TGOC 2022 - Torridon to Kinnaber Links
This was a solo day again.
AND.... As it turns out, one of my favourite days of this years challenge.
Some days , it's just great to have a little bit of a cathartic adventure in just your own company.
Did I have breakfast???
I think that was a NO.
A memory says I went down and Craig was having breakfast and I tried a bit of Pancake (NOPE... Not for me again) and the girl did me some coffee.
They didn't start breakfast until 09.00 or some late hour 🙄🤷♂️
Or was that somewhere else?????
Anyway, whatever the case, I left I think around 08.00 to 08.15
I had a different agenda planned.
Down the road a bit to take a track up to Loch Wharral, Ben Tirran, The Goet, Black Shank, Shelin of Slaughs and then over Cruys and some other bits to Glen Effock and then Tarfside.
If you click on it, it should get bigger.
We will see.
At least my shoes and socks were dry at the start.
Would it rain?
So, down the road it was...
|You can stay on the road here, but what's not to like grabbing 750m of slightly damp fly ridden path
There is a bigger track about another 1km further on, but this looked nicer.
Well, except for the wet long grass, and following sheep for a few kilometres.
|Start of the track up
I say track, but at times it wasn't.
It was a tiny something that maybe had sheep on it.
Anyway, after a bit I got to the bigger track.
I could see it to my right, over the heather.
Very similar to the track up to Brandy this one.
It just seems to get steeper and steeper.
But, burnt back heather, meant it was just guesswork and looking further up the hill to spot where it might be.
Ooooohhhhh, There it is!!!!!!
|The summit is somewhere up there!
I went through the gate, and then followed the fence line down and round until I cut across to Black Shank.
Here, there was a rough track with deep 4x4 ruts, boggy in places.
I check with compass, but followed them as much as possible while they went in the right direction, as it was easier than plodding over the heather.
I expected to be doing this for a lot further, but the track that goes down to Shelin of Slaughs has been extended back up the hill a lot further, so there was eventually a nice big track. I suspect, that this may eventually extend back further over Black Shank, where the deep peaty ruts were.
|The rutted track on Black Shank
|Hitting the new track down to the Shielin.
It was quite hot now, and just over 100m up before the turn East to the summit.
Also near the top, a 4x4 was parked up.
Hopefully just checking on Grouse feed.
Hopefully NOT I thought intending taking pot shots at the kites.
Luckily while I was there, I heard no gun shots, so fingers X.
No actual track, and some need for deviating away from the waist deep bog water by the fence, but mainly easy walking, just following the fence line to your left all the way down and then back over to the next hill top.
A wee deviation to the right, and then back round here to be able to then follow the fence on and over to Black Hill.
|The track from Cruys
|Looking up to Cairn of Meadows
|The track to Black Hill
|Black hill in the distance
I say fence.
The bottom rung collapsed as I climbed over it, so it's even harder to get over now... 😬🤷♂️🤷♂️
|The big track to Round Hill ???
Nope, I went straight down the hill to the river and did more stone hoping to get over.
A tufty long grass hillside descent in the pissing rain.
Why didn't I take the track to the bridge though?
Over the river, I trudged hot and soaked along the North bank.
This is a biggish track, that for some reason someone has decided would be much better if it was triangular in shape, and as such a bleeding nightmare to walk on.
Eventually I got to the gate that leads down to the farm, and where the zig zag track from Cairn Caidloch (been there, have the Tee shirt) joins it.
Here, I changed out of waterproofs (it had stopped about 5 min ago), squeezed water out of my socks (as I was wearing trail shoes).
Trail shoes???? 😱😱😱 OMG! I have no idea how I have survived without huge leather boots.
Then it was a gate hop.
Over the hinges end obviously, I'm not a hooligan, and take the track over below the hill of Rowan.
I didn't go over the hill to the tower, like Craig did.
I had that T shirt in 2015 on my 10th.
I told Peter I was doing the hill monument.
He said, "Great route but you won't bother when you get there."
I did, and at Montrose I met him and said.
"Told you I'd do it Peter"
They looked like they may be drifting the wrong way, but they assure me they weren't.
BUT, it being Monday, NOT Tuesday, Craig and I had agreed, that the first in would try and blag rooms at St Drostan's
He was in on it!
I moaned some sort of disappointed set of expletives.
I did have a room.
It was all a little joke
It was fine.
I went in and had bacon rolls and tea, and tea and cake and .....
Thank God they had no beer, or tonight could have become expensive.
And..... As I was about to go and dump stuff in my room
I chose St Andrew's" .... but where else????
And loads of beer!
Oh well, that's the remainder of my cash done!
I'm in St Andrew's room and the Masons is open 🤔🤔
Maybe there IS A GOD???
Just like that!
Oh, and Martin arrived, and also blagged a room.
Martin who nearly always camps.
Martin had become a lightweight.
And we all had a bloody good evening.
The BBQ was ace.
And we had all gone back to beds and tents by 11.00 pm
The forecast was not so good.
The Wirren Hills can be another year (I've done them anyway).
So NOW I HAVE!
** **** ***** ** ****
A sightseeing tour via the Esk to Northwater Bridge