Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Monday 16 May 2011 - TGO Challenge Day 4 - Col at head of Coire an Dothaidh to Meadow beside Allt Coire a' Bhuic (NN 408 485 - 380 metres)

Route: Foul Weather Alternative, exactly as planned, subject to a convenient camping spot 500 metres earlier than planned - ie a walk down Gleann Cailliche, then north up Gleann Meran, continuing to near the railway line at the edge of Rannoch Forest.
See Day 4 for map of planned route - we took an easier option.

Distance: 14km (Cum 87) [Mike 14 - Cum 80]
Ascent: 200 metres (Cum 4335) [Mike 200 - Cum 3620]
Time taken: 5.1hrs including 0.5hrs stops
Weather: incessant rain after a vile night
Challengers encountered: None
Others encountered: we saw one man preparing some ground for forestry in Gleann Meran
Flora and Fauna: lots of deer; dog violets and skylarks seem to like the rain
Best bit: relaxing in a warm, dry tent
Worst bit: having to wear waterproofs continuously for three successive days, with more to come

We both had bad nights. It was quite windy and very wet. My tent seemed to fill quickly with water, so I had to lie very straight on the Thermarest in order to stay vaguely dry. Mike suffered more - his new tent appears to have leaked, and his pegs kept leaping out of the ground during the night, resulting in Mike having to leap out of his tent to carry out maintenance work. The inconvenience to me of his noisy flappy tent keeping me awake was, in comparison, a minor irritation.

We got our usual pre 8 o'clock start, and having rejected thoughts of going up Beinn an Dothaidh in the driving rain, we dropped down to 650 metres and contoured across a slope to eventually reach the col at the head of Gleann Cailliche. It was slow going. Mike isn't good at slopes.

Eventually the steepness of the ground eased and we quickly reached a walled area in the middle of nowhere - Tigh nam Bodach - an antiquity that now seems to be a graveyard for sheep and, judging by the droppings, a place where they shelter in bad weather. They were all on the hill today; I suppose that makes us wimps. Pictured above - a wimp at Tigh nam Bodach.

The rest of the morning was spent admiring the view down Loch Lyon (in our imaginations) and strolling up to another col, (from where we could have continued our planned route, but Mike declined and I decided it was best to stay together today), then down to camp, with just a few peat hags to complicate matters in a minor sort of way.

We have a nice flat grassy pitch beside Allt Coire 'a Bhuic, which should be easily crossed tomorrow despite the rain, which continues to patter on the tent as I write. No leaks are evident today, and the only legacies of last night's torrential driving rain are a few wet bags and a damp sleeping bag.

Unsurprisingly, my old Scarpa boots have started to seep a little, but thanks to Sealskinz socks my feet have remained warm and dry. My Sealskinz gloves are sodden and will take time to dry (Mike's have the same problem), otherwise our waterproofs have worked perfectly apart from a leak through the zip of Mike's jacket.

Lunch was again taken indoors - tea and tinned fish in the Phreerunner, which has a bit more headroom than Mike's Vaude Power Lizard.

Camp routine:
Usually arrive between 5 and 7pm
Tent up
Brew up
Pasta and sauce with added John West seared tuna fillets
Angel Delight (butterscotch is best)
Hot chocolate
Asleep by 10pm
6.30 alarm
Tea and muesli
Leave by 8am
But some days, like today, you get extra time, which is very nice, especially if it's not raining.
Today it's raining...

Later, much later, the rain has stopped - for a while!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


Trekking Britain said...

Great reading your trip as it happens guys! Keep going! :-)

Alan R said...

Hi Martin,
Sounds rough, the opposite of last year.
It makes for good reading so i am glad you have been able to post your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin,

Enjoying your reports. Hope the weather clears up for you, and the tops become available.

Regards from Australia.


-maria- said...

Thanks for these posts, Martin, I enjoy following your crossing! Just keep going :)