Friday 13 May
What a change in the weather from the last week! It did dawn bright, but by the time Mick was setting out from the Dornie Hotel clouds were building and it was very noticeably cooler than the rest of the week had been.
Off he goes, for his seventh TGO Challenge
Carn nan Iomairean (NG914352; 486m)
I didn’t hang around for long once he’d gone, so I pointed Colin’s nose in a direction with which he is becoming familiar and took myself back up to Gleann Udulain. I knew from Wednesday’s walk that it would be possible to drive Colin a mile and a half along the forest track into the glen, but as I only had one hill on the agenda today I thought I may as well have a longer walk and save Colin the ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ test by leaving him in the same parking area as we’d used two days prior.
The information I’d read about the path through the last kilometre of the forest no longer existing matched my experience; I found no sign of it. That could have led to the outing being aborted, as I’ve (surely, by now) learnt my lesson about trying to bash through commercial plantations, but happily my punt on following a stream came good. It came incredibly good, in fact, as almost the whole way to the edge of the forest I was on firm, cropped grass alongside the rock-bedded stream, and where the good surface switched side, it was a simple hop across on rocks to get to the other side.
A deer fence at the top of the forest was the only fly in the ointment, and once on the other side I checked the map and reset my altimeter accordingly – or as it turned out when the summit came into view and I checked again, I’d accidentally set it 100m too high(if I’d put any thought into the matter, I would have realised that having left the forest track at 250m and ascended constantly upstream, I couldn’t still be at 250m at the top of the forest!). Always a boost when you think you’ve got 200m left to climb and it turns out it’s only 100m .
As you may gather from the summit photo, it was a bit nippy up there. Twenty four hours earlier I’d been overheating in just a t-shirt, and now I managed not to overheat whilst wearing three layers, a hat and gloves:
Retracing my steps (the majority of which were along those forest tracks again; pleasant but not the most inspiring walking ever), I arrived back at Colin with 10.4 miles walked and 1800’ of ascent.
Sgurr an Airgid (NG940227, 841m)
This Corbett something of an accidental hill. Remember what I said a few paragraphs ago about only doing one hill today? Well, after that hill I returned to Dornie and frittered away a couple of hours, then I moved down the road to the parking area for Sgurr an Airgid, intending to spend the night there ready to go up it on Saturday morning.
That intention persisted a while, but I couldn’t help but notice that the heavily overcast and cold morning had become an increasingly sunny and warm afternoon, and it seemed silly to leave the hill until the morning, when it might be cloudy, when I could just go out and do it immediately … even though it was now knocking on for 3pm.
It might have been the biggest hill of the trip so far (841m, from a start point at 9m), but a good path took me up so gently that it was easier than any of the smaller hills I’ve done in this area.
The path was equally good in descent, being of such a nice gradient (yep, lots of switchbacks) that I fair trotted down some of it.
The stats for this one were 6.2 miles walked with 2800’ of ascent.