Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Monday, 11 May 2015

Day 3 - TGO Challenge 2015 - Garbh-choire to Kerrow House B&B, Cannich


 
Date: Sunday 10 May

Route: more or less as planned

Distance: 26 km (Cum: 66)

Ascent: 700 metres (Cum: 3600)

Time taken: 8.3 hrs including 1.6 hrs breaks - excluding 3 hours in the Slaters Arms (Cum: 25.2 hours including 4.9 hours breaks)

Weather: dreich until 2.40, when the sun came out but it continued to drizzle. Heavy rain encouraged us to stay in the Slaters and we enjoyed the final 3 km to Kerrow House in the dry.

Click on the link below (Day 3) for details of my our planned route:

http://www.topwalks.com/tgoc2015.html

Light, intermittent rain in the early hours signalled the end of our purple patch of weather. Knowing that we had a relatively easy day, we breakfasted and packed up slowly inside the tent before ambling off at 8.20.

The way up our fourth Munro of the trip, Carn nan Gobhar, was easily found despite a cloud base of 850 metres or so. It was cool just below 1000 metres on the summit and a tricky boulder field on the descent towards Mullach na Maoile ensured our levels of concentration. Ptarmigan observed us closely and we found a cold egg that one of them must have inadvertently laid on the path.

Beyond Mullach na Maoile a convex slope drew us ever more steeply towards Allt Mullardoch. On reflection, a direct descent to the bridge near Loch Mullardoch may have been the best way down, but my weak knee decided to draw us north of east to avoid some crags. We found somewhere to cross the river without being dunked and we later pondered the thought of Jeremy crossing at this point, dressed only in ladies' underwear!

Beyond the torrent lay a good path to the bridge, and a tin shack held together with gaffer tape beckoned us inside for elevenses. The view across Loch Mullardoch was excellent, though protection from the mizzle was minimal.

We'd been walking for around three hours by the time we reached the dam, and we later discovered that only one other Challenger had come along the Mullardoch ridge - Stephen O'Hara had started from near Iron Lodge yesterday, reaching the dam at around 10.30 pm. An epic day!

A newt wriggled it's way through a puddle beside the road, where wheatears tracked our progress.

Once at the dam, it's an easy walk down the quiet road to Cannich. Waterproofs came off soon after we'd lunched in light rain just beyond Liatrie. Sue is pictured here filtering water for the last gasp of gas from our 250 size canister that was full when we set off on Friday.

The walk down to Cannich, apart from being on tarmac, was delightful. Trees swathed with lichens and mosses were coming into leaf. Breathe deep - the air quality must be good. I'm pictured in this woodland zone beside the River Cannich.

By now the hopping wheatears had been replaced with cheery chaffinches, and goosanders vied with eider ducks for pole position in the river, whilst mallard chicks paddled furiously behind their mother.

The Slaters Arms in Cannich couldn't have been more welcoming. We arrived at 4pm and left at 7pm after a most sociable time with other Challengers coming and going from their B&Bs or the campsite.  A pot of tea whilst chatting to the aforementioned Stephen, the Rev David and JJ - the latter being 'off route' as usual - was followed by a beer with John and Norma, who like several others had successfully fought their way along the north side of Loch Mullardoch.

Dinner was in the presence of Ian C, and George and Martin from Perth, as well as Greg from Massachusetts, who seems to be enjoying the error of his over provisioning by handing out food to whoever wants it. His smile is broader than ever.

It had been pouring with rain, so we were glad to find that the rain had stopped by the time we set off on the final 3 km to Kerrow House B&B. En route we met Alan and Phil, heading to Cannich in a car for a night in the campsite and at the Slaters before returning to Tomich tomorrow to continue their stroll. They had found Tomich to be full, and a kind lady who is in the next room in our B&B but who happened to be at the Tomich Hotel at the crucial time gave them a lift.

I wonder whether the same lady may help us tomorrow, as the partly filled gas canister in the resupply package I left here on my 'Grand Tour' is inadequate given the number of brew stops we are having?

There's a short slideshow for the day (25 images) - here. Click on the first image, then click 'slideshow'.

Next Day - Day 4

2 comments:

AlanR said...

I too found the Slaters to be excellent and very welcoming. I had been led to believe the opposite but no, very hospitable.

Dressed only in ladies underwear?

Paul Sammonds said...

Looks like you've had a good start Martin, hope the good weather returns and you get a few more good days like the first couple.
Excellent looking route on day two.