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Friday, 6 June 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 8: Day Off in Dalwhinnie (2)

The train returned me to Dalwhinnie with my resupply, and I crossed the station footbridge and returned to the bunkhouse. Jerry was there, and reported that they had managed the Aonach Beag ridge with little difficulty (but it was still the right decision, with my damaged left knee, for me to remain low). I also met Mark Storey, also on his ninth crossing, and we discussed possible route ideas for our respective tenths. He was staying for a meal, but then heading up to camp in the hills rather than staying at the bunkhouse.

I used the evening to think about routes, and realized that provided I walked the ridge south of the Geldie, as intended, with its two Munros and two Corbetts, I still had a way to make this a High Level crossing. What was required was that after Lochcallater Lodge, instead of walking the Broad Cairn ridge I should ascend Cairn an t-Sagairt Mor and Cairn Bannoch, then go over Fafernie to Tolmount and Tom Buidhe, over Dun Hillocks to Mayar, and descend into Glen Doll by way of the Kilbo Path down the Shank of Drumfollow. It would be a big day, for sure; but it would finish at the Glen Clova hotel. That would get me to 11 Munros and Corbetts; with The Goet of Ben Tirran bringing the total to 12. I made a note of the route variation, but decided not to notify Challenge Control just yet. I would wait and see whether I managed the ridge south of the Geldie first. If I did not, then the route variation for its own sake made no sense at all, as these were all Munros which I had already ticked off the list. So there was some merit in doing them again for the sake of achieving a High Level crossing; but none whatsoever in going out of my way to do them for their own sake.

After supper, I spent a very comfortable night in the Dalwhinnie bunkhouse.

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