By: Blonde One
You’ve all heard of the phrase ‘wading through treacle’? Well the first Munro I climbed on my week in Scotland this week caused that same phrase to spring to mind except we were wading through snow. The snow was deep and soft, and very hard work. To have to ‘walk’ through snow that was knee deep was really tough; when it got to thigh deep it was even tougher. Despite the Munro, Ben Chonzie, being fairly tame with gentle slopes instead of steep sides, it was an incredibly hard day’s walking due to this deep snow. When you got into a knee deep area it was slow going but at least you could still move. When it got to thigh deep it was almost impossible to keep moving. A new technique of getting out of the snow was necessary. I had to adopt a kind of roll to one side, lift your legs out and then try to stand. The technique is very similar to the one used to get out of a Dartmoor bog. It was soul destroying to realise that as soon as you got out of the snow using this clumsy looking method you would be straight back in the same position having to roll out of it again. No wonder our route was slower that books and maps suggested it would be! The descent was much quicker as we found that in some parts it was easier to slide down on your bum using walking poles or ice axes to propel you down the hill!
Ben Chonzie is the 250th Munro of the 283 and stands at 931 metres. The day was fantastic with the occasional stunning view of breathtaking Scottish scenery and despite the low ranking it was tough. The snow and wind gusting up to 45 miles an hour hindered our progress but helped to make this one of the most satisfying mountain days ever.