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Saturday, 2 June 2012

The 2012 Challenge, Day 6: Through the Lairig Leacach (3)

The Leacach bothy came into view at just the right time to stop for lunch. This wasn't really any great surprise, as the last time I had come this way in 2000 I had stopped for lunch at Leacach bothy ... and of course, the path appeared to have had an upgrade since then. However, the upgrade only reached as far as the bothy. After the bothy I would have to ford the Allt a' Chuil Choirean and beyond that, by the look of things, I'd be on my own!

As I sat eating my lunch, I leafed through the bothy book. THere were a variety of recent entries. Somebody had stayed last night, and had burned a load of heather (I didn't need their bothy book entry to tell me that!!). A Challenger who had passed through yesterday was firmly of the opinion that he would be the last Challenger passing this way this year; although a lady who passed through a little later had added an entry to the effect of "I think I must be following this guy; and I definitely AM the tail-ender." Um ... oh no you're not! He's behind you!!!

Most worrying of all the bothy book entries, however, was one which said something like "met a walker coming the other way who said the river was in spate and the bridge by the old lodge is not usable". Now THIS was a BIG concern ... if it was referring to the bridge over the Abhainn Rath at Creaguaineach Lodge. Because if I couldn't cross the Abhainn Rath there, then I might have to turn back upstream. And ... well, if the Staoineag stepping stones were out of use (as they probably would if the river were in spate) then i might have to go all the way to Tom an Eite. And even if I could cross there (which wasn't guaranteed, if large amounts of wet stuff were tumbling off the Grey Corries) I would lose so much time that I might still end up on the Deeside Way. So ... I didn't like the sound of that bothy book entry. But at the end of the day there was only one way to find out ... and that was to bimble on down and have a look!

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