Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TGO Challenge 2019 - Day 11

Date: Monday 20 May 2019

Route: wild camp in Glen Damff at NO 247 643 (300 metres) to Glen Clova Hotel (NO 327 731)

Distance: 19 km (Cum: 237)

Ascent: 800 metres (Cum: 8100)

Time taken: 6.25 hrs including 1.25 hrs breaks

Weather: cloudy, warm, occasional sunshine, one heavy rain shower

We woke at 7.30 to a bright but cloudy morning after a few rain showers overnight. Away by 8.40 am on the last few kilometres of yesterday's planned route, we noted the presence of bog asphodel for the first time. Sue reminded me about yesterday's bright yellow large pansies near Glenmarkie Lodge, and today she was mobbed by May flies.

The heavy shower of rain came as we were passing through Drumshade Plantation. We passed between two featureless hills, Eskielawn and Cowharn, which we had planned to climb but didn't bother.

The gap between these two hills had been yesterday's target, and there was adequate camping opportunity in this vicinity, though we had no regrets about stopping at our better spot nearly two hours back along the route.

We now put into place an idea sown by Graeme and Marion on the train from Montrose. Why hadn't I thought of it myself? A direct route to Clova avoiding 5 km of road walking.

So we marched off to the 512 metre Hill of Strome, pausing only for a brew stop, the rain shower having expired. Sheep and grouse shooting tracks led down to Glen Prosen and the walker friendly 'Cramie' establishment.

A slog in barely needed waterproofs up a forest track followed. A right turn up a track not marked on the 1:50000 map saw us on contouring paths to the east of Mount Bouie until we reached a good water source and stopped for lunch amongst asphodel and thistles. The usual: tea, tinned mackerel with oatcakes, dunking biscuits, and a biscuit bar.

Continuing to a broad col at about 550 metres, tormentil and milkwort were the dominant flora. From here it was an easy yomp past a rabbit warren down to the Clova Hotel, reached shortly before 3 pm. We knew we'd find more Challengers here. Graham Gledhill and two others were already installed in the bar - taking a day off and staying for two nights in this fine establishment.

There are between ten and twenty Challengers either here or camping nearby, but not the trio we had expected to see - Roger, Viv and Steve. We spent a sociable evening with various folk, in particular Richard and Rosie - last seen at Bridge of Orchy.

Today's pictures:
Glen Prosen
Looking down to Glen Clova
The South Esk River in Glen Clova
Happy to be in the Clova Hotel, Sue, Carl and Andrew

This posting should be sent using the hotel wifi, which doesn't extend to our room, but we know there is no phone or wifi at tomorrow's destination, so that posting may be both late and short.


Sir Hugh said...

Thanks for a reminder abpout tinned mackerel as a snack on the trail. I used to have that then like many such things it dropped by the wayside for no particular reason and was forgotten about. I will stock up at my next shopping trip. I've just thought it would be as good idea to have a plastic bag to put the empty tin into afterwards.

Phreerunner said...

Yes Conrad, you need to flatten the tin and put it in a bag.
If there's a dog in the party it'll love to lick out the tin first.