes although I have disposed of a few pink ones in my time.

I can however relate an unfortunate event that happened to me while on a stravaig in the Cullin hills, even though I didn't know about it until afterwards. I arrived at Sligachan early one Saturday morning a few months ago and parked by the Mountain Rescue Hut near a couple of guys who were also in the process of setting out for the day, a friendly 'hello' and a 'lovely day' saw us all off towards the hills. I had no definite plan other than camping near Camasunary that night but as it was a beautiful morning I thought a top or two wouldn't be out of the question and so plodded up to Bruach na Frithe in the sunshine where I met them again. The illogical route from here was over Am Basteir and Sgurr nan Gillean before descending by the Allt a'Ghlais-choire to the River Sligachan and on to the coast, so, having no sense, I went that way. After scrambling up the Basteir Tooth from the Lota Corrie side a rather awkward gulley, which forced me to remember long forgotten climbing skills, took me to the top of Am Basteir (graded V Diff as I found out afterwards!). A descent of the east ridge and I met the car-park guys again at the bealach, they had come round the base of the North Face and were preparing to go up the east ridge before following my route up Sgurr nan Gillean. The cloud had been building all day and when I reached the top the rain started and made the bits of basalt very slippery on the way down but after a good soaking it eased to occasional showers on the walk to Camasunary where there was enough wind by the beach to keep the midges at bay and make a very pleasant pitch for the night.

Camp by the beach
The cloud was obscuring the hills the next morning so, while tempted to go up Bla Bheinn, I took the sensible option and wandered back to Sligachan along the path thinking maybe I would have lunch at the hotel. When I arrived back at the car there was a parking ticket stuck to the window!! I spent some time muttering to myself along the lines of 'how the b***** h*** can I get a ticket for parking beside the road here' and nearly stuffed it into my pocket before deciding to read it: 'Concern has been expressed for your welfare, please contact Portree Police Tel...'. WHAT THE **!*? It seems that my car-park aquaintances had been late off the hill and seen my car still there, assuming I had been on a day walk they had contacted mountain rescue, the police had checked later, and as the car was still there, had traced my home address, sent the local police round, after midnight to terrify the wife, only to be told that I had planned to be out overnight. I was not popular when I got home.

The way it appeared I'm sure it was not wrong to contact mountain rescue, sensible people don't backpack over the Culin hills! So the moral of this story is what? Never park your car when anyone can see you; Tell everyone you see the full details of what you are doing; Inform the police everytime you leave your car overnight; Leave a note in the window informing thieves/vandals how long the vehicle will be unattended. Or just say 'sod it' and carry on as normal hoping that the same set of coincidences will not happen again.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

Entertaining post and an interesting dilemma Roger - what would I do if I met a chap going out and found that he had not returned to his car by nightfall? Probably exactly the same - ask the bobbies to drive by and check later on.

I think the 'sod it and carry on as normal' option is favourite!

September 27, 2007 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Theo said...

"sensible people don't backpack over the Cuillin Hills" : I must be very unsensible then. It's on my 'to do' list. Bag some summits, pitch the tent, discover places where 'no man' has ever gone before. I even want to buy this piece of Britain ;-)

Theo
www.theosphotos.fotopic.net

September 27, 2007 at 9:21 PM  

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