Tuesday, 19 May 2015

TGO Challenge Day 5 Tuesday 12 May

I left Gairlochy Holiday Park around 8.30am. The recommended way into Spean Bridge was along the course of the former Invergarry and Fort Augustus railway. This was accessed via a gate within the site. It led first of all through a sort of caravan graveyard. The path was alright to start with but very soon deteriorated into ankle deep wetness and mud. It was easy to follow though but I had to divert from it a couple of times on to higher ground where the way was obstructed by fallen trees and general undergrowth. It was interesting to see the ruin of General Wade's High Bridge. Here were fired the first shots in the Jacobite uprising in 1745.

I located the Spar shop in Spean Bridge where I restocked some food items and posted maps back home. I left Spean Bridge at 11am, a road walk for some 3km and then a track which I left at NN252807 where there were a multitude of SROWS signs, the one to Corrour Station 12m being the one I would follow. I didn't see anyone else all day. At Lairig Leachach Bothy, I crossed the river

and continued on the path straight ahead, only realising after about 1km when I was too far away from the river to my left that I had taken the wrong path. It was then easier to back track the 1km rather than bash across country so that is what I did. It was very annoying. I then located the correct path and followed it where it eventually led along the southern shore of Loch Treig. I was half expecting to catch up with Darren as I kept seeing what were probably his recent footprints in the mud although he had left Spean Bridge some time before me but I was taking only short breaks so might have caught up but the wrong turn obviously lost me time.

I had originally thought about camping around Loch Treig but nowhere would have been suitable and there were lots of works going on on the part of the Corrour Estate. At the railway bridge at NN341681 my way should have taken me alongside the railway to Corrour Station but just the other side of the bridge I was distracted by the presence of another hiker. I thought at first it might be Darren as he was wearing a blue top but it turned out to be a new face, belonging to James, from Banchory, another Challenger. He was vaguely looking for somewhere to camp but we walked on together. It was only after a while when I realised that the railway line should have been on my right that it became clear that I hadn't taken the path by the railway bridge. Anyway, it didn't matter as the path we were on was, in fact, a slightly shorter route to Loch Ossian Youth Hostel where I had reserved a bed. The YH was a welcome sight after a very long day. It can just about be seen in the picture below to the right of some trees in the distance. James went off to camp somewhere nearby and I was to see him again further along.

Darren had arrived only an hour before me and pressed a welcome mug of tea on me. There were other Challengers there as well. The setting of the hostel is amazing, right on the shore of the loch. I slept very well that night!

Surprisingly, only 16km walked; height ascended 328m; height descended 410m.


  1. Great photos with the blog. Hope all is well.

  2. Hey Geoff, Enjoying your blog, I'm sure you walked a lot more than 16km though. I started in Spean Bridge that day and did 26km and total ascent was 845m. Oh its Darren by the way. Hope the legs are getting better. Funny thing I have some almost identical photos to yours even the rainbow and we were not walking together that day.

  3. Legs seem fine. Just itching to get out again with a pack on my back. I'll have to check that distance.

  4. You know, Geoff, with all this taking of wrong paths you've been doing, you might have been better off following my lead and leaving your maps in the Bree Louise :-)