Endurance training or just sheer fun?
I think my 'triathlon' training is telling me to do a long bike ride and a long run every weekend but who needs training when you can have adventures? Week nights are for training and doing things like km reps that make you ache for the rest of the week. Then weekends are for packing more toys than you think can fit into the car and driving off wherever the weather takes us. (And Mondays are for nursing blisters, drying tents and shamefacedly taking the car in for an MOT then trying to run away before the mechanic realises just HOW BAD our car smells after a weekend of smelly tents, shoes and adventures).
Friday night was a quick drive up to Braemar, stopping off for 'vegetables' at the best chippie in Blairgowrie (a wee nasty looking place - good things come in grotty packaging!). We camped just past Glenshee ski centre, in one of the most idyllic spots for a campsite, if it wasn't for the 40 other tents there, all out for the weekend to get drunk, give themselves bbq food poisoning, drop litter, struggle to put up tents bigger than my living room and piss in the river (umm...and we were worried about farm animals? This led to slight dehydration issues over the weekend, given that even the petrol station doesn't open til 10am on a Sunday). I spent some time on Sunday morning trying to pick bottle tops off the grass so the deer don't cut themselves!
However, we managed to steer clear of them and were woken up by the sunshine on Saturday and set off down the Glen by bike to Beinn a Bhuird. We could see the deer up on the crest of the hill, watching us. Not so many people about and it was a magical place to be. Everyone we did meet just seemed so happy about the weather, I love it when Scotland's like this.
Neil was carrying a massive backpack with all our climbing gear so I'm sure the uphill 2hr cycle must have been quite tough for him but I enjoyed it :) and it gave him a good excuse for getting off to push!!
When it got too tough to ride we ditched the bikes and carried on by foot to the Mitre Ridge, a 215m Hard Severe rock climb. I'm not really a climber anymore but I thought I'd give it a go and really enjoyed the first pitch (lots of balancing and crazy gratuitous yoga moves - my kind of climbing). My hands are quite sore today though, it's amazing how tough your hands get when you're climbing lots and how jaggy the rock feels when you're not used to it.
Not sure I enjoyed the other pitches, maybe ask me in 3 days time when the memories of shivering on the belay ledge have faded. If nothing else I NEED to remember that, even when it's 27C, climbing in the shade is still FREEZING! (Note the year-round snow in the picture, I obviously just can't take the hint!).
We finally got to the summit of Beinn a Bhuird, walking across the huge plateau with some interesting clumps of rocks and a bit more snow. A nice run down to the pass then it was back up again to Beinn Avon (because it's there and because it's beautiful).
Then we had a beautiful bike ride downhill all the way home. First BBQ of the year as well, lets hope there's many more.