Monday, 22 June 2015

TGO Challenge Day 7 Thursday 14 May

Darren and I didn't leave the bunkhouse till mid morning. The full Scottish breakfast was well worth taking time over with lots of coffee to help it down. Dalwhinnie Bunkhouse really is an excellent place. We headed down the A9, stopping off at the petrol station/shop/post office for Darren to post another parcel home - food and gear he didn't want to carry. Then over the river bridge to follow the lengthy aqueduct towards Loch Cuaich.

Following Allt Coire Chuaich, it was a long and gradual ascent to a lunch stop at NN719867 where we caught up with Fred and Liz. I had been intending to end the day at a wild camp at about NN722853 but I'd heard that the descent towards Gaick Lodge was horrendously steep and we could see quite a bit of snow up there so we changed our plan and decided to go off in the same direction as Fred and Liz had gone. The destination was a wild camp around Allt Bhran. It was an interesting way to go - about 5.5 km over virtually pathless heather and bits of bog; very hard work and the constant twisting of knees and ankles didn't help.

My legs became quite uncomfortable which I put down to pulled muscles. My right foot was painful to lift. At a point where we stopped for a quick break, we were joined by James, who I had met on Day 5. We headed for a stone track at NN751882 which was visible from quite a distance. That was then followed until we left it to go east, aiming for a bridge we could see (on the map) at NN763890. Here again, the ground was very rough and absolutely no sign of a path. After about a km, we started to look for the bridge. However, it was evident that there would be quite a drop down to it as the river it was to cross was out of sight below us. Getting to a point where the only way was down, we scouted about for the bridge but couldn't see it. Eventually, it was found and rarely have I been across such a rickety bridge. There was a drop of maybe twenty feet to the river gorge below. We went across one at a time, each thinking that the bridge might give way. There was then a pathless ascent through ferns up to a metalled track which we followed north for a km or so before heading sharp south east to the weir over Allt Bhran. It having been a day without rain, the evening was just perfect. Looking for a place to camp, we spied from a short distance two tents (which turned out to be occupied by Humphrey Weightman and Andy Howell). We went on a short way to pitch by the river which was just about as nice as it gets. The legs were in dire need of a rest.

Allt Bhran
20km walked; 572m ascent; 487m descent.

1 comment:

  1. If you're ever going that way again, head for the dam. It's difficult to miss (look for the end of the loch); the gates at either end are left unlocked; and it's FAR less rickety. Plus, there's a nice path "cutting the corner" to the Allt Bhran ...