Mountain Monday – Summitting Mayar and Driesh

As part of my training for Los Tres Picos, I went on a Sunday mountain walk with my dad – and as per usual, it started out later than originally planned. Though at least this time it was a summer walk, rather than our last munro summit when we were being chased by darkness down Schiehallion.
 This time we were heading to Glen Clova, the goal being to summit two Munros: Mayar (928m) and Driesh (947m). Connected by a ridge, these two munros are often summited one after the other. 

Though it looked fairly windy and cloudy, we decided to give it a bash and see what the day held. From the Glen Doll car park, the trail begins with an ascent through the forest. At the very beginning of this, we were treated to a group of red deer elegantly leaping down the hills before disappearing into the forest. Brilliant start! We continued up past where we saw the deer, and through the pine forest. It was a fairly steep start, with the odd flatter section (a good test of my fitness for Spain anyway!).

​Eventually the Forest opened out into the vast glen – and we were faced with the elements, no longer under the forest’s shelter. Wrapping up gloriously in all layers possible, we continued upwards, the incline slightly steeper than that of the forest and winds battering us both. We met a few friendly walkers en-route, sharing the delight that, despite the 30mph winds, the weather was holding up well. At the top of the path, we reached the plateau ridge that connected the two mountains, and the views from here were incredible.

 

First summit: Driesh.

​To begin, we walked across the flat plateau of the ridge, then immediately up a steep incline. Upon getting close to the top, my dad giggled away to himself: we’ve been fooled by a false summit (my dad and I have a track record of this). Thankfully there was just the one, and across one more flat plateau, the correct summit wasn’t too far! The clouds were rolling in when we got to the top, but we still had a good view even with a raincloud directly overhead, and there’s a good bit of shelter behind some stones, so we munched our lunch up there too!

 

Once we had descended from Driesh, we walked back along the ridge, and began to ascend Mayar.

​Mayar looks like a huge blooming slog compared to Driesh! Though it’s smaller in height, it quite simply looked like a longer summit walk than Driesh did – and my legs and feet were beginning to ache. Turns out it’s a much faster climb than first thought, and we were treated to beautiful panoramic views, with no clouds directly above us! Well worth it!

​Elated from the two summit conquers, we decided to have an adventure, and descend down the other route walkers take when doing this circuit, a slightly rugged looking pathway, rather than taking the same route back. Turns out this path is mainly very steep stone steps, so you need to watch your balance and footing – but its views are breath-taking! Once down from the summit, the path opens up into one of the glens, following a roaring waterfall and river straight down towards the forest we started in. It can be tiring on the knees, but we saw even more red deer, which along with the views, makes it worthwhile.

I am so happy to have bagged my second and third munros – all in one day too! Definitely still needing some training before Spain, but I’m definitely feeling I’m getting there and my fitness has improved a lot. If you are interested in donating to the cause.

Here is my fundraising link

My goal is £1000, and all donations will go directly towards the EY Foundation. This wonderful charity aids young people all over the UK, helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds to be able to achieve their career goals, by working with many companies to offer work placements and experiences.


This week’s guest post is by Iona from Tents, Trees and Bumble Bees.Find her on social media below!

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