Monday, 15 May 2017
TGO Challenge 2017 - Day 3 - NN 137 459 to beyond Loch Dochard (NN 233 417)
Route: roughly as planned Wild camp > Allt Mheuran to col at NN 163 433 > Glas Bheinn Mhor (M)(Ma) > return to col for lunch > Stob Coir an Albannaich (M)(Ma) > return to col > SE below Sron na h-Iolaire to join track around NN 197 409 > past Loch Dochard to convenient wild camping spot by trees to the right of a bridge at NN 233 417
Distance: 20 km (Cum: 65)
Ascent: 1500 metres (Cum: 3020)
Time taken: 9 hrs including 1.5 hrs breaks
Weather: sunny periods and showers
Today's timepiece free start saw me leaving camp in reasonable weather at 8.15. So I must have got up at about 7.
I missed a bridge over the river that I thought I had to cross. The river would have been easily crossed yesterday, but overnight rain had made the ground spongy, if not really boggy, and the rivers tricky to cross. After getting across myself, I helped a guy who was going up Ben Starav. My route needed none of the three river crossings I made, and I later met folk who had changed their itinerary because they weren't able to cross.
The crossings weren't that bad, and they did enable me to get a good view of the Robbers' Waterfall.
The Robbers' Waterfall, Eas nam Meirleach, is an idyllic waterfall hidden by the slopes of Ben Starav. The 15 metre double waterfall drops down a dark narrow ravine. It's hard to get a proper sight of it. I think I failed.
It was rough going up to the 800 metre col, and fairly rough up the two Munros. But at least they were clear of cloud, if not the hailstorm that greeted me at the first summit.
It was another rough descent through an area of bog laced with rivulets and full of butterwort and frogs, to join the Glen Kinglas path. A bit further up the valley some people were setting up tents.
After the pathless descent, then a bit of an uphill slog to reach the track, suddenly walking was a whole lot easier. But I was getting tired. Loch Dochard looked a good place to camp beside, but a sign referring to rare ground nesting birds discouraged that. So I moved on to where Alan and Sheila would have been if Alan hadn't developed a tooth problem. It's a good spot. Very flat. I got the tent up just before a heavy shower so it's a bit drier in here than it was last night.
I've seen no Challengers to speak to today, though a group of three crossed the nearby bridge just as I was rushing to get the tent up at around 5.30.
The pictures: waterfall, view from second Munro, and camp.