Wednesday 27 May 2015

TGO Challenge 2015 Day 6 Wed 13th May

Falls of Pattack to Baileguish  41.2km - 1048m ascent - 1074m descent

It had been a bit blowy during the night, it was quite an exposed spot! Generally I'd slept well, no doubt due to the exertions of yesterday. Today was a new day...I had a quick look at my ankle, still swollen :-( It was dry and I knew the forecast was good for today, Thursday and Friday.  I was mulling over my options as I had my breakfast, and thought I'd see what I thought when I reached Dalwhinnie...

This is the view looking back to the Creag Meagaidh range.This track which leads from the River Pattack to the River Mashie has recently been extended, indeed goes all the way to NN575865. I had expected some of this to be hard going so this was a bonus. 

The Mashie was easy to cross dryshod, and the burn followed up Lochan na Doire-uaine. Clearly there has been a wood here in the past! Things were going well my ankle felt ok'ish

..and then I saw the way forward. There's no path here, not even animal tracks that I could find.
Hard graft.

My route entered this narrow defile, pathless, loose boulders and holes covered by vegetation.
There were a number of rotting deer carcasses, two of them in the Lochan

The way forward was much of the same, the slowest 500m of my walk.

Things improved as I reached the Allt an t-sluic (which had to be forded twice) and eventually I reached the A889. Which I followed into Dalwhinnie

I was ready for a second breakfast/brunch when I reached the cafe. I noticed here that I was walking "flatfooted" on my left leg :-( More thinking required, I rang Challenge Control. I spoke to Alvar and said I was suffering from "Shinsplints" but that other than that felt good and would press on with my route.
Inwardly I was thinking possibly FWA when I got to Loch Cuaich

I followed the aquaduct which helps to feed Loch Ericht with water from Loch Cuaich and the Gaick.
By seeking out grass on the edges of the track walking wasn't to painful

Once past the turbine house Meall Chuaich looked relatively close and easy going. It was a needed Munro so I decided to crack on and get it done.

Climbing felt good, the weather was excellent and the views in all directions superb. The Ben Alder group seen to great effect down the length of Loch Ericht beyond the Fara

Over to the west the Monadh Laith....I knew it would be teeming with Challengers. Yet today I would see only 1, and that was in the cafe! 

Meall Chuaich has a magnificent cairn, the Western Cairngorms looked close at last.I sat down had a snack and drank in the view.

There was a pleasant surprise as I started my descent down the broad NE ridge towards Glen Tromie. The track extended much further up the ridge.

There was a large snowfield to cross though. Someone else had been this way prob the day before I thought.

The long ridge had been a painful descent. Eventually I reached Bhran Cottage. Things now didn't feel good. For some reason I didn't like the idea of camping here, don't know just had a bad feeling to me. Can't explain any better than that!

I'd never been in upper Glen tromie before and thought it a grand walk down towards Tromie Bridge. I'd decided to get the miles in during the cool of the evening and pressed on to.....

.....Baileguish. This was a great pitch, even though I arrived late at 9.15pm! The setting sun lighting up the hills above Glen Feshie

Just time to get sorted and have a good feed. I then had a proper look at my ankle, it was huge. I'd been taking Ibuprofen all day, the swelling was bad, Bright red and burning like hell.
This couldn't be "Shinsplints" or a "Sprain" surely? I was ahead of schedule and knew I'd be in Aviemore tomorrow. As I'd done extra miles this evening I only had about 12 miles tomorrow

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