Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Scottish Backpack 9/2019. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scottish Backpack 9/2019. Show all posts

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Backpacking with Markus - A Few More Pictures

Allt an t-Sluic
I took over 100 pictures during my recent few days' backpacking with camera shy Markus. Here are just a few of them, starting on Day 1 - Dalwhinnie to Lubvan - blog entry is .
You should be able to click on a picture to access a slideshow, though unfortunately the captions don't seem to appear there..

Following Markus into the narrow defile leading to Lochan na Doire-uaine

Following Markus to Lochan na Doire-uaine

Lochan na Doire-uaine - looking back to the defile

The path to Lochan na h-Earba

Lochan na h-Earba and Binnein Shuas

Markus's tarptent at Lubvan

Day 1: 32 km, 600 metres ascent, 9 hours
Day 2 - Lubvan to Lubnaclach via Corrour - was also undertaken in fair weather. The blog entry is .
The path beside Allt Cam

Crossing Allt Cam


A good water supply in Strath Ossian

Fly agaric

Loch Ossian

Day 2: 25 km, 490 metres ascent, 8 hours
Day 3 - Lubnaclach to Bridge of Gaur, on a rainy morning. Blog entry .
Early morning at Lubnaclach

Brewing up at Corrour Old Lodge

Looking back up Allt Eigheach

The River Gaur exiting the weir

River Gaur in spate

Day 3: 21 km, 470 metres ascent, 6 hours
Day 4 - Bridge of Gaur to Kinloch Rannoch on the quiet road on the south side of Loch Rannoch. Blog entry .
The view from our room at Bridge of Gaur Guesthouse

With Heather and Eddie

Loch Rannoch

A 'project' beside Loch Rannoch

A completed 'project' beside Loch Rannoch

Loch Rannoch

The well surfaced start of a footpath to Glen Lyon

In Kinloch Rannoch at the end of the 97 km walk with 1810 metres ascent

Pitlochry Station - and the start of a long journey home

Day 4: 19 km, 250 metres ascent, 4 hours

Friday, 13 September 2019

Backpacking with Markus - Bridge of Gaur Guesthouse to Kinloch Rannoch, then bus and trains to Timperley




Friday 13 September 2019

A 19 km walk, taking us 4 hours.

Eddie's fine breakfast fuelled us for a gentle stroll along the south side of Loch Rannoch. There was very little traffic as the road was closed due to it's being widened to cater for timber wagons. Apparently the felling of the forest will take many years.

The sun shone intermittently as we strolled along beside more banks of tasty looking mushrooms, and rowan trees heavily laden with berries. There were fine views across the loch.

Entering Kinloch Rannoch, we befriended a stalker called Richard. We enjoyed lunch with him in the café, but regretted that the chanterelle season is apparently over - we had to put up with 'ordinary' mushroom soup. Very tasty nonetheless.

An efficient bus took us to Pitlochry, where we spent an hour in Café Biba.

Then it was goodbye to Markus, with thanks to him for organising this trip.

The train to Glasgow was late, and got steadily later as the journey progressed. I was glad I'd given myself an extra hour in Glasgow. I'd have missed the obvious connection.

The Trans Pennine train on which I was booked was cancelled. 'Seek advice from Trans Pennine staff' the board announced. After much searching, Virgin staff were helpful... 'There are no Trans Pennine staff here, but you can travel on a later Virgin train and change at Lancaster'. There goes another hour!

So I'll be home, hopefully, rather after midnight.

At least it's a comfy train and I have a seat!

I'll post some route maps and some more photos in due course, but in the meantime CJ Sansom's 'Sovereign' will keep me occupied. 

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Backpacking with Markus - Lubnaclach to Bridge of Gaur Guesthouse




Thursday 12 September 2019

A 21 km walk, taking us 6 hours.

After a showery, drizzly night in diminishing wind, we both woke, after very good sleeps, to see thick cloud draped over Carn Dearg, the Munro in whose direction our tents were pointed, and which was on Markus's itinerary for today. He looked out, and crossed it off.

We exited our camping spot (luckily no vehicles had come to run me over, and we didn't see a soul all morning) in light rain at 8.45. A boggy path, up to the bulldozed track linking Rannoch with Corrour, annoyed Markus, whose leaky Meindl boot had him cursing about his wet foot. Astonishingly, my old Scarpa Delta boots, with about 2500 km on the clock, have kept my feet perfectly dry despite the wet terrain we've been walking through.

After the uphill grind to that main track, with views back to the misty environs of Lubnaclach, the track towards Rannoch was easy going. We stopped for a brew in the drizzle at the derelict site of the sanitarium at Corrour Old Lodge. Hard to picture what it must have been like in its heyday. Far from what you see in today's top picture.

Then an uneventful stroll (second picture) to an early, drizzly, lunch stop in the shelter of some power company sheds shortly before a bridge over the Allt Eigheach river. Not much by way of views, but the weather was improving and the mist was slowly clearing from Sron Smeur, a small hill with a good viewpoint.

My suggestion that we go up Sron Smeur was vetoed on 'wet foot' grounds and we continued our gentle stroll to join the quiet road between Rannoch and Bridge of Gaur.

The weir at Dunan Power Station was most impressive, with the River Gaur in spate. We had another break, now in welcome sunshine, here.

Continuing our stroll, we reached my favourite guesthouse before 2.45 pm. Soon we were ensconced in the living room with tea and coffee and the imminent prospect of a hot bath.

