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today i almost died/a thread about the scottish highlands


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#1 PhillyB

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:28 PM

*
A WHOLE PIE!

I haven't done anything dangerous and stupid for a while so I'm milking this one for what it's worth.
 
I've been in scotland the past four days. I flew into london with my wife and one-year-old, took an absurdly expensive transfer from Heathrow to Luton, and caught a flight to Glasgow, picked up the rental car, immediately switched it out for a larger one because squeezing mounds of baby stuff into a Fiat 500 just doesn't work, and drove to Glencoe, a stunning valley in the western highlands that's renowned as one of the country's most beautiful spots. I rented a holiday cabin in Ballachulish Village, perched over serene Loch Leven, and we've been here ever since, exploring and driving and having fun.
 
 
10458895_10101217545705691_8857091132993
 

Then today I did something dumb. I set off early in the morning on a quest to find the Lost Valley, nestled between the imposing mountains of Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada, my goal from the outset to climb high enough to make a snowball. After a few hours of strenuous trekking I dropped down into the Lost Valley (probably lost because no one cared to remember it because of all the billions of freaking bloodsucking midges that live there) and ascended for another hour to a spot about 300m below the pass between the two peaks. It was covered in snow (spring runoff is still underway) and I didn't have poles or picks so I plotted a route that circumnavigated the snow via a massive column of rocks and narrow fissures that would lead me to the top.

Everything was loose and covered in slippery moss and at about a steadily-inclining angle upwards (up to about 75 degrees) for hundreds of feet. I slipped countless times, clinging white-knuckled to small plants and crumbling crags on a near-verticle wall, face planted carelessly in spiny rocks and spider holes to keep my center of gravity forward, a sure death below my bicycling feet. I knew death was imminent but somehow I felt safer climbing up than trying to pick my way down, so up I went, higher into the fog, hoping I'd reach the pass and meander back down on the other side.
 
 
10450044_10101219209366701_8720788240661
 
^ i climbed up the middle stretch of that along the side of the ice flow to a niche in the very top left. it's much bigger than it looks
 

Then I got stuck in a fissure the width of my hind end, perched on a six-inch flat spot like a single stair on a staircase a mile high, and I saw the way ahead was blocked by a massive wall of stone that could not be navigated. I felt real fear of death for the first time since I did the same damn thing in Australia five years ago, and as the ground beneath me shifted, sending stones caroming down the crevice into free-falls to the ice flows far below, I whipped out the rest of my turkey sandwich and decided if I was going to die I was going to die full. The sandwich tasted thick and dry and sour - I think that was the fear. I saved the last bite for when I got to the bottom as extra motivation and a mental edge, and then I threw caution to the wind and shimmed, feet first, sliding on my ass like a six-year-old, down the crevice, hyper-concentrated, every move the paper-thin difference between dying on the rocks below and getting out alive, navigating vertical drops and collapsing outcroppings that crashed around me. And, finally, a nerve-racking, sweat-drenched hour later, I touched solid ground, covered in mud and stones and water and blood and ice chips, and I very cheerfully ate the rest of that sandwich.

In retrospect I wouldn't do it again, but the view from up there was one of the most magnificent sights I've ever laid eyes on, a scale so immense that the picture I snapped doesn't remotely do it justice.
 
 
1499027_10101219171133321_15807604136605
 
 

Oh and I got that snowball.
 
 
DSC06396_zps5cf678b0.jpg

#2 PhillyB

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:36 PM

*
A WHOLE PIE!

a few random pics from scotland:

 

green hills everywhere:

 

10378242_10101217545106891_5310511985117

 

 

cargo trolley over a river in the valley

 

10177419_10101217558085881_5634125488778

 

 

…which i felt compelled to cross without the car

 

10325180_10101217570121761_6587939494932

 

 

loch ness:

 

 

10171885_10101217658529591_8531279091918

 

 

insane highland roads:

 

10397826_10101217657711231_2795646248522

 

 

how my kid gets down

 

10453326_10101217696039421_1669694047906

 

a walk through the forest:

 

10438347_10101217695415671_8778995281071



#3 Jakob

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

Once again, why does your life have to be so interesting?

#4 PhillyB

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:41 PM

it almost was a funeral dirge



#5 Porn Shop Clerk

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 05:44 PM

tourists



#6 Jackofalltrades

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:24 PM

My roots are in the Highlands.

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#7 Happy Panther

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:39 PM

Your wife hates you right now FYI.

 

Also awesome pics!



