Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Saturday 18 May 2013 -TGO Challenge Day 9 - Grantown-on-Spey to Wild camp near Carn Daimh

Route: virtually as planned, camping at NJ 182 253 at a path junction

See http:/www.topwalks.com/tgoc2013.html Day 9 for map

Distance: 26 km (Cum 227)

Ascent: 930 metres (Cum 7740)

Time taken: 8.0 hrs including 0.75 hrs stops

Weather: rain all day; cloud base 200 to 400 metres

People encountered: one jogger, two cow herders and three mountain bikers - all said hello as they sped past

Kinross House proved an excellent place to stay. Jane did our washing and Gary cooked an excellent breakfast. What with a stomach full of gammon from last night as well, I've hardly needed to eat anything during today's walk.

I'm pictured leaving our B&B in light rain. It could only get heavier. It did get heavier. 

The walk to Cromdale through Grantown's capercaillie pine woods was lovely. Red squirrels played at chasing goldcrests and blackbirds rummaged for worms, but there was no sign of a capercaillie. 

A large group of students was about to launch itself into the Spey as I crossed the bridge into Cromdale. That was probably the best place to be today. 

Cromdale has an impressive station but no trains! 

A few km along a quiet lane to Wester Rynabailoch softened me up for my crossing of the Hills of Cromdale. A path was marked on my map, linking Wester Rynabailoch with Strath Avon. There was little evidence of such a path on the ground.  The ascent to the watershed, through giant clumps of steep heather interspersed with boggy quagmires, in pouring rain, in a cloud, was a little on the tedious side.

After spending two and a half hours on this 6 km section of the day's amble, I was pleased to find tourist facilities in the glen, namely a car park and an information board. These proved a good omen. The walk up to the lofty peak of 'Could Be Anywhere' (aka Carn Daimh) was along good tracks. Some single track mountain bike trails are under construction here - they promise to be challenging. 

Near the summit I spotted a suitable  camping spot, but with no water on board I continued towards my planned destination a kilometre down the hill in a more open area. But after a while I found a rather peaty water supply so I stocked up and returned to the pitch in the trees. 

A deluge in this nice flat spot has failed to flood me out and by the time this report is sent I should have enjoyed a good night's sleep. It's only 8pm but seems to be getting dark! Even the birds have gone quiet! 

Thanks for your comments - I've tried to reply to some of them, but the signal here is rather vague. 

In particular, thanks Ali for your company over the past couple of days and at Struy.  You may have been wise in choosing a route around,  rather than over, the Hills of Cromdale on this occasion! 

Sent from the descent to Tomnavoulin from Carn Daimh

5 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

That pathless trog sounds familiar. There is always that nagging feeling that the proper path is probably only a few yards to left or right, and, I at least, keep veering off in either direction, zig zag fashion to see if it is there, but rarely with success.

Alan R said...

Hi Martin,
We drove back to Manchester in a deluge for 5.5 hrs. I am glad i wasn’t walking in it.
Cloud base was a bit higher than yours but not by much.
Enjoy the rest of the walk. Hopefully in improving conditions.

Bramble Corner said...

Hi Martin
Enjoying following your progress as ever! I see it should be warm today!!! Good luck for the rest of the trip.
Lyn, Simon, Polly & Ben xxxx

afootinthehills said...

Hi Martin

I can't recall there being any paths worth the name in these hills, at least not when we traversed the ridge in the 1990s. I do recall them being rough and boggy - and that was in 'dry' conditions!

Weather looks quite good for the rest of your journey.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Conrad, Alan, Lyn and Gibson.
From an inland sea fret - but a good place for a mug of hot chocolate by the River Deveron...
Paths ok so far today - just have to dodge the farm vehicles going past. Some tasty snaps for Alan R!