Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

Microadventures: part two

By Anna Wells
01, Jun, 2018

Alpkiteer Anna Wells sure knows how to microadventure, here she shares her overnight escapades near her hometown of Fort William

"After nine years of being a university student with an infinite amount of free time, I recently made the transition to working full-time as a doctor. Becoming a normal person with a real life was a shock to the system, but, I have learned that it is so easy to keep active and adventuring if you alter your perspective on what accounts for a sensible idea!

Sometimes after a hard time at work, there is temptation to rest and recover. But the type of energy involved in having an adventure is so entirely different. It allows your mind to recover and be filled with inspiration and motivation. I have always returned feeling revitalised and energised and ready to start again!"

It’s Friday afternoon, the sun is shining through the window, and I am really enjoying my new job as a GP in Fort William, right in the heart of the mountains. I spend my lunch break browsing OS maps to choose a route for a little adventure I’ve planned. My bag is packed and waiting for me in the car, but I have no idea where we will be going yet, my original plans having gone awry with the unexpected late April snowfall. 

I decide on an area at the end of Glen Loy. I’ve never been there before, but at less than 800 metres, the summits should be below the snowline. Maps printed, my excitement builds as the afternoon progresses. 7pm comes and goes I still find myself at work. Not something I’d planned but I don’t mind because the purpose of my adventure is to practice navigating in the dark and spend the night under the stars. As long as I am on a summit by sunrise, I will be quite content!

Driving up Glen Loy I am taken aback by the scale and beauty of my destination. I can’t believe how many breath-taking places there are hiding all around, and how relatively few people will ever find them. As I hike up towards the ridgeline, the sheep scatter – surprised to see me - whilst a deer watches on from above, a majestic silhouette on the skyline. The last rays of sun set behind me over Ben Nevis and ahead I can see the snow-capped remote mountains of Knoydart. There is an almost full moon, which reflects sublimely from the small lochans on the ridgeline.

I succumb to tiredness as I arrive on a plateau just short of the summit of Meall a’Phubuill and decide this will be the perfect vantage point from which to see the sunrise. I tuck up warm inside my sleeping bag under a sky still light from the brightness of the moon.

Waking up during the night, the moon has set and I am treated to a sky laden with a million stars. A few hours later and I wake again to see the most incredible burning bright red light on the horizon behind Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries as the sun gets ready to start the day. But it’s an hour until sunrise, so I drift back to sleep and wait for my alarm to wake me at 5:30. It’s a hard-won battle to draw myself away from my cosy slumber into the surprisingly cold morning, my sleeping bag and rucksack are covered in a thick frost, and my water bottle has frozen solid.

The first rays of sun burst over the horizon as I pack up, lighting up the magnificent landscape; I feel truly privileged to be here. My body warms up as I walk up to the main summit and take in the sensational sights that surround me. The rising sun melts away the thin layers of ice that cover the boulders and puddles, and I descend the mountain on an unexpected yet welcome hot sunny morning that feels akin to midsummer. I am completely revitalised as I walk happily back along the Glen.

I only left civilization twelve hours ago, but I seem to have hit a reset button. Injury has meant that it’s been several months since I’ve been able to rock climb hard or spend a long day in the mountains, and I’ve desperately missed the feeling of pushing myself. In this micro adventure, I found a simple and easy way to spend some time totally immersed in the environment I love. I am reminded now of the simple pleasure of just being in the mountains and I can’t wait to go back for more. 

Read more of Anna Wells' microadventures in Microadventure: part one

  • Google+

In pictures

2 Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.


SparklyG
Thank you

You have inspired me to do some micro adventuring around Edinburgh.

Ian
Beautiful!!

Great photos and well written message to experience a micro adventure and get away from the office - even for twelve hours.....

Daring Deeds

Adventure Training at Alpkit
Proper training in the outdoors
Avalanche
When daring dreams turn into nightmares
Katie Tunn’s love letter to her gear
A few of her favourite things
Taking on the Three Peaks Challenge
The three highest peaks in the UK in one day.
Al Humphreys - Suilven
Al Humphreys takes his new Brompton on a trip to Suilven
Five Ben Nevis Ridges in a Day
A new take on some Scottish classics
Mountaineering in Bolivia
Climbing Pequeño Alpamayo
The Magic of the Valley Blanche
Anna Wells is making the most of the ski season

More from Deeds

News

Walking Through Winter
Helping young walkers all year round
So what is adventure?
A question of adventure
Hiking with Confidence
ESTEEM's French Pyrenees Hike
27 Peaks in 77 Days
Jarda Zaoral is taking on Europes 27 peaks
May Day Madness!
Join us for an action packed weekend
WWESU: Case study
AK Foundation: hearing from young people
UBMC Training Volunteer Instructors
Instructor training for university clubs
Lydgate School’s Snowdon Summit
Lydgate pupils on their first mountain adventure

More from News

Develop

What’s so Genius About the Jeanius and Sequence Jeans?
Designer Ronnie discusses denim development
The scoop on softshell
Ardent and Resolute: our new softshell garments
Illuminating our Head Torch Development
Developing a new range of head torches
Keeshond Hybrid Fleece
Warm, light and breathable high loft fleece
Bags more packs in our range
New packs for you to put your kit in
Gripping Developments In Gloves
A whole new glove range: the inside story
Our New Gaiter Range
Spreading foot happiness, one gaiter at a time: the why, the how, and the what?
Designing the Argonaut Jacket
Creating premium performance without the price-tag

More from Develop

Spotlight

What’s So Wonderful About Wool?
Nature's technical fibre
How to Choose a Down Jacket
A handy guide to down jackets
Bivvying Top Tips and Kit List
Bivvy Essentials: What to take bivvying
How to choose a head torch
Buyer's guide: which is the best head torch for you?
Cuillin Ridge Traverse: Ten Top Tips
Tips to stay safe on the Cuillin Ridge Traverse
Know your Navigation
Take the right path
Winter Walking in the Lakes
A multi-day walk in the Lake District

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness

CLOSE

By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions