Thursday 29 May 2014

TGO Challenge Day 5 Wed 14th May

Fort Augustus to Spey Dam   36km - 1055m ascent - 823m descent
So supplies replenished off I set, my sac was at it's heaviest with 4 days food....although it would turn out I wouldn't need it all. I had seen the forecast for the next 3 days, it looked like the weather would stay mainly dry. But with the wind becoming stronger towards the weekend. Something to consider as I planned to camp high on the Friday night.

A bit of road work ( although nothing compared with what would follow!) and I walked along this track to Ardachy House, very pleasent.

Then I arrived at the entrance to the acccess for the Beauly-Denny power line :-(
As I took this photo a security man rushed out of his office, and asked me what I was doing!
I told him "I was taking a picture of his signs...Is that a problem?"

Perhaps a more official sign is required?

A last look back at Loch Ness and the Great Glen. real progress Eastwards was being made now.

The Corrieyairack Pass is not the most interesting track in Scotland, General Wade must have had some Roman genes in him I think!

I was making excellent time, so stopped at Blackburn bothy for brew. I could see several challengers had passed through in the recent past looking through the bothy book.

As I climbed steadily towards the summit of the pass I was accompanied by the work connected with the new power line.
I like most folk want to go and flick a switch to put the light or kettle on....but it's hard to believe that this line couldn't have been taken over the Corrieyairack in a more sympathetic manner. Thats all I'll say on the matter. :-(

A rather "interesting" cairn marked the summit of the pass. This was another box ticked for me, I've wanted to cross the Corrieyairack either on foot or by bike.

Down into Coire Yairack the Cairngorms start to appear in the distance.

Just before you hit the tarmac again Melgarve bothy appears, in very good order considering how easy the access is for the car borne masses.

Again the bothy book contained evidence of the passage of many Challengers.
I was called into General Wades Office and told "Take that smile off your face!"
I explained I couldn't because I was enjoying the Challenge so much!! :-)

The Cairngorms National Park

Garva Bridge I'd planned to camp here, but it was only 4.30. It also tried to rain, but didn't manage anything. As I arrived David Hale ( who I'd met on the 1st day) and Kate Kowalska were debating wether to camp or not. In the end we all carried on. David's feet were very sore with blisters, so we walked at an easier pace.

Near Glen Shero lodge there was a drilling rig operating. They were looking for water!!
It's everywhere hereabouts!!

David and Kate had had enough by Sherrabeg so decided to camp there. I walked on to the Spey Dam. eventually pitching my tent at the foot of the Markie Burn. Looking back I don't know why, but it felt like I was "trespassing". Mainly due the proximity to the Balfour Beatty compound I suppose.
It had been an easy crossing of the Corrieyairack, and a seed of an alternative plan was starting to form in my head as I fell easily to sleep.


  1. Enjoyed that Al. Keep smiling eh.

  2. Oh, yes Alan...I enjoyed the whole crossing. Indeed if I didn't have to come back to work, I would willingly have turned round and gone back! Still with a smile on my face :-))