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Sunday, 3 June 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 11: Braemar to Shielin of Mark (8)

We took the descent to Spittal of Glenmuick steadily, savouring the views to distant Mount Keen. We arrived at about 5.30 and took a breather. Jim got out his stove and made a brew. I went to the public toilets ... and came away without my money belt (which contained all my money, my credit card, and my train ticket home from Montrose - its loss would be a complete disaster!) As soon as I realised this I headed back - but the cubicle I had used was occupied, and I had a tense wait until its occupant emerged, and I could check whether my money belt was there. Fortunately it was!

I had told Challenge Control that I would telephone them tomorrow, either from Spittal of Glenmuick as I passed through, or from Tarfside on arrival. According to the map there is a telephone at the Spittal of Glenmuick visitor centre, and indeed there is: but it is for emergency calls only! So it was going to have to be Tarfside, then!

Jim left Spittal of Glenmuick at about 6 and headed up to Shielin of Mark. I waited a good three quarters of an hour longer to gauge my recovery, and to decide whether or not I was going to be able to tackle another ascent this evening. Eventually, however, I decided that I should be able to make the climb as long as I took it nice and steadily. So at 6.45 I set my altimeter (the first time in a very long time I had felt any real need to use it ... but I wanted to be able to monitor my progress: Jim had told me that there were some good wild pitches half way up the glen to Shielin of Mark, and I wanted to have as much information as possible as possible to help me decide whether to stop short or press on). Then I shouldered my pack and began a slow, steady climb.

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