Thursday, May 20, 2010


All that time in Fort Augustus and I really still haven't seen much of the town or Loch Ness up close. I should gave done more but instead I eventually found my room and napped.

The walk out from Stravaigers seemed longer than it need be but I reckon that was an illussion brought on in part by not quite knowing if I was going the right way. With fits and starts I found the old military road and began the assault of Corrieyairack Pass.

Weather was great. Not too hot and becoming clearer. The oath, an ancient road built by the redcoats, is easy to follow but gravelly and hard on the body. Down below you hear farm sounds, up above you see hills and speckles of snow near their tops. Up and up you go. I think took a bit more than four hours to reach the top. I'm sure many do it much quicker.

The winds whipped around me and others as we sheltered in the lee of a workers hut at the top. It must be there for servicing the powerlibe pylons. You leave the top and hut ruined zig zagging path. It is simply awful boulder strewn nastiness. Walking the tussock grass on the side is the only real way to go and a path has been worn in by people on the ridgeline.

As I descended people caught up to me. Some had left a couple hours after me. Some had done tough ctoss country treks to get where they were. Always makes me feel a bit snail-like. Chatted with a few and in due course, about 17:00, I reached Melgarve bothy.

We had a thriving group here though I'm sure it paled in size to the group at Garva Bridge. A very nice night. The hike to Laggan would be an easy one the next day.

The monadhliath Hotel pulls people in like a tiny trail town. It is easy to take a meal and just stay. Many do exactly that. I pitched my tarp in the church ruins and spent the afternoon and evening talking with other Challengers. Loads of fun and a reminder why events like this are worth doing.

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** Ken **

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