#8 Brooklyn Bully

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 06:58 PM

I haven't done anything dangerous and stupid for a while so I'm milking this one for what it's worth.
 
I've been in scotland the past four days. I flew into london with my wife and one-year-old, took an absurdly expensive transfer from Heathrow to Luton, and caught a flight to Glasgow, picked up the rental car, immediately switched it out for a larger one because squeezing mounds of baby stuff into a Fiat 500 just doesn't work, and drove to Glencoe, a stunning valley in the western highlands that's renowned as one of the country's most beautiful spots. I rented a holiday cabin in Ballachulish Village, perched over serene Loch Leven, and we've been here ever since, exploring and driving and having fun.
 
 
10458895_10101217545705691_8857091132993
 

Then today I did something dumb. I set off early in the morning on a quest to find the Lost Valley, nestled between the imposing mountains of Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada, my goal from the outset to climb high enough to make a snowball. After a few hours of strenuous trekking I dropped down into the Lost Valley (probably lost because no one cared to remember it because of all the billions of freaking bloodsucking midges that live there) and ascended for another hour to a spot about 300m below the pass between the two peaks. It was covered in snow (spring runoff is still underway) and I didn't have poles or picks so I plotted a route that circumnavigated the snow via a massive column of rocks and narrow fissures that would lead me to the top.

Everything was loose and covered in slippery moss and at about a steadily-inclining angle upwards (up to about 75 degrees) for hundreds of feet. I slipped countless times, clinging white-knuckled to small plants and crumbling crags on a near-verticle wall, face planted carelessly in spiny rocks and spider holes to keep my center of gravity forward, a sure death below my bicycling feet. I knew death was imminent but somehow I felt safer climbing up than trying to pick my way down, so up I went, higher into the fog, hoping I'd reach the pass and meander back down on the other side.
 
 
10450044_10101219209366701_8720788240661
 
^ i climbed up the middle stretch of that along the side of the ice flow to a niche in the very top left. it's much bigger than it looks
 

Then I got stuck in a fissure the width of my hind end, perched on a six-inch flat spot like a single stair on a staircase a mile high, and I saw the way ahead was blocked by a massive wall of stone that could not be navigated. I felt real fear of death for the first time since I did the same damn thing in Australia five years ago, and as the ground beneath me shifted, sending stones caroming down the crevice into free-falls to the ice flows far below, I whipped out the rest of my turkey sandwich and decided if I was going to die I was going to die full. The sandwich tasted thick and dry and sour - I think that was the fear. I saved the last bite for when I got to the bottom as extra motivation and a mental edge, and then I threw caution to the wind and shimmed, feet first, sliding on my ass like a six-year-old, down the crevice, hyper-concentrated, every move the paper-thin difference between dying on the rocks below and getting out alive, navigating vertical drops and collapsing outcroppings that crashed around me. And, finally, a nerve-racking, sweat-drenched hour later, I touched solid ground, covered in mud and stones and water and blood and ice chips, and I very cheerfully ate the rest of that sandwich.

In retrospect I wouldn't do it again, but the view from up there was one of the most magnificent sights I've ever laid eyes on, a scale so immense that the picture I snapped doesn't remotely do it justice.
 
 
1499027_10101219171133321_15807604136605
 
 

Oh and I got that snowball.
 
 
DSC06396_zps5cf678b0.jpg

 

You took a one-year-old on an international flight?



#9 SuperLego5

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:01 PM

I went swimming in Loch Ness once. Nearly died from an infection.



#10 Jangler

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:03 PM

was expecting a fight with an immortal, not a turkey sandwich



#11 jasonluckydog

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:13 PM

1st you should audition for the Amazing Race...

Awesome story and pictures you're doing everything that most of us here wanted to do when we got out of college but for one reason or another it didn't happen.

#12 cgarsmoker

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 07:16 PM

The closest I've ever been to Scotland was the bottom of a Johnnie Walker Black bottle. I'd love to go, looks awesome.

#13 TheRumGone

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 09:58 PM

bad fuging ass

 

and also don't die you got a wife and a child to support.

 

and happy fathers day you crazy fug

 

 



#14 Brooklyn Bully

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:42 PM

My last name is Scottish. My pops went to Scotland a few years ago and found a hill with our last name. I'm from a hill or something, lol.



#15 KillerKat

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:51 PM

My last name is Scottish. My pops went to Scotland a few years ago and found a hill with our last name. I'm from a hill or something, lol.


Your last name wouldn't happen to be Dinwoodie or Dinwiddie would it?


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