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Saturday, 8 June 2013

TGO Challenge 2013: Day 4: To Tulloch

Osbert Sitwell did a fine job drying my boots overnight. I must remember to thank him when I next see him.

We woke to blizzardy showers thrashing against the bothy walls, but decided that our route over to the Lairig Leacach would be okay as it was mostly with the wind. I’ll let the pictures tell the story – but what you won’t see is the blizzard we were caught up in – but it was all good fun.

TGO2013 DAY 4

[CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE]

You really should click on some of these pictures as they are pretty good – a combination of all three of Andy’s Phil’s & my attempts at capturing the day.

PHIL'S PICTURE OF BEN NEVIS FROM MEANACH BOTHY

[PHIL’S PIC OF BEN NEVIS FROM MEANACH BOTHY – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

PHIL & THE MAMORES

[PHIL & THE MAMORES – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

PHIL'S PICTURE OF THE MAMORES

[PHIL'S PICTURE OF THE MAMORES – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

ANDY'S PICTURE OF PHIL & ME & INCOMING BLIZZARD

[ANDY'S PICTURE OF PHIL & ME & INCOMING BLIZZARD – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

ANDY ENROUTE TO LAIRIG LEACACH

[ANDY ENROUTE TO LAIRIG LEACACH – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

ANDY

[ANDY - CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

PHIL'S PICTURE OF ANDY

[PHIL'S PICTURE OF ANDY – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

PHIL'S PIC OF ANDY & ME & LAIRIG LEACACH

[PHIL'S PIC OF ANDY & ME & LAIRIG LEACACH – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

We called into Lairig Leacach Bothy for an early spot of lunch, snaffled some army soft drinks that had been left and left some Mountain House meals in their place – they didn’t seem to be popular this year. Then it was straight up the side of Sgurr Innse and over the bealach on the right and down into the glorious Coire na Cabaig.

ANDY'S PIC OF SGURR INNSE

[ANDY'S PIC OF SGURR INNSE – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Coire na Cabaig is an absolute gem as you will see from the pictures below. A gushy set of streams and falls with fabulous views all the way down to Creag Meagaidh and back up the way we had come. Utterly fabulous.

ANDY & COIRE LICE

[ANDY & COIRE NA CABAIG – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

COIRE LICE

[COIRE NA CABAIG – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

THE BOYS, LOOKING BACK TO SGURR INNSE

[THE BOYS, LOOKING BACK TO SGURR INNSE – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

 

LOOKING BACK TO SGURR INNSE

[LOOKING BACK TO SGURR INNSE – CLICK TO ENLARGE]

Then we joined the line of the old tramway. In the summer, I am sure this would be an absolute delight, however, we caught it after a very wet winter and it was a waterlogged nightmare of squishy track, often completely flooded. We made heavy weather of it and to add insult to injury, you are accompanied by a barbed wire fence along its entire length. The views from it were lovely though.

Then we dropped off down to Fersit.

Now here’s a place! The path takes you past a row of homes that are barely huts – it definitely doesn’t feel like a right of way – but it is marked on the map. Even the people living there didn’t seem to know that there was a track to Tulloch. In fact, after passing the huts and what felt like someone’s drive, you come to an eight foot locked metal gate that you have to clamber over in the middle of a horrendous bog. The only thing missing was a sign saying “Beware of the leopard!”

However, once past the gate, the track is quite pleasant for a short while, whilst you shadow the route of the railway.

ANDY'S PIC OF PATH TO TULLOCH

[ANDY'S PIC OF PATH TO TULLOCH]

Then it all went horribly wrong as we lost the line of the path in the forest plantation and had to extract ourselves by forcing our way through dense conifers down a steepish hill and then clamber through one of the most unpleasant foul-some tussocky bogs I have ever clapped eyes upon. To cap it all we then had a couple of deer fences to climb.

I arrived at the railway bridge over the river in a very poor state indeed – absolutely knackered, scratched and bleeding from the conifers and on my last legs. I almost fell into the bunkhouse.

The Tulloch Bunkhouse is very friendly, the food is very good, but it is a bit run-down. But it was a very welcome home for the night and we spent a good evening sorting ourselves out with another party of Challengers from Glasgow.

17 comments:

  1. ooo hardcore stuff - all these damn fences, boggy tracks - herculean efforts required.

    wonderful pictures, wild panoramas.

    grandly done! I'm cheering you on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Adam
      :-)
      I was tremendously shagged at the end of this day - More tired than I can ever remember.

      Delete
  2. Great pictures Alan. It was a good day in the blizzard. Seeing the three of you going up the side of Sgurr Innse and over the top with the black cloud as your backdrop, looked great, as we headed south from the bothy. Forgot Mr Stormin's waterproof socks in the bothy though. Loving your blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John

      This was one of the best days of the walk - even though we were still heading north!

      The weather made it spectacular - the snow and wild cloudscapes making for great views and pictures.

      Norman was bleating about those socks whenever we met him!

      Delete
  3. some cracking photos as is the norm. now just tell mr walker to crack on with his report as i,m in need of a damm good laugh .also good to see your on the road to recovery

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ta Chris
      Mr Walker is being slightly lax, isn't he?
      :-)

      Delete
  4. Top day that Alan and fine photos. Good route so far.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil's route and everyone's pooled pictures.
      :-)

      There will be more tomorrow.

      Delete
  5. Andy's pack looks very heavily loaded in some of those pictures.

    Not suggesting foul play or anything, no need for lawyers to be involved; just an observation, that's all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was. That may explain the nerve and tendon damage to neck and top rib area, that I am still suffering from.
      And I thought it was just my fault for taking far too much crap.

      But, now I look back.... ;-)

      Delete
    2. It looked quite a bit smaller when he took that silly rucksack cover off - Andy as carrying a rather trim Exos 46.
      I have never understood rucksack covers - they don't keep your pack dry and they just catch the wind.

      Then of course, there were the rocks Phil stowed... Did we mention those?

      Poorly neck Sir? You need 3 pints of patent neck lubrication. I'll write out a prescription for you.

      Delete
    3. That would be nice, you are definitely in the right place to get a prescription that's for sure.

      Delete
  6. I wroted a note to Mr Manning about that nasty track and the trees and the gate and the bog and the leopard - and told him that it was all jolly hard work and not at all nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Top man!

      I think we should ask Scotland for an apology.

      Delete
  7. Lovely photos :-) It was jolly cold and windy up high that day - I was up a Corbett in the Northern Highlands that morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The man's barking mad, but quite quite lovely!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Thanks :-)

      In defence, I did time my walk that day so that I could sit out the worst of the weather in the cafe in the Inverness branch of Tiso!

      Delete

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