The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday 13 May 2013

Day 3 - Gleann Seileach to Mamore Lodge

12 May 2013 (0735-1620)
Distance: 10.5 miles
Ascent: 4500'
Weather: a trifle damp
Number of spectacular views wot we didn't see: at least 5 (but difficult to say, as we didn't see them)


After a gentle mile along a forest track this morning (during which mile it didn't rain on us once), we shunned gentle terrain and took a brutal line up through the forest. It may have been a tad steep in places, but it got us to where we needed to be and after another long while of rough yomping we were atop Tom Meadhoin, our first top of the day (a Marilyn and a Graham, apparently).

Next up was the rather taller Mam Na Gualainn (a Corbett), but by the time we reached the ascent path, the weather had been less-than-favourable for a while and the top was in cloud. We paused for elevenses, watched five people head up, the cloud cleared a bit and off we went.

It's a straightforward ascent, and even though we tried to misplace ourselves on the way off the top in the cloud, we turned out to be exactly where we needed to be and a glimpse of visibility told us the way to the next rise.

It's a bumpy ridge but the only major loss of height is just before Beinn na Caillich. At the bottom of that dip, out of the wind and with the rain only lightly falling, lunch was had. It was another quick affair. This weather doesn't lend itself to long breaks.

The ridge up to Beinn na Caillich is truely lovely (even in today's weather). The views must be fantastic and one day maybe we will see them. Today wasn't to be that day, so we simply enjoyed the walk along the ridge, to the summit and down a little way.

I don't think any of us (we were still a group of 3 with Kirsten today) much enjoyed the second half of the descent. It goes on forever and is very stoney. I didn't mind the surface so much, but it did seem never ending.

We were due to finish our day at the bottom of that descent, but, as so few miles had been covered and as no idyllic pitch presented itself, we opted to walk on a short while.

As Kirsten peeled off to Kinlochleven, on we went towards the (closed and decaying) Mamore Lodge hotel. Whether their garden transpires to have been a good place to pitch remains to be seen. We're hoping it will be quiet on a Sunday night, without undesirables frequenting the car park.

(As for the photo, I don't remember taking it, but it looks like it must have been early in the day, as we made our way to the top of the forest.)

Click here for Day 4

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  1. Mamore Lodge Hotel - familiar territory. I parked there for an excellent Munro round of Binnein Mor, An Gearanach and Am Bodach up above there. I presume you will be walking up that track that leads to Loch Eilde Mor.

    I am dithering about having a go at backpacking again. I walked 10.5 miles locally yesterday without too much discomfort, and at 8:30 this morning I feel as though setting off again wouldn't be a problem.

  2. I hope the weather and views improve as you travel east.

    Happy Trails

  3. Looks all strangely familiar !!!

  4. Ah - memories. Beinn na Caillich was the site of a wonderful wild camp on my crossing three years ago.
    I had a food dump that turned out to be in the impressive snooker room at Mamore Lodge.
    Hope you had a good fourth day - Corrour perhaps?