Friday, 4 July 2014


The idea was to go away without the car carrying everything for eight days, just to see if I could still do it. I took the train to Glasgow then onto Glenfinnan. There was a funny American family on the train "Gee look kids, sheep". Once at Glenfinnan I walked up to Corryhully bothy and finally off the tarmac. 
Just beyond the bothy a very indistinct path lead away to the left and uphill to Sgurr a Choire Riabhaich 852m (NM 908 871) and onto Sgurr nan Coireachan 956m (NM 903 880). All the way up on the train it had been bright sunshine, as I'd walked up the Glen clouds had began to appear as I reached half way up the hill I was enveloped in thick clagg, by the time I was on the top it was raining hard. Many years ago I'd climbed this hill from the north, from Oban bothy on the shores of Loch Morar by a good starkers path. I was hoping to descend this route but could I find the start of the path in this light - could I hell. In the end I found a gully which seemed to have a run out at the bottom so I slowly and carefully down climbed this, it took ages. By now it was 20.00 I found a flat, dry spot by a stream and pitched up for the night. I was at the head of Glen Pean (NM 898 896). This was about 3km east of where I'd planned to camp but I was happy just to be out in my tent in the hills.    
It rain heavily all night. Next morning dressed head to toe in waterproofs I made my way west towards Loch Morar. There's a small lochan marked on the map, it's only 6 inches deep more of a bog than a lochan. Scrambling along the rocks at the side of the mud proved interesting, beyond it I entered a nether world of house size blocks covered in thick mosses and buried under lush vegetation. Where a moments inattention could lead to a snapped leg bone as the many animal bone scattered about attested to. After following several dead ends I finally emerged from this strange under world, the stream now flowed west and at last I found the starkers path. The rain stopped, the gloom lifted and I began to fell better. working around the shore of Loch Morar was fun, one minute pushing through head high bracken the next friction climbing across rough slabs of schist. At Kinlochmorar is an old shieling - what would life have been like at such a wild spot?

 My route now turned uphill away from the Loch, up Gleann an Lochan Eanaiche and what a spectacular glen it is you'd have to pay good money to see such waterfalls in Wales. Beyond the Lochan is a strange deep cut stream bed the gradient is so shallow that the water hardly moves at all but for two or three kilometers it makes for some nice easy walking for a change. Eventually the stream disappears all together the next one is flowing away into Glen Dessary. A thick wall of forestry plantation blocks the way, at first I can't see a way through, then off to the right two, three hundred meters away  I spy a style. When I get there, there is no fence just a style standing on it's own guarding nothing, behind it an ATV track takes me deep into the woods. The track criss-crosses a stream following it down stream it takes me to the River Dessary and a wide ford. I'm now at a Y junction, the steam leads off along the river following it downstream, I'd come in on one arm so the other one must lead up stream out of the midgie woods and the way to Sourlies.

To say this is a good track would not be entirely accurate, it's easy to see where it goes but to follow it, up down, up down over rocks, jumping stream, through bogs, twisting and turning always onward never straight. Just past the two lochan's I'd had enough and pitched the tent sat on a rock brewed some tea and cooked some food, after that I felt much better.    

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