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

Sunrise over Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries

"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.

 

Alpine Dream and Ibex coated in frost in foreground, Sunrise over Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries in the background
Sunrise on a microadventure

 

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.

 

Mountain landscape from the summit of Meall a'Phubuill
Alpkiteer Anna Wells selfie

 

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

Sunrise over Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries
Alpine Dream and Ibex coated in frost in foreground, Sunrise over Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries in the background
Sunrise on a microadventure
Mountain landscape from the summit of Meall a'Phubuill
Alpkiteer Anna Wells selfie

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.....

Related Deeds

Adventures with Dad
inspiration for an outdoor life from dad
In Daring Deeds
Liam’s MTB Marathon
Sonder's Liam rides Scotts MTB Marathon
In Daring Deeds
A Polar Pootle
Weekend ski touring in Hardangervidda
In Daring Deeds
The Transvulcania
Taking on the Transvulcania Ultramarathon
In Daring Deeds
A helping hand for Helping Paws
A hare-brained scheme to help neglected street dogs
In Daring Deeds

News

Sea Kayaking Iceland
Researching human impact on remote coastlines
In News
Climbing With The Pivot Academy
The Pivot Academy is going climbing
In News
Hiking with Confidence
ESTEEM's French Pyrenees Hike
In News
27 Peaks in 77 Days
Jarda Zaoral is taking on Europes 27 peaks
In News
What’s in store bank holiday weekend?
Make the most of this Bank Holiday
In News

Develop

Gripping Developments
A whole new glove range: the inside story
In Develop
Our New Gaiter Range
Spreading foot happiness, one gaiter at a time: the why, the how, and the what?
In Develop
What is Merino Wool?
What's all this fuss about Merino wool?
In Develop
The low-down on Polygiene™
Wear more, wash less: you can't get simpler than that!
In Develop
Argonaut Waterproof Jacket
Premium performance without the price-tag
In Develop

Spotlight

6 Ways to Pitch a Tarp
Tarp techniques for camping from the AK Tarpologists
In Spotlight
Build A Go Box
Be ready for adventure at a moment's notice!
In Spotlight
The Perfect Getaway Guide
Plan for your getaway
In Spotlight
Choosing a down sleeping bag
The factors involved in selecting a suitable sleeping bag for your next big trip
In Spotlight
Wild Camping Tips
The guide to getting it right when camping out
In Spotlight

Kudos