Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Monday, 13 May 2013

Sunday 12 May 2013 -TGO Challenge Day 3 - Wild Camp near Lurg Mor to Wild Camp below Beinn na Muice

Route: FWA more or less as planned

See http:/ Day 3 for map - FWA (foul weather alternative) continues beside Loch Monar to Monar Lodge then goes west over Beinn na Muice to a wild camp near a waterfall

Distance: 22km (Cum 70)

Ascent: 980 metres (Cum 3580)

Time taken: 9.75 hrs including 1.4 hrs stops

Weather: overnight rain (it was raining on the couple of occasions I woke up) then fine but grey, with rain from the south west obviously going to arrive, which it duly did around 3pm

Challengers encountered: Sue Moore, by Loch Monar, the only person I saw all day

The familiar sound of raindrops on nylon was no encouragement for an early start. But eventually a brew was on and the familiar morning routine was under way. 

I left the fine site at 8am and took a circuitous route to Loch Monar to avoid any tricky river crossings. The plan worked - there were no 'incidents' today. 

Loch Monar (pictured this morning in the brightest part of the day) is quite long. It took me 6 hours to walk the 14 km to Monar Lodge. Any semblance of a path was occasional and vague. The whole day was like that, hence a rather slow pace.

Sue Moore was standing on the path waiting for me.  We chatted briefly. She was doing the Challenge  to chill out from work, etc for a couple of weeks. Quite a few do that, I think. I left her to her contemplations and continued my traipse on along the path, punctuated by a couple of brew stops and some easy river crossings on slippery rocks. Walking poles came in handy. 

From the south and the west some very ominous weather seemed to be approaching us at little more than walking pace. Waterproofs went on and off. It soon became apparent that my planned fine weather route was not a sensible option. 

Monar Lodge was surrounded by road building equipment,  and a road leading nowhere. I suspect previous residents of these parts may not have approved.  Much has changed since Iain R Thompson (Isolation Shepherd) was here. 

The little hill I chose for my FWA turned out to be a bit of a brute. Very steep up and down, with a nice little summit ridge that seemed longer and narrower than it actually was due to the debilitating gusts of wind.

I thought it would be easy to find a good spot to camp, but the terrain below was a medley of stones and heather in a sea of bog. I'm currently at NH 234 401, near a waterfall. The best I could manage.

The rain eased for a while and the weather cleared to reveal fresh snow on the summits. It's raining again as I conclude this latest episode.  It's a shame I've had to duck out of the main Strathfarrar ridge, as my route from now on could be regarded as a gentle amble.

Sent from a rare place in Scotland - one with a phone signal


afootinthehills said...

Stunning spot for a camp Martin (previous posting). The rest of your route looks interesting and none the worse for being a 'gentle amble', if indeed that's an accurate description.

Hope the weather perks up for you.

wuxing said...

Nice photo of your new tent - looks just like the example on the TN website. I'm curious to know if you're carrying something more substantial than the titanium pegs supplied? Keeping fingers crossed for more clement weather...

Alan R said...

Hi Martin,
Weather same here. Been down Glen Tilt today.
S3 notepad.
Go to apps. Press S memo which gives you templates including just a plain page, choose your page and then press the + in the top right and use as any other writing system.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Gibson, Nick, Alan. The small pegs have all stayed in Nick, but I do have five more substantial pegs for extra comfort. No really strong winds yet, but I have no reason to doubt it will stand up to them.
Alan - I'll try that...

Alistair Pooler said...

The weather in the Fannichs yesterday was also similar to what you had with persistent rain arriving soon after lunch, but then brightening up just as I reached the car!

Have fun :-)