Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Friday, 24 May 2019

Thursday 23 May - Tullich Hill. L51

From Shee of Ardtalnaig (May 2017) the steep broken slopes of Creag Gharbh of Meall Mor looked worth exploring and a walk from Tullich Hill to Meall Mor itself, diverting to take in the Corbett Top, Meall nan Oighread, looked no less appealing. Today, the plan was to go to Meall Mor via Tullich but I made a bad decision: I decided to try my boots again.

It didn't take very long for me to realise that I'd taken leave of my senses. Worse still, I could easily have turned back and changed into trail shoes when I felt a twinge in the tendon only five minutes into the walk, but decided against. Persevere, I thought, and pushed on through the tussocks to reach easier ground. However, on the top of cold, very windy Tullich Hill, I decided enough was enough, and reluctantly we called it a day and headed back, a stop for tea easing the pain. We will return, of course, but as the weather improved with every downward step I felt pretty fed up at having ruined the day for Lynne, though she would hear none of it.

At the car I changed immediately into my Merrell trail shoes and sighed with relief. I've rested the tendon today (a day to be on the hill for sure) and while in Killin bought another pair of the same shoes - just in case Merrell, like so many manufacturers these days, 'improve' a perfectly good design. The owner threw in a pair of socks worth £14 which I appreciated. The weather appears to be on the change so we'll have to have a think about what to do next.

Photos: (not many were taken on this walk).

Summit of Tullich Hill with route to Meall Mor right of Lynne.
One of five antlers we found.
The Tarmachans from Killin (today)

5 comments:

  1. Sorry to read of your tendon problem. It’s a painful one. If you have a swollen lump at the heel you need to reduce this before getting out on the hills again otherwise you could rupture it. It’s very frustrating especially with the good weather but there is no magic cure. I’m sure you know this anyway but rest is needed and maybe some support.

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  2. Until very recently I have used trail shoes almost exclusively for over two years. If they are Gortex or similar with a bit of care I have nearly always kept my feet dry and they can cope pretty well with rough terrain. I certainly use trail shoes on my long walks which are more inclusive of proper paths and tracks and tarmac. I have now had three pairs of Mountain Warehouse trail shoes which are very reasonably priced with full waterproof lining and Vibram soles. MW don't do half sizes and with the last pair I went up a size which has certainly given me a bit of extra comfort.

    Have you had a medical diagnosis of the "tendon" problem?

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  3. Hi Alan - Thanks for your advice. Much appreciated. It’s definitely (mostly) a left boot problem with the cuff tapping the tendon. I can walk anywhere in my trail shoes with no pain. There’s no lump and within minutes of taking off boots and switching to shoes, the pain disappears although there can be tenderness when I massage the tendon after which it feels normal. I may pop along to my local physio when I get home if he can see me quickly.

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  4. Hi Conrad. I’ve worn trail shoes regularly over many years on and off paths so outside winter I’ll be fine if I can’t ever wear boots again. My winter boots don’t cause an issue. These Merrell are the best trail shoes I’ve worn and I’ve just come back from five hours in heavy rain and my feet are bone dry. As for a diagnosis of the Achilles problem, I’ve not had a recent diagnosis, but previously my GP said it was just loss of elasticity (aging process) and said physio might help, which it didn’t. Up until now it has never bothered me when walking. I’m fairly confident that trail shoes and my Targhee III boots will be the answer. Thanks very much for your interest. One of the pleasures of blogging.

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  5. Sorry Conrad. The diagnosis first time and I’m sure it will be the same now, was Achilles Tendonitis. AlanR is unfortunately correct and there is no magic cure, probably no cure at all. I’ve no pain after today’s outing thankfully.

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