Metres ascent: 1386
Time taken: 11.9 hours including 2.7 hours stops
No of Challengers seen: 1
No of Human Encounters: 1?
First, my apologies for the Duinish Bothy postings - only Markus Petter may understand them. Mr Knipe is understood merely to be indisposed, with a severe bout of intermittence.
Shortly after setting out this morning I came across a creature from Outer Space. It was dressed in a silver hump and ambulated using a couple of long black matchsticks.
It turned out to be Wullie Clark. From Arbroath. Does that count as Outer Space?
Our paths crossed for all of 30 minutes. We had a good chat. He hadn't seen another Challenger since leaving Tomdoun, several sunrises ago. He has an allotment. He (like me) likes to keep his feet dry.
Then he was gone. Disappeared into the mist. Did he really exist? His name is on the list...
The day started misty and mizzly. Beinn Boidheach was in cloud. And accessed via peat hags. I waited at the top for the cloud to clear. The GPS batteries went dead. The cloud didn't clear. I found a compass. More peat hags. They were expected. They remind me of my youth - on the North Yorks Moors. And of my adult life - walking in the Dales and the Peaks. I can do peat hags. Fun to navigate through in mist...
The summit of Beinn Mholach appeared. I waited for the mist to clear. It didn't. A phone signal? There battery was flat. I lingered in the mist, faffing with changing batteries on various gadgets that all conspired to fail at the same time.
Went down to Duinish. Saw a man in a silver space suit below. Wullie - he was heading to Loch Garry by a valley route. Duinish wasn't on his itinerary. The bothy had only seen a couple of visitors since I was there with Markus in April. There was no sign of the ghost. Nor any other sign of a visiting Challenger. Either this year or last year.
The mist cleared and I was attacked by a message from Markus and a lump of hot, humid air. Seeking respite at higher altitude I headed up a hill, Creag a Mhadaidh. It had fewer peat hags than expected. I didn't really expect to see swallows here. But I did.
Ptarmigan and both black and red grouse were also to be seen. And mountain hares.
Down to a bridge at Loch Errochty. Very pleasant in the sunshine. Ate a tin of fish. Admired dog violets and pansies, and pretty yellow flowers a similar size to milkwort but more straggly.
Lizards (or were they small snakes?) scuttled away as I disturbed the heather on the steep ascent of Beinn a' Chuallaich. My vetter said I'd be lucky to find a path up here. I got lucky. No peat hags either. The summit was about the same height as the 900 metre cloud base. So the views were interesting.
Descended to this spot (pictured) at 420 metres and with fine views across to Schiehallion, which I've enjoyed all evening.
Thus ends Part One of this year's TGOC. Part Two will be more sociable.
Tomorrow the second part of today's route will be posted, and I won't be overshooting the destination as I have an inflexible end point.
Bye for now.
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