Monday, 17 May 2010

TGO Challenge: Day 2; Oban Bothy to Pean Bothy

That's not far, is it I hear you think. It was bloody miles, I tell you. at least it was the way we went about it.

Last night it absolutely chucked it down but the morning was set fair and we ambled off up the glen and girded our loins to head up Sgurr nan Choireachan. In fact everything was going swimmingly. The path up is an absolute beauty, probably built hundreds of years ago by teams of estate workers. The O.S. Have it petering out at about 650m but we managed to follow it for about another 100m to the top of the ridge.

Then the clouds came down with some rain, but not a problem really. But with 100m to go to the top, all hell let loose with really fierce winds from the south with stinging chunks of hail that hurt like hell through the trousers and overtrousers. It's quite exposed up there and the walk to Sgurr Thuilm would have been nightmarish, especially coming off it down to Strathan.

We both knew we were going back down the way we had come and so set off a bit fed up. Somewhere in the going down bit we missed the path and ended up teetering over a big black greasy cliff.

Not good. Not good indeed!

We clambered back up a hundred metres or so and had another go ~ with exactly the same result with an even nastier drop. Not learning from our mistakes we did it a third time, getting increasingly despondent about the whole venture and our dreadful navigation...

So we went back up again, breaking out the GPS and eventually picked up the path. (Thank the Lord! I hear you think....) So we ended up back where we had started the climb seven and a half hours later... Deary, deary me.

We then clattered along Glen Pean (it's beauties now slightly dulled to our senses) and made the bothy at Pean at 7:50pm ~ just five miles further east than our start point this morning with about 1060m of ascent (some of it totally needles) under our belts.

We are totally knackered and now tomorrow is another two miles longer. Ho hum: It's a Challenge!


  1. Well done you two. Surely that is what the Challenge is all about. I'm dismayed by all the reports from people who seem to be running scared of these fabulous western peaks and nervously rushing eastwards on easy paths as fast as they can.
    Have a good one.

  2. Those 'fabulous western peaks' are indeed fabulous, but perhaps more so with a day pack rather than a full backpacking pack for two softy southerners.

    Still - we did our best!


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