Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Sunday, 28 February 2010

'Mountain Elixir'

I first came upon the recipe for the above beverage when given my first climbing guide as a Christmas present. It had been neatly written inside the red cover of the SMC's 'Climbers' Guide to Glen Coe and Ardgour' Vol 1, along with a description of its considerable benefits when climbing mountains. But alas I was too young to sample it.

A few months later I came across it again, being used in earnest, as it were, by Bill Murray and R G Donaldson on their successful traverse of the Cuillin Main Ridge plus Clach Glas and Blaven in August 1939, now known as 'The Greater Traverse'. Leaving Glen Brittle at 10 pm, they rested on the summit of Garsbheinn at the southern end of the ridge, left there at 2 am and arrived at a pre-pitched tent at Loch an Athain in Glen Sligachan at 4pm.

Only Clach Glas and Blaven remained to be climbed and Murray writes of how they 'enlivened their diet' with a shared pint of, 'Mummery's Blood', prior to climbing these two peaks: 'equal parts navy rum and Bovril, served boiling hot. Its effect on both mind and body is nourishing, warming, strengthening; it lowers angles, shortens distances, and improves weather'

                                 Clach Glas                                                 
                            

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