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 ...

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, Day 3: Glen Pean to Tomdoun (1)

Sunday 15 May. Overcast. Steady drizzle falling. I struck camp and packed my tent away as quickly as I could, anxious to get going.

The path went into the woods, as the map said it would; and then it forked, as the map said it wouldn't. I chose the right fork, because it was going the way I wanted to go, but this may actually have been the wrong fork. It did eventually connect with the well made up track through the woods, but not before I'd had to struggle through all manner of unspeakable bogs masquerading as a path.

Once on the track, though, I made good time and was soon at the bridge over the Dessary river. I took this photo looking upstream. Without the bridge, I thought, this would be impossible to cross ... which begged the question, of course, whether the Kingie was going to be any more fordable.

There was only one way to find out, of course, so I struck on up the path between the Meallan Dubh and the Dearg Allt. Like so many Scottish hill paths, this soon becomes a mere suggestion of a path, and then degenerates into do-it-yourself route finding. Or not finding. As I struggled on up the hill, the valley below me was swathed in mist. When it parted momentarily, I could clearly see the waters of Loch Arkaig below me. Clearly I had drifted too far to the right above the Meallan Dubh; so I altered course and soo picked up the Dearg Allt again and a semblance of a path.

I took no photographs as I slogged over to Kinbreak. The camera stayed in my rucksack. It was hard going. Little in teh way of discernnible paths for much of the way, and on the descent I took a couple of tumbles when I slipped on the wet grass. It was nearly 1 pm by the time I reached Kinbreak bothy! Lunchtime, and I had managed less then seven kilometres! This was not good.


  1. If you had taken the left hand path it is a good dry path through the woods... made because the RH one *is* such a boggy mess...

  2. Um, yeah. If only they'd thought to sign-post it! The right hand path was at the very margins of passability ... but I made it through eventually.

  3. I seem to recall that Mick & I took the right hand fork last year - for the very reason that you did: it seemed to be going the right way. I do recall various tree limbs laid across the boggiest bits, but (thankfully) it was during a much drier spell than we had during this year's Challenge. All the same, we did also conclude that the other path would likely have got us to the same place and more easily. Hey ho - we'll know better next time!

  4. In the wet, the tree limbs were the most hazardous part!! I had to take a detour deep into the forest to avoid them.