Monday 25 May 2015

TGO Challenge 2015 Day 5 Tues 12th May

Fort Augustus to South of Falls of Pattack  43.7km - 1253m ascent - 964m descent

I woke knowing I had a long day ahead to get back on my original route. The first part of today's revised walk would take me over the Corrieyairaick Pass, which I'd trekked over last year. As I ate breakfast in Morag's Hostel the rain was coming down steadily and was backed by a Westerly least it would be on my back!

I made good progress up the Corrieyairaick, and stopped for a snack at Blackburn Bothy (As I did last year!) The rain was now showers rather than persistant

The rain had been horrendous over the summit of the pass. However after another break at Melgarve Bothy in the company of Ken Proudler, Angus and Andrew McKinnon and Gerard, the weather started to improve. As I was walking down the road towards Garva Bridge I felt as though I had developed "shin splints" in my left leg....pushing to hard over the Corrieyairaick I thought. I knew from experience that this would pass off after a few hours if I eased off the pace.

Garva Bridge, and entry into the Cairngorm National Park. Just over the bridge was Steve...offering free hot chocolate to TGOC'ers! I spent a pleasant 45mins or so chatting with Steve and Russ Mannion.

Then it was back out into the breezy wind and passing showers (a lot lighter now) 

The weather was improving all the time, I was on new ground as I took the track over and down Glen Shirra. This has been overlaid by a "motorway" of a track further on as part of the Beauly/Denny powerline

This was a point at which I should have made a different decision, my ankle was now really rather painful...perhaps a sprain I thought? The road would have taken me out to Newtonmore eventually...but I chose to enter the Ardverikie Estate and thence back onto my original route. 

Creag Meagaidh was shrouded in cloud as I looked West down Loch was time to start looking for somewhere to camp.

The track beside the River Pattack was great, I made the detour to see the Falls of Pattack. The scenery took my mind off my grumbling ankle, which seemed better now I was off road and going uphill.

This was exactly where I had planned to camp! I was back on my original route, I love it when a plan comes together. It had been a 12 hour day but other than the ankle, which upon inspection was very swollen things were going well.
As I drifted off to sleep I wondered if my ankle would feel a bit better in the morning......

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