The Ben!

So I met those old scottish guys in the lounge the other morning but we didn’t quite cross paths on the meeting part...they came early and I came at the time we were supposed to meet and we missed each other, oh well...anyway, I already made up my mind that I was going hike so I just went solo.

I really enjoy hiking, its something totally different from riding but so similar at the same time. You can cover much more distance on a bike but a lot of times you miss the small things because you are traveling that much faster...

Anyyyway, the hike up wasn't too bad...definitely a solid grade the whole way up. Bum of steel. I of course had to set a goal time for myself...given the height, distance and past times I wanted to do it sub 5 hours, seemed realistic. I didn't want to push it too hard because I couldn't even see the top of the mountain since it was covered in clouds so it was really hard to gauge exactly how far I was going plus I was out there to enjoy the scenery, chill out, take some photos and be social...people here are sooooo nice and everyone wants to chat, I like that.

So I got to the top in pretty good time, hung about for a bit, took some photos...I was planning on staying longer but it was cold and snowy and I couldn’t see much so I just decided to head down. At this point I realized I might possibly be able to make this whole thing in sub 4 which lit a bit of a fire under my bum. It was a bit of a fine line pinning it down because I was wearing Nike Free’s...no ankle support at all and the trail was super rocky the whole way down, last thing I wanted to do was roll my ankle...I came here to race my bike not hike. ha. I had to run a few bits...some of the flatter stuff and areas with predictable rocks but I made it in 3:56, pretty happy about that one, especially knowing I could shed 20 minutes more off that with very little extra exertion. Maybe next year.

All in all a fun day in the beautful Scottish Highlands.

Katie Holden