Friday 28th June 2013
Weather/Conditions: Drizzly rain in the glen which was persistent and very annoying on the way to Sgurr nan Coireachan. 'The rain eased then stopped as I came over the summit of Sgurr nan Coireachan', then sunny breaks into the glens on the way to Sgurr Thuilm. Up high, the wind was quite ferocious at times. Warm and sunny on the hills on the cycle out.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 22.5km / 1470m / 7h 30m
I left James' place in the morning and headed up to Glen Finnan as drizzle fell out the sky. All in all a pretty grim morning. I set off up Glen Finnan, keeping in mind that the weather should improve as the day went on.
The rain was drizzly, almost non-existent but the kind of stuff that soaks you right through. I met a guy called Mick in the bothy at the head of the glen, and we had a chat as I sheltered from the rain. He was walking across Scotland from Inverness to Fort William, up to Glen Shiel and back, then down the West Highland Way. I headed out into the rain and up the first Munro, Sgurr nan Coireachan. It seemed to go on forever, and in the past I haven't found this hill a soft touch either.
The rain just fell and fell, carried on a gusty wind I found unsettling. In reality, I wanted the rain to stop! But rain is to be expected in the Western Highlands, it's the wettest place in the UK.
Sgurr nan Coireachan is a rocky hill, Knoydart in character with exposed rock everywhere. It's a good introduction to the north-west.
The rain eased then stopped as I came over the summit of Sgurr nan Coireachan. I continued to Sgurr Thuilm in mist. For whatever reason, I felt so tired today. Every uphill was just hard work, at one point I actually lay back on a rock and shut my eyes. There doesn't seem to have been any good reason for my tiredness: I've eaten well, slept well, and ticked every other box. But maybe some days are just off-days. my only concern is in the big days that are to come. I hope they aren't all like this!
On the way to Sgurr Thuilm (#2), the mist peeled back and I got some sunny views down to Glen Finnan and Glen Pean. It didn't seem to inspire, and the climb to this Munro seemed as difficult as ever. The wind was quite ferocious at times; I was glad to get to the summit, and be getting down to the glen.
I stopped briefly back at the bothy to pick up the bike. There I met a guy who'd just finished working on Skye and was about to spend a few months exploring Scotland. There were also two guys from Belgium about my age who were going for the Cape Wrath Trail. They'd just begun at Fort William, so still a way to go. Outside, the skies were sunny and the mountains warm. I cycled back under the viaduct and back to the car.
Admittedly, my day today was low in enjoyment-factor. Lower than average anyway. The rain I can put up with, but I just felt so tired. I hope I feel better for all the big days coming up in Knoydart, across the Mamores and at Glen Shiel.
The weather for the week coming up is looking pretty rubbish. If I'm honest I'm dreading it a wee bit. There's so much opportunity to go even further behind schedule than I already am! Today I was going to do Gulvain to make up time, but I simply couldn't face going out in the evening. But here is my plan for the days coming up.
Sat 29 - Loch Lochay pair
Sun 30 - Knoydart/Quoich, with Dougie: Gairich to Ciche. Staying at Sourlies.
Mon 1 - Knoydart/Quoich, with Dougie: Knoydart trio
Tues 2 - Knoydart/Quoich, with Dougie: Barrisdale to Kinlochhourn and back to car.
Wed 3 - Mhaoraich/Gleouraich/Spidean...
Thur 4 - Glen Shiel with Andy B
Fri 5 - Glen Shiel with Andy B
Sat 6 - Mamores?
A bit mental, given the weather!
Anyway, I'm sure things will perk up, I think I'm just feeling a little over-awed by the schedule. But it's all good. It's exactly the kind of challenge I expected. Also, I might not be blogging for a few days while I'm in the Knoydart region. It's all quite remote out there, so I'll be blogging once more when I'm back with the internet - not sure yet when that'll be!
(0.00) 11.55am Glenfinnan
(3.25) 3.20pm Sgurr nan Coireachan
(5.05) 5.00pm Sgurr Thuilm
(7.30) 7.25pm Glenfinnan