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Sunday, 5 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, Day 2: Scamodale to Geln Pean (4)

Beyond Corryhully, the quality of the track gradually deteriorates; and as I climbed steadily upwards I had to make a decision. My route card said that I should simply ascend Glen Finnan, pass through the bealach between Sgurr Thuilm and Streap, and descend through Gleann Cuirnean. However, I had also supplied a "Fine Fettle Alternative" which I should follow if the weather were good and I was feeling up to it, which involved walking the ridge Sgurr a Choire Riabhaich - Sgurr nan Coireachan - Meall an Tarmachain - Beinn Garbh - Sgurr Thuilm - Meall an Fhir-eoin and then descending by the North-East ridge to the confluence of the River Pean and the Allt Cuirnean.

As I ascended towards the bealach (seen in the distance in the photo) I watched the clouds. Sometimes they cleared the tops; but most of the time they did not. I had had a long day yesterday; my lower back, whilst slowly improving, was still troubling me a little; and my shoulder was giving me a lot more gyp than it had last year. The shoulder was not helped by the fact that I had a new (lighter) rucksack, and there was insufficient friction in the shoulder strap fastenings to keep them where I had set them. They kept slowly working loose, taking the weight away from my hips and putting it onto my shoulders, and I had to keep re-adjusting. Most frustrating!

Anyway, the long and the short of all this was that when I reached the (well-signposted!) path junction and had to make a final decision whether to go high or stay low, I decided that the day was going to be long enough and hard enough for a second day if I stayed low. So I stayed in the glen, and headed for that distant bealach.

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