As we drove up towards Glen Lyon watching the scenery change and the mountains rise steeply upwards, we were excited by the possibilities of what the weekend would hold. Little did we know that it would be a massive turning point for the future of our family adventures.
Times they are a-changing and it’s obvious to us now. How had we not seen it before? As our son started school a few weeks ago and was due to be starting full days this week, we thought we’d have one big adventure weekend before he got swallowed up by school-life.
So we picked the Glen Lyon Horseshoe, an 18km walk taking in 4 munros which we decided to do over two days. The weather looked good and settled, so we were excited by the prospect of camping near the top; something we’ve not done before.
We’re aware of the distance our son can walk yet still take the LittleLife back carrier with us, more of a safety net for us more than anything. He’s incredibly strong and can walk a fair way, but I guess it’s only natural for parents to carry a bit more just in case.
We’ve always taken our lead from him. He didn’t ask to get in the carrier at the weekend. Nor did he on the last few walks we’ve taken the carrier on. He’s getting big and letting us know how able he is. We’ve never doubted it, yet it’s a milestone isn’t it? Feels like only yesterday we bought him home from the hospital and here he is, able to walk the Glen Lyon Horseshoe without too much complaining all the while talking about school.
Both big things in themselves, which is why it probably feels a bit crazy now to me and Keith.
So, we’ll carry on doing what we’ve always done, together as a team. Learning new things about each other and exploring the beautiful world we live in, all the while still taking our lead from him and giving him the space he needs as he grows. Even if it is happening a bit too fast for my liking…
The Glen Lyon Horseshoe particulars:
- Distance: 18km
- Ascent: nearly 1300m
- Munros: 4 munros; Carn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Carn Mairg, Creag Mhor
- Starting/finishing point: Invervar. There’s a small carpark but be aware that access can be tricky at points through the forest. We weren’t able to go through at the start as they were doing forest work so we had to start along the hydro track. On our return, the fence on this track was padlocked shut and keep out signs were on the fence to the forest with trees felled across the tracks, meaning we had to clamber over a 6ft + gate which our 4yr old didn’t appreciate!!!
- Where we wild camped: We had initially intended to camp by the small lochan but reached it at about 2pm in the afternoon which was too early for us to set up, so after a long break we carried on and camped a bit further on, on a nice plateau about 1km before the Carn Mairg summit. We had views of Schiehallion on one side and the Ben Lawers range on the other – fantastic!
- What we liked: Our son liked the sheep on the mountains and would call out to them every chance he got. He found some wool and decided to keep it, shut away in a stinky pair of socks that we’ve since decorated with beads and bells to create a freaky looking (sewing is not my strong point!) “teddy” called Jangly.
- What was tricky: The ascent to Carn Gorm which was very steep! The descent from Carn Mairg which was a bit bouldery.
- Any other fun bits: A few good route descriptions can be found at the following links:
Walking Highlands; http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/perthshire/carn-mairg.shtml
Walk Scotland; http://www.walkscotland.com/glenlyon.htm
Munro Central; http://www.munrocentral.co.uk/ShowRoute.php?route=47