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.