Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Saturday, 15 May 2010

TGO Challenge 2010 - Day 1 - Lochailort to NM 814 789 - about 1 km from Lochan Feith Easain - The Wilds of Moidart

Distance walked: 14.5 km
Metres ascent: 1640
Time taken: 8.5 hours including 1.25 hours stops
No of Challengers seen: 0
No of Day Walkers seen: 4

Away we go...

After saying goodbye to those at the hotel, and being snapped for the album by JJ, I set off alone.

Out of 44 folk setting off from Lochailort, I seem to be the only one to be bagging the three Corbetts (mountains of 2500 to 3000 feet in height, with at least a 500 ft drop between them) immediately to the south of the hotel. Maybe they have all progressed further in an easterly direction than my paltry 5 km!

Anyway, today went well and has left me with the (I predict rare on this trip) chance for an early night.

The day started cloudy and showery, gradually improving to excellent walking weather - not too hot, very little wind, etc.

My planned route suffered an immediate amendment when I realised I'd failed to incorporate a visit to the ocean (Loch Ailort). I met two of the Americans in Russ Mannion's team who had also appreciated that particular nicety of the Challenge, but I don't know whether anyone else actually bothered to start at the coast (bar someone who was almost camping in the loch!).

There was a thin, but unexpected, path up the Allt a' Bhuiridh valley, so I took the advice of Colin Crawford (my vetter) and by-passed Seann Chruach by taking the valley path. I just about got a view from An Stac, but had to descend in mist.

Rois-Bheinn was also in mist, so there was no point in visiting its western summit. That contributed nicely to my early finish, as did the terrain, which was not as rough as I had expected. Until, that is, the final knife edge ridge of Druim Fiaclach and the following sharp descent down steep ground with randomly placed small cliffs. The key to success on the ridge was to stay on the blade of the knife - quite entertaining at times. Good views too (see snap).

I'd enjoyed lunch on the summit of my third Corbett, Sgurr Ba Glaise, after a satisfying morning's walk. Here I received a message of encouragement from Geoffrey (who I promise to visit in Macc asap) and the first of two pairs of day walkers passed by. They are the only people I saw all day.

It's a lovely evening as I gaze from the open tent down Glen Aladale to Loch Shiel, as I tuck in to my pasta and tuna dinner.

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