Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday 21 April 2010 - Markus's Caledonian Trail - Day 8 - Allt Feith Gharuiareagan to Dalwhinnie
Ah yes - from the North Yorks Moors.
Some time ago.
Today we woke to frozen water bottles and a fairly wintry scene. Winter gear stayed on all the way over two Munros, Beinn Udlamain and A' Mharconaich, and down to Balsporran Cottages. We met just two people (none yesterday), on the broad snowy ridge separating the Munros.
"Is it any less windy ahead?" they asked, warning us of strong winds ahead in our direction. It actually became calmer, and we were jealous that they had the wind behind them.
Conditions today were dry and firm, even where it may normally be very boggy. We spent several hours tramping across what I pictured as an Arctic tundra landscape (pictured above - with Markus demonstrating his superior fitness), with stunted frozen heather scraping a living off a bed of shale.
A short cut meant that we just got a view of Loch Monaidh rather than camping next to it as planned. It looked boggy from a distance; perhaps we chose wisely last night.
Then a long battle with the keen north wind took us over various summits to the west of Drumochter before leading us down towards the A9 and Dalwhinnie.
We lunched in calmer conditions on the lower slopes. My tinned fish blew away from the spork.
An easy river crossing led to Balsporran Cottages and the cycle track that runs beside the A9. We zoomed along here to reach a bus stop in time for the 15.59 to Newtonmore. We'd covered 19 km, with 760 metres ascent, in somewhat less than 7 hours.
Eagle View Guest House is very comfortable, and the Glen Hotel next door has provided succour by way of food and beer. Our food parcels/mountains are intact and our batteries are re-charging (or will be when I've finished this).
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange