Rather than go through all the BAM I did to finish off the year, I’ve decided to lump into one post, as I waited too long to get them done. So, month by month:
Back to normal in that it was a last minute late night ride out to the summit of a local hill called Greymore. Really windy night, but managed to keep warm hunkered down low in the bivy bag as the temps were still pretty mild. Up bright and early to ride to work with an only slightly creased shirt!
Another ride to work bivy with a late start. Everywhere was wet and the forecast was dire, but it was the last night of the month, so out I went. I didn’t stray too far from home, settling for a riverside bivy on the Dee, out past Drumoak. The weather dried up for me to get the hammock set up and stayed off most of the night before returning with a vengeance just as I got packed up in the morning, to make sure I was absolutely soaked through by the time I got to work.
With a friend over from Norway and another up the road from Edinburgh, we managed to squeeze in a great starlit bivy in the forest near Balmoral, before having an epic climb up to Lochnagar, with the bikes being picked up and held sideways by the strength of the wind on the way up the ridge. Next, we continued on to Carn a Coire Bhoidheach, past Carn an t Sagairt Mor, before entering Ballochbuie Forest and making our way back to the start, after picking up the stashed camping gear.
Another last minute job, the night after Storm Arwen trashed the North East. Dropped my wife’s car off for some work in Maud and spent the night navigating snowy frozen roads and numerous tree blockages, whilst passing through various powerless villages making the best of it. After ticking off plenty of VVE squares, I managed to find two trees still standing to throw up the hammock for the night, before heading home with a tasty tailwind and more blizzards for entertainment. Loved every minute of it!
Didn’t manage to free myself for a solstice bivy ride, so went for it between Christmas and New Year in the freakishly mild weather window. Rode out past Dinnet o Muir to set up in the forest nearby, but spent ages trying to find a spot that had some shelter from the strong winds, as the hammock kept turning into a parachute every time I tried to sling it. Mince pie and a beer for supper, followed by a pleasant ride back, ticking off a few VVE squares on the way.
By the end of the year I was on 48 months in a row and planning to keep the streak going. Unfortunately, I left my Jan 2022 bivy till the last minute and came down with a bad case of COVID, leaving stuck at home and not even well enough for sleeping in the garden! The disappointment led to me taking the rest of the year off for BAM, though I still got plenty of them in, despite not having the monthly pressure.