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Sunday, 5 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, Day 2: Scamodale to Glean Pean (8)

Looking back up the Allt Cuirnean, it had some impressive falls. But the descent of the glen was long, slow and difficult. The track came and went and it was often just a case of picking the best path you could through the wet turf underfoot. For much of the way it looked as though there was a far superior path on the opposite bank; however, I don't think that the opposite bank would have been viable in the upper reaches, and I never saw anything which looked like a good crossing of the Allt Cuirnean.

By its lower reaches the Allt Cuirnean is quite a serious river ... which was a problem because of course I had to cross it in order to get to the bridge over the River Pean.

Since there is no obvious path, there is no obvious fording place, either. I eventually picked a spot just above the confluence where the crossing looked viable, but I wasn't enthusiastic. There was also the question of footwear. My shoes were already sodden; and I normally changed into my sandals as soon as I made camp. But if I'd just used my sandals for a river crossing, they'd be sodden too. So I decided that on this occasion it was a roll-up-trousers-and-plune-in-in-my-approach-shoes crossing. This also meant less time spent sitting in the rain before and after the crossing messing about with clothing, and greater preservation of modesty should any of the people camped on the other bank a little further up stick their heads out of their tents (I'd spotted two tents).

So I crossed the Allt Cuirnean, and then the bridge over the River Pean, and I looked for a good pitch for my tent. The ground on the far bank was neither flat nor dry; but I enentually found a little knoll where the top was almost level and not too sodden; and this is where I pitched my tent in the rain. The second day had not been quite so long as the first day; but it had taken me 11 hours to get from Scamodale to Glen Pean.

I waited until the rain seemed to have let up a little to cook myself supper, then collapsed into my tent and slept as best I could while the storm raged outside.

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