Backpacking with Markus - Lubvan to Lubnaclach (NN 373 643) 




Wednesday 11 September 2019

To this spot via Corrour Station - 25 km, taking us 8 hours.

Overnight heavy rain had subsided by the time we left our excellent camping spot at 8.45. It was to be a day of light showers, with waterproofs on and off, principally the former.

After a good track for about 2 km, we continued along a muddy stalkers' path before heading over the pathless bealach leading to Strath Ossian. There were a couple of river crossings. I was glad of my Saucony barefoot running shoes for the first, which Markus managed to cross in his boots, by some miracle not getting his feet wet. Or so he claimed.

The second crossing, after we had tired ourselves out negotiating a network of peat haggs whilst battling a strong head wind, was easier. Unusually I was ahead, and I took the top picture of Markus. I didn't expect him to slip in after that, so there's no photo of him succumbing to a wet foot!

On reaching Strath Ossian, we climbed a deer fence, only then to realise we were trapped in an enclosure. So we climbed back out and made our way to a rough track that signalled the end of today's arduous going. But the first 7 km had taken nearly three hours.

When it wasn't raining the light was wonderful, and we enjoyed the scenery all the way along the gravel track to Corrour Station. On the way, we paused for lunch near Corrour Shooting Lodge, and admired the plethora of different mushrooms and toadstools in the neighbouring woods.

We admired the mushrooms yesterday as well, and wished the expertise of Heather T-S was with us. There are also lots of little frogs in the heather, and we've seen dragonflies and lots of birds. I can identify the chaffinches, the stonechats, the redstarts, the meadow pipits and the buzzards, but most of the others are too quick for me.

Unlike the flowers. Many are still in bloom, including eyebright, tormentil, butterwort, foxglove, ragwort, harebells, scabious, ling, bell heather, buttercups, a yellow vetch, various thistles, yarrow, various daisies and dandelions, bistort, and more.

Grasses and lichens abound. Enthusiasts could be overwhelmed.

A big surprise - no midges!

As we approached Corrour Station there were good views back to Loch Ossian (second picture). Markus's plan was to visit the restaurant at the station and then head over Leum Uilleim to get to this camping spot by a ruin. We paid lip service to that idea by enjoying coffee and cake at the restaurant. Then we headed back the way we had come and turned right near the hostel, along a good path towards Rannoch.

Approaching Lubnaclach we met an off road vehicle laden with dead deer. Then we set up camp in a strong wind. Markus struggled with his flimsy tarptent and had to move it. I realised I had camped in the buggy's wheel tracks. I hope we've left by the time any deer stalkers come past tomorrow!

We had pitched our tents by about 5 pm, so we are both enjoying a long evening in our respective shelters at what will probably be the last wild camp for both of us for many months.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Backpacking with Markus - Dalwhinnie to Lubvan (NN 445 790) 




Tuesday 10 September 2019

A lovely day's walk to this spot south of Lochan na H-Earba - 32 km, taking us 9 hours.

A fine morning in Dalwhinnie.and a huge and rather indigestible breakfast. We both picked at it and soon gave up.

A 9 am start in sunny conditions found us on tarmac for a couple of kilometres before a left turn took us up the rough route through a narrow rocky gap to a lochan bordered with fossilised trees. Time for a brew.

Heading on, we lunched in a spot sheltered from the rising wind on the now overcast day. Some DofE Award children were soon caught up with as we made our way to the Earba lochans, where more DofE students had already set up camp at 3.30 pm. To be fair, it's a wonderful spot, and the weather was looking ominous.

Yet more DofE students were setting up camp at the southern end of Earba, amongst a film set where a large group of people were filming something called 'The Crown'? We'd never heard of it. As we made our way onwards we encountered a fleet of vehicles presumably arriving to collect the actors and crew and return them to their digs.

At this point light rain commenced.

Only 4 km further to our planned destination at an old shieling. Markus was flagging but we made it by 6 pm, before the rain got too heavy. Next to the camping spot was a Land Rover with a dead deer stretched across its front bumpers. A horse box was in tow. After a while, two white horses arrived, maybe with more dead deer. Duly installed, the entourage set off and left us in peace.

Now, at 8 pm, it's almost dark and is stormy outside. Dinner was good, then I started this posting without the aid of the map, which is buried in the chaos of the tent. I'll tidy it up in the morning, but I've no idea when I'll next get a phone signal. Meanwhile, despite hurriedly flinging the tent up, I have a perfect sleeping position, so I may wake late...

Monday, 9 September 2019

Backpacking with Markus - Getting There




Monday 9 September 2019

A cool, rainy morning in Timperley.
9.30 tram to Piccadilly (top picture).
10.26 Trans Pennine Express to Haymarket (Edinburgh). (13.20)
13.40 to Dalwhinnie. (16.00) (Second picture)
Standing room only.
Short walk to Loch Ericht Hotel.
In pouring rain.
Greeted by Markus, looking remarkably fresh after a wet walk.
Welcome refreshments after the train with no drinks trolley.
Basic but friendly hotel. Good to see that it's open for trade - it used to serve as an essential stopping off point in my days of Munro bagging and always had the aura of a Transport Café.
3rd picture - the view from my room.
4th picture - outside the hotel.
Battered brie and fish 'n chips with a beer to conclude the day.
Then... Whiteout - Ken Follett