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]

Sunday 30 April 2017

Ben Donich (NN218043; 847m) and The Brack (NN246031; 787m)

Thursday 27 April

With the magnitude of the gust of wind that woke me at 5 this morning, it didn't bode well for getting up a hill today. However, over breakfast (several hours later - it was a lazy start) I observed that the gusts weren't coming very often at all, and in between it wasn't outrageously windy. Slowly we pulled ourselves together and eventually we started out up our first hill.

It seemed obvious to me to combine these two hills into a single walk, and it apparently seemed equally obvious to the author of the Cicerone guide to the Corbetts. The evidence on the ground suggests that we are very much in the minority.

A nice view, Bertie included

Setting out from just along the B road from the Rest and Be Thankful, the going up the NE ridge of Ben Donich was very well trodden (and, apparently, often much wetter than it was today). That trodden line took us all the way to the top.

First trig of the day

Backtracking a little to head down the east spur, via a pause for lunch, we had expected some sort of trodden line, because surely with so many people treading a line up Ben Donich, many of them must continue to The Brack. They are both Corbetts after all. But no, it was just a cross country yomp, avoiding crags as we went, to drop the 500m to the bealach between our first and second objectives.

We couldn't see any trodden line up The Brack either, so it was a surprise, part way up to stumble across one and even see the occasional boot print. It was but the faintest line, though, and we lost it repeatedly.

I suppose, in view of the lack of tussocks, bog, bracken or heather the description of this ascent line as being easy was accurate, but it was also unrelentingly steep.

Second and final trig of the day

An about turn was performed after admiring the views from the top (which were excellent, but really wanted a blue sky for perfection), and back down to the pass we went.

The path we wanted to find to lead us through the forest turned out to be well marked with posts painted white and soon we were striding back towards our starting point on a forest track, although we couldn't resist a pause to finish off our flasks at a handy picnic bench, which boasted a clear view over to where we were yesterday.

The stats were 8.15 miles walked with 1100m of ascent.

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