Monday 7 March 2016

Ben Lui the long way

Ever since the LAMM 2010 I'd been keen to make a return to Glen Fyne in conditions of good visibility and approach Ben Lui from the south. The LAMM 2010 was a race I won with my brother Andy. I think we went fairly close to the summit of Ben Lui on that occasion but I didn't really appreciate that that the time, since we were running in thick mist with 10m visibility.
Approaching Ben Lui from the south involves a reasonably long run in up Glen Fyne. You then have to cross a couple of miles of nondescript peat bog before climbing the mountain itself. In these early March conditions the mountains all look very impressive, but Ben Lui at 1130m definitely stands out. I had my brother-in-law Grant for company and it was a great day out. A great advantage of this run is that it starts and finishes at the Fyne Ales Brewery, so we had the perfect post-run refreshment.
From the 700m point upwards I had the chance to try out a new pair of microspikes made by Nortec. These had been sent to me courtesy of Lyon equipment. The model I' trying out are called the "Nordics." Microspikes like these are probably life saving when running in Scottish mountains at this time of year. The lightweight crampons fit easily into a small running rucksack and are a doddle to take on and off. As soon as they are on your feet you are capable of running straight over sheet ice without slipping. The last 400m of climbing on Ben Lui was all ice so without the Nortecs I wouldn't have made the summit.

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