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Saturday, 9 November 2013

The 2013 Challenge, day 11: Cairn of Claise and Jock's Road (10)

From Cairn of Claise the idea was to head pretty much due East to Ca Whims and Tom Buidhe, then turn North East and drop down into the valley and back up to Crow Craigies, before turning right onto Jock's Road. So I duly set off East and enjoyed the easy descent over springy turf. But as I got down into the col, a bit of a rethink seemed in order. This is peaty ground, and the hags were complicated by a number of snowfields, some of them at pretty challenging angles. Now this was all safe. A glissade would simply result in slithering down to the broad, flat bottom of the hag. There was nothing here that would kill you. But wrenches and strains were nevertheless possible, and with my shoulder still troubling me I was not too keen on that particular risk (never mind having to admit to the indignity of it on this blog). So I took a good look at the ground and the position of the snow fields, and I surveyed a line which passed North West of Ca Whims and South East of Tolmount, and which appeared to be entirely clear of lying snow.

As it turned out, the line I had chosen to walk didn't avoid the snow fields altogether, for there was one in the dead ground that I had been unable to see when I made my visual survey (pictured). I made it safely across, however, and I joined Jock's Road about half a kilometre North West of Crow Craigies. In the distance I could see a couple of people who I suspected were fellow Challengers coming off Fafernie towards the Knaps of Fafernie; but they were too far off to want to wait for them to arrive. So I pressed on over Crow Craigies.

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