Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Friday 23 April 2010 - Markus's Caledonian Trail - Day 10 - Lochan na h-Earba to Annat

The wind finally subsided during the night. It was replaced by a soggy blanket that hovered over us. We woke to drippy trees and surprisingly chirpy birds.

From our 360 metre camp, whilst Binnein Shuas was clear (pictured), there was fresh snow from about 500 metres, and thick cloud over the bits of Creag Meagaidh that we could see. So the Foul Weather Alternative (FWA) was the obvious choice of route for today. A shame, but Markus is well aware that Creag Meagaidh is in the heart of TGO Challenge country, and perhaps he will return to gain the satisfaction of walking the entire ridge.

We were off again at 9, in waterproofs that stayed on all day. Dawn to dusk rain, and beyond. Dreich, I think some Scots describe days like today.

After an hour along a good track we reached last night's planned camp site. A magnificent spot by a beach at the head of Lochan na h-Earba (which actually seems to be two sizable lochs) - it would have been a bit breezy last night.

We pressed on down to the main road, pausing under some trees to take advantage of a mobile phone signal. The weather forecast confirmed the wisdom of our FWA route.

After a less than pleasant 6km along the road, we lunched at a wet picnic bench before starting the long ascent to the cairned col that separates Beinn a' Chaorainn from Beinn Teallach. After joking with two blokes descending the former (they very kindly offered us a lift to Fort Augustus), we continued on up this boggy ascent - only about 300 metres height gain, but it's hard won.

By the time we reached the cairn it was 3.40. Ahead of us was the trackless descent to join a thin path to Glen Roy.

We made it down to this sheltered riverside spot (NN 357 917) just before Annat, by 6.30. I'm partly responsible for the long time to cover a short distance as I faltered for some time at a river crossing. It looked awkward for Crocs due to depth and current issues. The way to cross was to keep the boots on and move quickly over submerged rocks with the aid of walking poles. One slip and you would be soaked. Dally on the rocks and the water would certainly fill your boots. I didn't want wet feet. I had no spare socks. Markus was using them as gloves. I eventually made it across,

I've had enough now, after another lovely meal it's time for bed. It'll be a disturbed night as, whilst condensation free, the old tent does 'seep' a little in a downpour!

It has been a Wet Day. Sorting the photos won't be difficult. There are two.

We walked 29 km, with 620 metres ascent, in 9.5 hours, to reach this stony but sheltered riverside camp at 250 metres.

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