Cape Wrath Trek Day 2
Still in nightshift mode, I awoke very early, before 4 am, and made leisurely progress in setting out that day. I was on the move by 6am heading for Meall a’ Ghrianain, the south top of Beinn a’ Chaisteil. Weather was very cloudy and the wind increased again with height. A very steep final incline to the summit rewarded me with the sight of heavy rainclouds closing in fast. A further 2.5km of walking to the north led me to the true summit of Beinn a’ Chaisteil.
Looking at the map and confirming that Beinn Tharsuinn wasn’t too far out of the way, about 5km, I made course for it with thoughts in my mind of summiting it and then still having time to get back and crossing Carn Ban and possibly Seana Braigh before an overnight stop in Magoos Bothy. Oh how foolish that thought seems now on reflection. Only 5km there and back, on rough, pathless, peathags in the rain. No problem.
Not many photos from the next 5 hours it took to cross those 5km and back. I managed to summit Beinn Tharsuinn without too much difficulty although taking a lot longer than anticipated, but returning down to Crom Loch then back down to Deanich Lodge was very very difficult. It was somewhere at this point I had hurt my left knee and it was going to take me all my willpower just to get to Glenbeg Bothy, nevermind crossing Carn Ban.
Back down to the glen floor and now only 6km to Glenbeg Bothy, the original plan for tonight. The first 3.5km is on a good estate track whilst the rest of the journey is rough and at times quite wet. There are normally 2 bothys in Gleann Beag, the traditional stone one and a more modern corrugated iron one that most people seem to prefer. Sometime during the last 2 days though, the ‘modern’ bothy was apparently the victim of a lightning strike and all that remained was a perfectly charred rectangle of an ex-bothy. The smell of smoke still hung in the air. Entering the old bothy I was surprised to be greeted with a loud ‘Hello’. Its not often you meet with people up a remote hill/glen/bothy during the week, but here there were 2 of them. Alastair and Richard were out bagging the Ullapool munros, spending the night here then attempting Seana Braigh and Carn Ban the next day.
I unpacked, cooked some food (Chicken Jalfrezi and rice – thank you Fuizion Foods) then went to take some photos in the now quite nice evening.
We all talked hills for a bit in front of a good fire I had got going. My body was starting to recover but there were thoughts of spending the next day here depending on how I was feeling in the morning.
24km today, and not feeling quite so fresh tonight.