Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Wednesday 21 May 2014 - TGO Challenge - Day 13 - Burn of Badymicks to burn by Hill of Roughbank 

Route: as planned, from excellent wild camp at NO 588 834 (300 metres) to excellent wild camp recommended by Humphrey, at NO 721 876 (250 metres), mainly along good tracks

Distance: 20km (Cum: 312)

Ascent: 850 metres (Cum: 11850)

Time taken: 7.1 hrs including 2.3 hrs breaks

Weather: hot and sunny after a misty start

Click on the link below (Day 13) for details of my planned route:

After a brilliant sleep and a slow departure as the overnight mist cleared, I wandered along past mink traps and rudimentary bridges to the very pristine Charr bothy. Before Charr I turned a corner to be greeted with 'Windmills of the Fetteresso Forest' - a sight that remained with me for most of the day. I can just about see and hear them from the tent. 

The night's residents at the bothy had recorded their stay (though there was no mention of Maggie) but were long gone. I ate a tin of fish and noted my passing. Swallows were feeding outside the window - hovering to hoover up insects that must have been drawn to that point by a trick of the light. I couldn't spot their nest.

Just beyond the bothy an excavator was doing some drainage work. The driver was the only person I saw all day. 

Beyond Charr there were fine views of Clachnaben, a lovely little hill that I traversed on my first Challenge in 2007.

A red kite suddenly appeared, ignoring me as it searched for a target. The plovers, lapwings, curlew, grouse, LBJs and oystercatchers briefly made themselves scarce.

A brew in sight of Clachnaben (pictured) was welcome by the time I got to Miller's Bog, after which a lovely section of beech wood full of birdsong delivered me to the only road of the day.

After a few hundred metres of that road, the section past Heatheryhaugh proved to be the most demanding of the day. The path to a bridge over the Water of Dye was hard to follow. Then the bridge turned out to be a basket contraption which you step into and haul yourself across using a fixed line. I jumped in and 'cast off' only to find that the basket was secured in a secondary manner - it was padlocked to the stanchion. So I was going nowhere. The haulage ropes were a little flimsy to try to walk across, but a knee deep paddle 100 metres downstream resolved the problem. 

Vague paths then led past Heatheryhaugh to join the Fetteresso Forest track network over Kerloch, at 534 metres my last decent hill on this crossing, to this excellent spot by a stream (pictured).

Kerloch proved a useful spot to catch up with messages etc, and resolve an IT problem with my blog postings. There was a good view across to the fleshpots of Banchory. Tempting, but too far away, and anyway I have a rendezvous planned here with the two unreliable Austrians! I bet they don't turn up! 

Either way, it's a great spot for an eighth and final wild camp before returning to civilisation and the excitement of Thursday night's party at the Park Hotel in Montrose.

Tomorrow's entry is likely therfore to be blissfully brief.

PS The Austrians didn't turn up, so this would have been the first and only day on which I saw no other Challengers, had not Paul Myerscough and Bernie Clark turned up shortly before I turned in to savour another long sleep. 

And Stefan turned up even later. 

Sent from the Fetteresso Forest

1 comment:

Sir Hugh said...

I climbed Clachnaben about three years ago knowing little of it beforehand. The top with its strange lozenge shaped crags is a wonder, and for me an interesting surprise. Discovering things for yourself rather than reading or hearing about them beforehand is always a delight.

You have had a most adventurous trip. Well done.

For some time nobody knew what I was talking about when I mispronounced the name of C saying clak-nar-bn instead of clak-na-ben