Peanut butter wrecked my ankle!

An entertaining rant on the semi-rad blog reminded me of the time I took peanut butter with me on an overnight trip into the Cairngorms.  The large glass jar of peanut butter sat in my rucksack beside several other heavy items I wouldn’t have been carrying if I had planned ahead and shopped in a town with a proper supermarket.  Nevertheless, I was young and fit and a heavy rucksack wasn’t going to stop me.

Despite the bright sunshine, the day was quite cool but, thanks to a hot pace, by the time I had reached Luibeg Burn, I fancied a cuppa so I stopped and brewed.  I can picture myself making a lavish peanut butter sandwich to reduce my pack’s weight.  This might be a fantasy created by the attempt to dredge up twenty five year-old memories. After packing my picnic gear away, I charged up Carn a’Mhaim, which was a big mistake.  My legs had cooled off during the stop and failure to re-start gently damaged my Achilles tendon.  A check at the summit showed that it was twice its usual width.

Under the circumstances, I did what anyone else would have done – bagged three more Munros and pitched my tent near the Hutchison Memorial Hut.  The hut was going through one of its disgusting phases, which is why I stayed outside. Next morning, my ankle was agonisingly painful. I hobbled to the confluence of the Coire Etchachan Burn and the Glas Allt Mor before deciding I couldn’t continue walking like that.  Every step was a bit of a nightmare.  The only solution to the problem appeared to be taking fewer steps so I stretched out my stride.  Including a quick brew stop at Derry Lodge, I made it from the confluence to the Linn of Dee (where the caravans used to be) in one and a half hours.

That’s when the suffering really began.  I had arrived on an MZ with a foot operated gear box.  One gear down and the rest up.  Quite a bit of force was needed to engage that first gear and it wasn’t easy with a wrecked ankle.  These were the days when I disdained a medical kit so no painkillers eased my journey home.

I can’t recall taking peanut butter on any backpacking trips since then.


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