GARBH BHEINN

That feeling when you’re friends are professional athletes and you are not.. 

A few weeks back Tristan, Chris and myself jumped in the Land Rover and headed to the Isle of Skye for an adventure. We stayed in St. Andrews the night before and left not long after 5am. I had been up the night before until at least 1am speaking to my friend Andy who sent me a photo someone he knew took on Skye the night previous - the Northern Lights! The lights looked phenomenal in the photo, I was instantly getting hyped and planning what setup to use if we seen them. Photos, video, time lapses, everything was going through my head. To say I was tired the next day is an understatement. I slept a lot on the journey to Skye which sucked for Chris as I was in the front seat whilst he was stuck in the back missing the views. Sorry buddy! 

We got to Skye around 11am and headed towards the Cuillin’s! We parked in the car park at the foot of the range and got changed. We were going to tackle Garbh Bheinn which sits nicely at 885metres high. For me this was always going to be a tough one, I’ve only just started hiking and with only the Campsies at 300 odd metres and Balmaha under my belt, I thought I was going to struggle severely. 

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The walk started off pretty easily, walking through the path which runs parallel to the river. We walked through some moss and passed some beautiful waterfalls. In the first hour or so we went from scorching sun to rain to snow to hail stones. Just a usual day for Scottish weather eh?

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Once we started inclining that’s when I started to feel the challenge. My thighs were absolutely burning. Up until recently my bike had been off of the road. For a year and a half I was cycling almost 10 miles a day, sometimes twice that. I was fit and always on the go. My bike got damaged and as soon as that happened I stopped going to the gym as much and then my eating followed suit. Now for someone who felt relatively fit to now be feeling out of shape and unfit, this was an absolute nightmare situation. I love the blog and all that we stand for and what we want to achieve, and this is a big part of that. Getting out there and exploring is the main thing we want to do, and of course document it. I knew I had to achieve this and I knew if I persevered I could handle it. We got approximately 2 thirds of the way up and I really started to doubt myself. We took a few breaks and shot some content and enjoyed the views of the surrounding hills.

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The last third was a huge challenge for me, we ended up on a huge loose stone section of the climb - skreet scrambling as they call it. I was sliding all over the place and at one point I was on my hands and knees trying to force my weight up as much as I could whilst sliding backwards. I felt like I was sliding back more than I was going forward. At one section I slid backwards for about 10 metres, I thought that was me done for the day. But I took a deep breath and pushed on, even if I was still on my hands and knees like an amateur. I finally got to a flat section just before the final ascent to the peak. The last section looked impossible as it was all rocks but it was probably the most simple and rewarding section. I got to the peak fairly easy after the last section and it was so rewarding. I obviously achieved something physically but it’s crazy the mental achievement you feel also. Here I was at the top of the biggest hike I’ve ever done with 2 of the coolest dudes in my life and not too much behind them may I add. I was extremely proud of myself and we shot some stunning imagery at the top including what’s becoming our signature shot, Tristan jumping into the air. 

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The descent was a lot faster, I think roughly we spent a good 2/3 hours on the way up. The way down was roughly an hour or slightly over. The skreet scramble on the way down was tricky but soon became fun. We all fell on our asses a good few times each - it’s easy to get cocky with the loose stone sliding as it’s so much fun. 

After our hike we made some well deserved instant coffees and got the gear off to air out in the back of the truck. We then went to Cuidrach at the end of the island and pitched our tent behind some rocks just off of the road. We were camped up next to a farm that was right next to the water. Unfortunately for us the sky was covered in clouds and we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights this time. Fingers crossed we get to see them soon! I imagine we will see them one day in Scandinavia but it would be extra special to see them on the homeland.

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The rain battered all night long and in the morning we decided to just pack up and head home as all the gear was still wet and freezing and we were finding it difficult to find the motivation after such a wet and horrible night. Also the boys had to get the final preparations sorted for flying out to Nepal. I tell you something.. we cannot wait to share the content from that trip! 

All in all I had an absolute blast doing this hike and it’s definitely made me hungry for more. Going to be exploring a lot more places this Summer and working with an amazing company - more on that shortly! 

Peace! 

Jawn

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