Thursday, 21 May 2015

TGO Challenge Day 6 Wednesday 13 May

Darren and I left the youth hostel quite early and walked along the southern shore of Loch Ossian, some 5km. Here we met Challenger Harry who joined us for the slow ascent alongside Uisge Labhair, a river. Construction work was going on for the first stretch and then we were met by a new dam blocking our way so we climbed up on to a rough path of sorts across heather and very soon had wet feet again. We lost Harry after a while when we stopped briefly.

There was a pathless scramble up to a higher level path at around NN468719 which we followed upwards to Bealach Dubh where we stopped for lunch with great views back the way we had come and ahead where we had a long descent ahead of us.

The path dropped down, we had to skirt a belt of snow (avoiding the parts where we could see deep holes), and then down to follow an easy winding path in the foot of the glen.

Darren filtering water
 We passed Culra Bothy, closed due to asbestos, and stopped for a breather on the south side of Loch Pattack. I'd been planning to camp around here but we went on to the east side where we found Harry already camped.

Loch Pattack
It all looked idyllic but Darren was booked in at Dalwhinnie Bunkhouse and I thought I might as well go with him and thus leap 12km ahead of schedule. Along the way, we were able to contact the bunkhouse and found they had one space left. It was a long and hard walk, mostly alongside Loch Ericht and my legs were really feeling it. It was relief to tumble through the door of the bunkhouse where we saw some familiar faces - Andy Howell, Humphrey Weightman, Liz and Fred and others.

The food was plentiful - we settled for wildboar and chorizo burgers with salad and superb chips, washed down with a bottle of Cairngorm beer. Following an evening of great company we staggered off to our room feeling utterly weary.

35km walked; height ascended 700m; height descended 736m.

1 comment:

  1. That's the way I went on my first Challenge in 2000 - Loch Ossian to Dalwhinnie in a day. Butr I was planning a rest day in Dalwhinnie the following day (no ... I don't know why I chose to do that, either ... )