Cape Wrath Trek Day 3

Alastair and Richard left pretty early this morning on their long trip back to the Aultguish Inn via Seana Braigh and Carn Ban. I awoke early but decided to stay put for a bit. Eventually I dragged myself up to be greeted with quite a nice day, the sun was shining, it was very warm and I was feeling great again. Decided to head off this day after all, missing out the corbett Carn Ban, and instead just tackling the munro of Seana Braigh, then dropping down to Magoos Bothy for a fairly short-ish day. It was after midday when I set off.

2km after starting out and just nearing the summit of Meall Feith na Slataich, I was forced to don the waterproofs once again, the rain was back and it was quite heavy and prolonged. Instead of carrying on, I set the tarp up and took shelter. About an hour later it eventually began to clear, and I struck out again enjoying the quite easy walk now to the summit only 3km away. I stopped at the low point between the summit and the impressive Creag an Duine for some photos.

Reaching the summit, the views in all directions were superb especially out west. Across to An Teallach. Looking out to the Summer Isles. The Coigach and Assynt hills on the horizon. Conival and Ben More. Ben Hope and Ben Loyal. Ben Klibreck. Looking back the way I came Ben Wyvis was now starting to look a bit smaller. The Ullapool munros very big and close.

Thoughts now on what to do. It seemed too nice an evening just to drop to Magoos when I was feeling good. Decided to make my way towards Knockdamph Bothy, heading north west and aiming to pick up a good track above Glen Douchary. The track unfortunately doesn’t start/end where it is marked on the OS map and quite a bit of further rough walking was needed before I finally picked it up. There then followed a very long trek on quite a decent track. The plan was to intersect another path, about 5km away, which wound its way around the side of Mulach a’ Bhreun-Leitir, following a small gorge and then crossing Loch Damph and onwards to Knockdamph Bothy.

It was beginning to get pretty late by the time I got to where the path should have been, but despite searching a few hundred metres up and down the track, it was nowhere to be found. I took the decision to set off in the direction of where the path should have been, trudging through the heather, by now reconciling myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to make the bothy tonight. Thankfully it wasnt raining. The sun had long set by now, but it was still bright enough to be able to walk safely. I had only left the track about 300 metres when I picked up the path that I was looking for. Like the earlier track, this path just begins in the middle of nowhere, unconnected, again disagreeing with what the OS map was telling me.

My main priority now was to find a place to camp for the night. About a km into the path, and approaching 11pm now, I came across an almost perfect grassy area on which to pitch. Knockdamph Bothy was only about 4km away, but I was pretty exhausted, and just wanted to get my head down. There wasn’t a breath of wind so I lazily pitched the tarp only using a few stakes. A quick snack and I was tucked up in my bivvy bag and shortly in dreamland, for about an hour anyway. One sudden gust of wind knocked my pole over and the tarp fell on top of me. I tried sorting it without getting up but it was no use. I forced myself awake and got up, and Im so glad now that I did, as I was able to capture this wonderful image of my camp under the stars.

17.5km today – feeling not too bad.

Update – August 2011 – This post has been freshly pressed – Thankyou to all who have commented recently. I will make every effort to reply to questions/comments ASAP.


133 thoughts on “Cape Wrath Trek Day 3

  1. What a wonderful photo the one under the stars is. I had to enlarge it to see it properly. What a view eh?
    The black and white photos do nothing for me as I really like the colours you manage to get in the others!
    I think you must be very courageous to do this trip on your own..Especially with incorrect OS maps . Will you inform them of the mistakes?

    • The Os maps were only a little out. Nothing major that would really involve a danger to me. I have heard rumours of the OS making small deliberate mistakes in order to protect their jealously guarded copyright. This way they could quickly and easily tell when another company ripped off their data.

      I chose black and white for this image to highlight the gorgeous array of tones here. The colour image really didnt do it justice.

      Dont know about courageous really. If it was an area I was unfamiliar with, then maybe a little, but I know most of the highland region pretty well. 🙂

    • couldnt believe it when it happened and I was so reluctant to get up, I put it off for a good 5-10 minutes… so glad that it did fall over though, I think that image was one of the best of the trip.

      Re ‘Ben’ names – As fashion academic points out, its an anglicized spelling of the Gaelic word Beinn meaning hill.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. I have trekked in Sikkim, India, around Guichi-La.. Have you been? Very close to Kanchenjunga. Beautiful photos!

  3. Great photos of Creag an Duine – I had great weather (for a change) on Seana Braigh too but had forgotten to take my camera! 😦 I think I’d have had to have carried on the extra couple of miles to the Bothy rather than bivvy – but then I’m never equipped for a proper bivvy with a tarp and all. I do like my bothies though, especially if I can get a fire lit.

    Nice to read about that area of Scotland as I haven’t been up that far north since last summer and am not likely to get up to that area now for another couple of years I don’t think unfortunately.
    Carol/Mountain Coward

  4. Woke in the morning in Edinburgh saying ‘It’s a fabulous day. We ought to be out walking in the hills!’

    Beautifully composed photos – but please don’t get lost.

    Piano practise continues here in the city.

  5. Pingback: Cape Wrath Trek Day 3 |

  6. What lovely photos – you have brought Scotland out in all its beauty! As someone who’s lived in Scotland, this brought back fond memories…. awaiting the next post!

    • Exos has been fantastic after I cut down all the straps a bit. 🙂
      have been using this pack for close on 18 months now, and its still in great shape… I think the trick is not to overload it. For this 2 week trip it carried close to 13kilos comfortably

  7. Your beautiful pictures remind me of home. I have been to Ullapool many times but not to Cape Wrath–your pictures make me want to make that trip some day.

  8. The place is beautiful, all the photos were perfectly shot. The view of the mountains is just simply breathtaking!!

  9. Great photos. I was an outdoor instructor near Cape Wrath last year, at Cape Adventure, Ardmore- it’s such a beautiful area and was nice to see this come up on FP.

  10. I have been threatening to cycle to Cape Wrath (probaly as part of Lands End to John O’Groats) for years. Your pictures are giving me a kick in the right direction.

    • just took a canon S90 for this trip. I normally use Canon’s 5D and L prime lenses, but I wanted to have a lightweight trip for a change, and the S90 turned out to be quite a capable performer.

  11. Mapping companies almost all add false features to use for copyright certification. Normally they add a cul-de-sac or similar. The OS would never move a mountain or add a geographic feature that could lead to a map reading error or endanger someone. I suspect in somewhere like Cape Wrath they are more likely to add a small road or track.

  12. The evening shot was fantastic. Looks like you captured a shooting star…or quite possibly just a satellite or aircraft! Gah, fantastic.

  13. Stunning photographs and a wonderful travelogue… I am sure you enjoyed the trek much more than I am assuming..

    You have inspired me to write a travelogue on my Himalayas Trek.. Keep up the good work 🙂

  14. Pingback: Freshly Pressed | Luachmhor

  15. You’re probably feeling a bit snowed under by the attention at the moment, but congrats on being FP! It’s always a pleasure to discover a fellow Scot’s blog. I love the design of your blog, very clean and sharp, it really stands out. And beautiful shots of beautiful places. Gaun yersel’, as they say…
    (No need to reply btw!)

    • lol… snowed under is correct…

      The design of the blog is very important to me. Needs to be clean, white and clutter free – this is the best theme I could find so far, although I think it could be just that little bit better.

      thanks kindly for your comment..

  16. phew, pretty overwhelmed with the amount of recent feedback…
    sorry I cant reply personally to all of you but the biggest of thankyous to everyone who has taken the time to read and comment


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