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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The 2011 Challenge, day 9: Cairngorm Lodge to Tomintoul (3)

As I headed North from Ryvoan, I was particularly struck by the amount of cotton grass on either side of the track. A walker I once met in the Peak District confessed that when he was little, he had thought that cotton grass eventually grew up into sheep. You can see why he might have thought that ...

Anyway, as I sat at breakfast in the Youth Hostel, I had been struck by the speed with which the clouds were scudding by overhead. This meant thaty there were strong winds up above, suggesting that "going high" might not be all that wise. The weather forecast at Glenmore Lodge had suggested much the same. And finally, as I headed through the woods, a broken limb of a tree which had been dislodged by the winds of the past few days came crashing down not so very far away from me. Put together, these three things convinced me that today was not a day to go high. Today was a day for my Foul Weather Alternative route ... again!

My main planned route had been to cross the River Nethy at the ford, take the track up Bile Buidhe, and ridge walk Geal Charn to Carn Ruadh-bhreac, down to Ca-du Ford and follow the path down the Water of Ailnack into Tomintoul. My FWA was to continue to Forest Lodge (where there is a bridge over the River Nethy - making this my preferred route if the Nethy should be in spate also), then by Loch an Spioraid and over the Dorback Burn, by road to Dorback Lodge, track past Letteraiten and Stronchavie to Kylnadrochit Lodge and by road into Tomintoul.

In the event, I didn't exactly walk this route, either ... but more of this anon.

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