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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The 2013 Challenge, day 6: Tulloch to Loch Pattack (8)

Up close, the snow field did not look at all inviting. The path was under there somewhere ... but where? And to judge from the angle at which the snow was lying, the hillside either side of the path was at quite a steep angle. Step in the wrong place, and a glissade seemed probable. At the narrower parts of the snowfield that might not have been too serious; but at the broader parts of the snowfield, there was ample scope for accelerating under gravity to a potentially dangerous velocity. I was not minded to try it out.

So I looked at the hillside above and below the snow field, to see whether it might be possible to divert around it. Above it did not look too promising. But below it ... well, I thought I could see a viable traverse, so I went for it. There was a stiff little scramble at the far end of the snowfield to regain the path, but I was safely past it, and could begin my descent.

The descent was easy and the path good; but it was necessary to get across the outflow burn from Loch Bhealaich Leamhain, and there was no way that this could be crossed with one good leap. This was going to have to be forded. So it was off with my boots, socks and trousers and on with my sandals and, after loosening my rucksack straps, I plunged into the water. And BOY was it cold! But I was soon on the other bank and rummaging in my rucksack for a fresh pair of dry socks. And while I was still searching, with bare legs and no socks on ... it started to hail again!

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