Woohoo! I've discovered how to add a few little tick boxes at the bottom of each post, to enable readers to record their reactions. Do please use them. I think I've identified the four most likely responses ...

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The 2009 Challenge, day 1: Gelnelg to Glen Shiel

Others may have suffered in the wet, but the first day of my challenge was gloriously sunny. I left Glenelg on the old military road, forked right past Cnoc Fhionn, and through the woods to the ruins which are marked on the map as Bealachasan. Then it was a stiff climb up the Allt a Ghleannain and past the beautiful little Loch Coire nan Croagachan, and down into the valley of the Allt Undalan.

The idea was to cross to the path on the north side of the Allt a' Choire Chaoil; but from the heights to the West it was clear that there wasn't much of a path, and that the grassy slope to the south of the Allt Choire Chaoil would be pretty good going. So I headed down the open hillside and crossed the Allt a' Coire Uaine just above the confluence. The river was easy enough to ford, but it was a little on the deep side. So I took off my shoes, socks and trousers, put on my sandals and plunged into the waters with bare legs. The other side, I was soon dry and dressed and back on my way.

As I reached the upper reaches of the Allt a' Choire Chaoil I crossed over, and then made a bee line for the bealach between the Biod an Fhithich and the Meallan Odhar. This was a tough ascent so late in the day so early in the Crossing; but boy was it worth it!! The path descending the east flank of the Meallan Odhar to the road is a spectacular descent, and in the clear evening light it was truly magical.

At the road I turned right, then right again after the bridge, and I ascended beside the Allt Mhalagain. The path crosses the allt by a rather beautiful little footbridge which is not shown on the map; and once safely across I looked for a suitable spot to pitch. There is lots of vegetation and good pitches are not easy to find, but after a while I spotted a little knoll which seemed ideal away to the left of the path. So that's where I pitched, cooking on a rock some twenty or thirty metres away from my tent, where there was no risk of setting the hillside on fire.

As I settled down to sleep for the night, I had a really positive feeling about this Challenge. I had a really great route and it was, I thought, going to be my best Crossing yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment